Reading the Ads - Deciphering the Details - On the House

Reading the Ads – Deciphering the Details

By on April 17, 2014
deciphering roofing ads

Question

Could you tell me about the product described in the enclosed advertisement, or is it just another scam?

Mike

Answer

Lets study the advertisement section by section, then you can make your own decision both about the integrity of the advertiser, as well as “roof care” (the term used to identify the work that the advertiser proposes to do) as a type of home maintenance…

“PRESERVE, FLAMEPROOF AND REJUVENATE YOUR SHAKE ROOF”
“A Revolutionary Breakthrough”

Line one is true to a certain extent (less true for flame proofing than preservation and preventive maintenance), and we’ll analyze the extent of each as we continue to study the ad more thoroughly.

Line two would lead you to believe that roof care is a radically new technology. Roof care was developed over 20 years ago, but only became popular in California in the last few years, so it’s hardly revolutionary.

“Fire Retardant- Strongest spray-on retardant ever developed. General approval reg. 38-86-1 in accordance with L.A.F.D. Standard 52.”

Looks official, but Los Angeles Fire Department Std. 52 is not a national standard. The National Fire Prevention Association (N.F.P.A.) is the approval you should be looking for.

“Mold and Fungus Inhibitor – Coating will not support mold growth.”

“Will not support mold growth” is a true statement. But, more properly stated, a mold and fungus inhibitor such as copper napthanate will help to inhibit new growths of mold and fungus when applied to a freshly and thoroughly cleaned roof, but will not eliminate existing growth.

“Protects years longer than the leading waterseal.”

Practically every roof care preservative on the market is more concentrated than the leading water seal products found at hardware stores.

“UV Protection – Like a suntan lotion for your roof – prevents UV burn.”

Sounds fantastic, but it is simply a paint pigment (you can use practically any color you wish). There are several reasons to add paint pigment to the process:

  1. it actually does prevent the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays from passing through to the roofing, hence retarding wood cell destruction,
  2. most wood preservatives will discolor your roof and the paint pigment hides the ill-effect, and
  3. usually when the roof care process is performed, some shingles need to be replaced and pigment coloration will help disguise the patchwork for a more uniform appearance.

“Fire Resistance Warranted for 5 Years.”

Most roof care companies warrant all the work that they do from two to five years depending on the company. This ad obligates the company to fire resistance only.

“Helps to Prevent Shingle Curl, Cracking and Splitting.”

The chemicals used in such an application definitely will do what this part of the ad suggests — if they are applied properly. For this reason, it makes good sense to use a company with a reputable track record.

“Applied by Local, Professional, Certified Applicators.”

If we intend to use this company, we would check to make sure that he has a structural pest- control license, and that the license is in good standing. Other than a state license, we are not familiar with any certification recognized by either the state or federal government for applicators. What we have noted is that the ad does not include the state required contractor’s license number, as required by law.

“Exclusive Distributor of Northern California”

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