RoofViews

Residential Roofing

Customer Service Best Practice: Selling Residential Roof Systems

By Annie Crawford

August 26, 2021

Two contractors working on a roof

Without guidance, customers may be tempted to mix and match materials from different manufacturers in order to get the lowest roof price up front. However, this may hurt your profits—and, in the long term, their roof.

Learn how to sell the value of a roof system and adopt customer service best practice recommendations that serve both your customers and your company.

Why Sell Systems?

Selling a roof system increases your profits and benefits customers. It's an all-around win. But customers might not understand that the extra money they invest now can pay-off in the long run. As a contractor, it's part of your job to educate homeowners on the value of a roof system.

Not sure what to say? Try incorporating these talking points:

  • "We always recommend you get a full system made by one manufacturer, with one warranty for all the parts."

  • "We recommend a full system that includes leak barrier (to protect the roof's most vulnerable points), roof deck protection (a shingle underlayment), shingles (for looks and protection), and other important accessory products—all by the same manufacturer."

Educating your customers on the purpose and benefit of each component of the roofing system will help you sell the value of the additional investment. For example:

  • Systems made by the same manufacturer are designed and tested to work together.

  • Investing in a complete roofing system from one manufacturer may also make the customer eligible for enhanced warranty coverage. For example, when you install any GAF Lifetime* Shingle and at least three qualifying accessory products, your customer will automatically receive the GAF Roofing System Limited Warranty, which includes Lifetime* coverage on the accessory products as well as the shingles.

Selling Roof Deck Protection & Leak Barrier

Tell customers why roof deck protection is such an important part of a roofing system. Show you're knowledgeable and invested in customers' roof integrity by learning key talking points about top GAF roof deck protection options.

FeltBuster

FeltBuster® is a good option for budget-minded customers.

  • It serves as a secondary layer of protection under the shingles to help reduce the risk of leaks caused by wind-driven rain.

  • It's an affordable upgrade of typical asphalt felts with enhanced strength and durability.

  • It reduces wrinkling that can detract from the look of a finished roof.

Tiger Paw

Tiger Paw is an upgraded mid-range option.

  • It serves as a secondary layer of protection under the shingles to help reduce the risk of leaks caused by wind-driven rain.

  • It provides 600 times greater tear strength than standard #30 felt to help provide an extra-strong base for your roof system.

  • It resists rot and won't become brittle over time to help ensure long-term protection.

Deck-Armor

Deck-Armor is a premium option.

  • It serves as a secondary layer of protection under the shingles to help reduce the risk of leaks caused by wind-driven rain.

  • It reduces the risk of wrinkling and buckling that can detract from the look of your finished roof.

  • Unlike most underlayments, it's breathable to help reduce damaging moisture that may become trapped in the roofing system.

Install Leak Barrier

Leak barrier materials protect vulnerable roof points which are exposed to large volumes of water and/or ice. Products like WeatherWatch® and StormGuard® have several benefits to keep in mind.

  • These added products can boost your sales and in some parts of the country they're actually required by building code.

  • Most importantly, they fight wind-driven rain and ice dams that can lead to expensive damages.

Selling Hip & Ridge Materials

Homeowner education can lay the foundation for future sales. Use these talking points to discuss these materials with your future customers.

  • Hip and ridge shingles: These resist wind blow-off and guard against leaks. Plus, GAF hip and ridge shingles are factory color blended to match GAF shingles, unlike cut-up strip shingles.

  • Timbertex®: Double-layer, 12" width ridge cap shingles provide excellent protection and curb appeal with their added dimension and thickness.

  • TimberCrest®: Provides excellent protection for high-stress roof areas with their high-profile rounded "bullnose" design that frames the look of your new GAF roof. The product was created for the unique architectural style of homes in Western U.S. & Western Canada.

Selling Attic Ventilation

Are you selling ventilation products to your customers? The time to start is now. Teaching homeowners about the problems that can stem from lack of proper ventilation allows you to offer an option to help reduce those risks.

For instance:

  • Moisture naturally occurs in the home from showering, washing dishes, and humidity from outdoors and can collect in the attic space. Also, in the summer, excessive heat typically collects in the attic. This moisture and excessive heat in improperly ventilated attics can lead to premature roof system deterioration and increased cooling costs.

  • A balanced ventilation system helps reduce this damaging moisture and heat buildup in the attic.

  • GAF offers a full line of ventilation products and attic vents, including Cobra® and Master Flow® attic ventilation products for virtually any climate and roof design.

You have the talking points and the knowledge to teach customers the value of a complete roofing system. Put together, they're a toolbox for streamlining how you can lean on customer service best practice advice with your customers.



*The word "Lifetime" means as long as the original owner(s) [or the second owner(s) if coverage was properly transferred during the Smart Choice Protection Period], own the property where the shingles and/or accessories are installed. The Lifetime warranty is applicable only to shingles and accessories installed on a single-family detached residence owned by individuals. For any other type of owner or building, such as a corporation, governmental entity, religious entity, condominium or homeowner association, school, apartment building, office building, or multi-use structure, the length of the warranty is 40 years. See GAF Shingle & Accessory Limited Warranty and GAF Roofing System Limited Warranty for complete coverage and restrictions. Visit gaf.com/LRS for qualifying GAF products.

About the Author

Annie Crawford is a freelance writer in Oakland, CA, covering travel, style, and home improvement. Find more of her work at annielcrawford.com.

Related Articles

Contractor carrying a box of GAF Cobra Rigid Vent 3
Your Home

Why Proper Attic and Roof Ventilation Matter to Your Home

You may not automatically consider attic and roof ventilation when replacing your home's roofing system. However, it's a key part of the process. Here's why roof ventilation matters and the role proper attic ventilation can play in your roofing system. The Importance of Proper Attic Ventilation Your home generates moisture every day: cooking, showering, and even normal breathing all create moisture that can find its way up to your attic. Without proper attic ventilation, that moisture has nowhere to go. Once trapped, it can damage your interior spaces and reduce the effectiveness of your attic insulation. It can even contribute to the overall deterioration of your roof system and structural supports over time. Ventilating your attic space allows that interior moisture, along with hot air, to be exhausted near the top of the roof through ridge vents, roof louvers, powered vents, or other exhaust vents. Fresh air can also enter the attic along the soffits and eaves. This is referred to as intake ventilation. In order for that moisture and heat to escape through the exhaust vents, fresh, cooler air must be allowed to enter the lowest portion of the attic, at or near the soffits or overhangs. The key to effectively ventilating your attic lies not only in ensuring you have enough attic ventilation for your particular home, but finding the proper balance of intake versus exhaust ventilation. The U.S. Housing Authority recommends a minimum of at least 1 square foot of attic ventilation, evenly split between intake and exhaust, for every 300 square feet of attic floor space. This involves a bit of math, so the experts at GAF have developed a simple-to-use ventilation calculator tool to help you figure out the proper amount of ventilation. Be sure to consult your local building codes for attic ventilation requirements or ask your roofing contractor. Benefits of Proper Attic Ventilation Though they may vary depending on your area and the season, there are some significant benefits to having a well-ventilated attic. Helps lower attic temperature. Proper attic ventilation supports a strong roof system. A balanced and effective attic ventilation system helps exhaust superheated air from the attic, which could save your air-conditioning system from having to work as hard in the summer. Reduces the risk of ice dams. In colder climates, proper ventilation can help prevent ice damming. Allowing cold winter air to pass through the attic keeps your roof's temperature cooler, and helps prevent the cycle of snow melting and refreezing that can cause damaging ice dams. Helps protect your roof system. Heat and moisture buildup can add stress to the shingles and other parts of your roof system, potentially causing premature deterioration. A balanced* and effective attic ventilation system allows cooler, fresh air to enter the attic, forcing out superheated air, which helps protect your roofing system. What to Ask Your Roofing Contractor Most contractors today are installing some type of attic ventilation, but in some cases, they may not be installing the proper amount for the job or they may only be installing exhaust vents, such as a ridge vent. In other cases, they may simply not be installing enough to meet the necessary balance between the two—intake and exhaust. There isn't one universal solution, as every home is designed and built differently. Here are some questions to ask your contractor about your roof ventilation. Based on the size of my attic space, do I currently have enough ventilation? Do I have both exhaust ventilation at or near the ridge of my roof, and intake ventilation at or near the overhang/soffit area? Is there enough ridgeline on my roof to install the right amount of exhaust ventilation? If not, what other types of exhaust vents do you recommend (i.e., power vents or roof louvers) to provide the needed amount of exhaust ventilation? Are my existing overhang/soffit vents clogged by paint or covered with attic insulation? If I don't have any intake ventilation or enough ventilation at my overhang/soffit area, can it be added? Would you mind looking at my attic insulation? Is it in good condition, and does it properly cover the entire attic floor? If you're in need of roof repairs or replacement, reach out to a contractor certified by GAF ** in your area. Be sure to ask about proper ventilation and the options available to ensure that your roofing system will deliver the best performance and protection for your home. *Always have a balanced attic ventilation system. In no case should the amount of exhaust ventilation at or near the ridge exceed the amount of intake ventilation at or near the soffit. See www.gaf.com/ventcalcalculator for details. **Contractors enrolled in GAF certification programs are not employees or agents of GAF, and GAF does not control or otherwise supervise these independent businesses. Contractors may receive benefits, such as loyalty rewards points and discounts on marketing tools from GAF for participating in the program and offering GAF enhanced warranties, which require the use of a minimum amount of GAF products.

By Authors Karen L Edwards

January 25, 2024

Roof intake vent
Residential Roofing

5 Common Installation Mistakes When Venting Attics

Roof vents form the base of a home's attic ventilation system, helping it breathe while preventing roof system damage year-round. That's why it's important to understand how the various components work together to create a balanced, effective attic ventilation system. Here are five of the most common ventilation installation mistakes—as well as how to avoid them. 1. Placing Intake Vents Too High or Exhaust Vents Too Low A balanced attic ventilation system draws in fresh, cool air at the lowest part of the attic space and exhausts warm, moist air at the highest point. If either of these vents are placed incorrectly, they reduce the entire attic space's exposure to continuous air flow, reducing the overall system's effectiveness. If an exhaust vent is placed too low on the roof, or if two exhaust vents are stacked, one of the vents might then act as intake and disrupt—or short-circuit—the airflow through the entire attic space, reducing how effective it can be. Make sure that the intake vent is placed at the lowest possible point of the roof (usually at or near the soffits) so that it lines up with the lowest part of the attic space. Exhaust vents should always be placed at the highest possible point on the roof (at or near the ridge) which typically aligns with the highest part of the attic space. 2. Mixing Exhaust Products within the Same Attic Space Installing two or more different types of exhaust vents within the same attic space can also short-circuit proper airflow. When this happens, some of the exhaust vents may act as intake vents, restricting airflow to only the part of the attic space underneath those exhaust vents. Mixing exhaust products could also allow weather or debris to infiltrate the home. If the wrong type of vent for a specific roof design is installed, that can lead to mixing products. When a ridge vent is installed on a hip roof with very little ridge line, for example, it may not provide enough exhaust for the attic space. When this happens, another exhaust fan such as a roof louver or a power vent will be added to boost the ridge vent. However, doing this can lead to problems. A best practice is to install one type of exhaust vent on the attic space that is able to meet the exhaust NFVA (net free ventilating area) requirements, allowing the air to flow continuously throughout that attic space. 3. Cutting the Ridge Vent Opening Too Long Sometimes, a ridge vent might be installed across the entire ridge because it looks good, but there's no need to cut open the entire ridge air slot below the vent. Cutting an opening that's too long could lead to too much exhaust, disrupting the balance of the entire ventilation system. Check that the opening of the ridge air slot matches the amount of exhaust NFVA required for a specific attic space. For example, if an attic space requires 288 square inches of exhaust and you're using a 4-foot plastic ridge vent with 18 sq. in. per lineal foot of NFVA, then only 16 ft. of the 40-ft. ridge should be cut open. Always open the ridge air slot according to the required exhaust NFVA for the attic space, and then balance that with the same amount of intake NFVA. 4. Clogged or Blocked Intake Vents Even when intake vents were correctly installed, they may become ineffective over time if the outside portion becomes clogged with paint, dirt, dust, or even spiderwebs. Vents may also get blocked from the inside if the attic insulation is installed over the vents. Keep the intake vents clean by removing any debris that may have accumulated over time. If necessary, use attic baffles to keep insulation away from the intake vents. Don't forget to check that a hole has been properly cut in the soffits to allow air to enter the intake vents. 5. Having Missing or Inadequate Intake Intake is arguably the most important part of an attic ventilation system. When there is inadequate intake—or none at all—an exhaust vent may not function properly. Static exhaust vents like ridge vents or roof louvers hinge on adequate intake, but the same also goes for powered exhaust vents, which will have to work too hard to pull air through the attic space, resulting in the premature failure of the power vent's motor. Always check that you have a balanced attic ventilation system with the proper amount of intake and exhaust ventilation for the attic space being ventilated. For more information and tools to calculate the amount of ventilation products needed for your attic roof vents, visit gaf.com/ventcalculator.

By Authors Wendy Helfenbaum

January 25, 2024

Dark mold dots interior attic wood rafters representing the signs of poor ventilation
Your Home

5 Signs of Poor Ventilation in a House

Do you know the warning signs of poor ventilation in a house and attic? Proper ventilation is important in many ways and one of the first big things to know is that it can prolong the life of your roof system. It can also help lower your attic temperature and thereby reduce HVAC wear and tear, which may help lower utility bills and the likelihood of costly repairs. And last, but definitely not least, attic ventilation can help reduce the risk of mold, which can protect the health of your family. All-in-all, attic ventilation offers a long-term return on investment as well as potential preventative health benefits.What Happens to a Home That's Poorly Ventilated?Poor attic ventilation negatively impacts your home and can ultimately cost you money. But what makes for a good ventilation system? Ideally, a well-balanced roof ventilation system will efficiently draw cool exterior air into the attic through intake vents and push hot interior air out through exhaust vents. This helps maintain your attic's temperature so that it's similar to the ambient outdoor temperature. When an attic doesn't have proper ventilation, or the ventilation system is blocked by paint, debris, or insulation, hot air gets trapped in your attic's highest points.Trapped hot air leads to trouble all year round, including roof ice dams in winter and overworked HVAC systems in summer. Proper ventilation helps prevent home repairs and protects your roof investment. That's why it's so important to recognize the warning signs.How Do You Know If You Have Poor Attic Ventilation?1. Excessive Heat in the AtticA hot attic may feel cozy, but it's one of the warning signs of poor ventilation in a house. Perhaps counterintuitively, your ideal winter attic temperature is similar to ambient outdoor temperatures. With poor ventilation in house, the hot air concentrated at your attic's highest points stays trapped. This, in turn, can lead to uneven roof temperatures (ice dams), an overtaxed HVAC (higher energy bills), and other costly headaches.An indoor digital wall thermometer is a good way to help determine if your attic temperatures are too high.2. Visible Moisture on PlywoodWet wood in your attic is not a good sign. When warm, moist air from your home is trapped against your attic ceiling, condensation can occur. Any sign of visible moisture on plywood is a red flag.Look for beaded water, condensation on hard surfaces, water stains, rusted nails, or rust stains around nail heads. It's important to address visible moisture quickly because trapped, warm, and wet air is a breeding ground for mold and mildew.3. Mold or MildewIf left untreated, mold and mildew can negatively impact you and your family's respiratory health, and deteriorate plywood, drywall, and other building materials.Discolored patches, including white, orange, pink, green-black, gray, or black colors, can be indicators of mold. An active leak or damp area is a possible indicator that mold or mildew is also present. A musty or unpleasant damp smell is another sign. If you're concerned about mold or mildew in your attic, contact a professional.4. Cracked or Curling ShinglesPoor ventilation can damage shingles by causing extreme roof temperatures, water damage to roof decking, and more. That's why it's important to be alert to the state of your roof's exterior. A regular roof inspection (performed safely from the ground with binoculars) can help you keep tabs on the situation. Warning signs of shingle damage caused by poor ventilation can include blistering on the shingles, granule loss, and curled, cracked, or brittle shingles. If you notice these warning signs, contact a certified roofing contractor.5. Ice DamsIcicles around your roof's perimeter may look magical, but don't be deceived. They can be a sign of ice dams caused by poor attic ventilation.The excess warm air that results from poor ventilation gets trapped within the steeper parts of your roof. This can then melt the snow on the roof exterior above it. The melted snow then drips down and refreezes on lower, cooler areas. This freeze-thaw cycle can create built-up ice dams around the base of your roof that just get larger over time.When ice dams are not removed, the built-up ice and water can infiltrate your roofing system, leading to shingle damage, roof leaks, and even structural home damage.What Are the Health Problems Caused by Poor Ventilation?As mentioned, property damage isn't the only negative consequence of improper attic ventilation. Changes in your family's health can also, unfortunately, be a warning sign. In fact, mold in the home can cause "sore throats, stuffy noses, coughing or wheezing, burning eyes, or skin rash," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Asthma and allergies can be triggered by mold and immunocompromised folks are at a higher risk for lung infection.The right attic ventilation can hopefully save you money on home repairs and medical care, while helping maintain the health of your family and home. Ready to get started on your attic ventilation project today? Contact roofing professional certified by GAF* in your area.*Contractors enrolled in GAF certification programs are not employees or agents of GAF, and GAF does not control or otherwise supervise these independent businesses. Contractors may receive benefits, such as loyalty rewards points and discounts on marketing tools from GAF for participating in the program and offering GAF enhanced warranties, which require the use of a minimum amount of GAF products.

By Authors Annie Crawford

January 25, 2024

Don't miss another GAF RoofViews post!

Subscribe now