Archive for April, 2012

New Jersey Charges 2 Contractors for Roof Fraud

The lawsuit comes from nearly 70 complaints for John Kot and Gabriel DeSilva allegedly performing substandard work or no work at all after being paid.

The two men have several businesses, including A-1 American Construction Inc., Brick City Chimney Service LLC, American Chimney Limited Liability Company, Brick Chimney Service and Cleaning Inc. and Roofing Police or Roofing Squad.

Some of the complaints were shoddy roof repair work and when the roof problems became worse and the roof leaked, the defendants refused to fix it despite making promises and guarantees. Refusing to return customers deposits for work that was never done, not honoring guarantees or warranties in contracts and not obtaining necessary state or local permits.

Fraud In Several Counties

The complaints came from Union County, Somerset County, Monmouth County, Middlesex County, and Morris County. The state wants restitution for Kot’s and DeSilva’s customers.

The lawsuit was filed in State Superior Court in Bergen County. The defendants are charged with performing home improvement work in a substandard manner which resulted in dangerous and/or unsafe conditions for consumers, in some cases constituting a potential fire and safety hazard. State Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa said “we allege that these defendants defrauded consumers of their hard earned money”.

Of all the businesses operated by Kot and DeSilva, the only two I found at Better Business Bureau of New Jersey were A-1 American Construction Inc., and Roofing Police, both have an alert attached.

Thatcher’s Dog Welcome on Roof

In Norfolk UK, Richard Haughton of Broadland Thatchers takes his 5 year old dog up on the rooftops while he works. Haughton first took Axel on the roof when he was 7 weeks old, and the dog has been a steady fixture on the job ever since.

Axel, a mixture of Labrador, Rottweiler and Newfoundland happily sits on the rooftop and watches the crew thatch the roof. Axel sits on the roof for 4-5 hours a day, if it is too hot, he stays on the ground and sleeps in the shade. Often customers invite Axel inside their homes and spoil him with treats.

Loyal and Happy Dog

With someone behind him for confidence, Axel has learned to climb up the ladder. When it is time to come down for lunch or at the end of the day, Axel jumps on Haughton’s shoulder for a ride down.

Currently the crew is thatching a commercial roof, the Three Horseshoes Pub in Scottow. Richard Haughton has been a Thatcher for 17 years; he said their company Broadland Thatchers has enough orders and bookings to last until 2013. Broadland does reed thatching and roof repairs for cottages and commercial buildings in the Wilton, North Walsham areas.

Green Roof Gardens

roof gardenAlthough popular around the globe for hundreds of years, the United States is just catching wind of the benefits behind a green roof system. Not typically a part of a homeowner’s plan for a new roof, green roof gardens have become more popular in some regions.

Urban Delight

One of the most popular areas in America for green roofs are the rooftops of urban buildings. Traditionally packed with concrete and loud appliances, many residential and commercial roofs are now being topped by lush gardens. Offering the local community a place to enjoy a green space, get involved in a small agricultural project and even develop crops for selling at the local farmers market, rooftop gardens are becoming a place for locals to meet.

What makes a good green roof garden? There are a wide variety of plants that can be used for rooftop gardens. Depending on the light conditions of the building, rooftop gardens can be planted with grass, flowers and even produce. The key is finding the best plant for the conditions of the building and level of attention required.

Grass is fairly low maintenance and can be great for enjoying quiet times in lawn chairs or playing with children. Flowers bring an aesthetic appeal, but often require more work for the garden attendants. Produce is an excellent crop for those looking to grow fresh fruits or vegetables. However, they often require dutiful maintenance to keep insects away and can be picky about light or soil conditions.

Heated Debate Over Red Roof Tiles

In St. Augustine Florida a debate is raging over red roof tiles. St. Paul AME Church purchased a historic building directly across from their church in 2010. The historic Echo House was built in 1926 and has had 3 owners in the last 86 years. Subsequently, the city of St. Augustine has sent the church an order to repair the building or demolish it.

Reverend Ron Rawls said the building will be used for an after school mentoring program once the renovations are completed. He also said they have spent more in the last two years repairing the building than has been put into it since the late 1970’s. Previous estimates to repair the deteriorating building was up to $600,000.

Sold About 2,000 Tiles

Some of the roof tiles were removed and Reverend Rawls said the church plans to put shingles on the new roof since it is less expensive. The church has sold 16 to 20 pallets of Terra Cotta roof tiles to a roofer, who then sold them to a contractor who then sold them to a homeowner.

The debate comes in because the city of St. Augustine and City Attorney Ron Brown said the church applied for a historic preservation grant and received $2,000 to use the original red tiles to restore the roof. Brown said “the city – with agreement and cooperation of church – applied for the grant.”

Reverend Rawls denies any knowledge of the grant and asked the city to provide proof that he signed any documents pertaining to the grant. The city was unable to provide any documents with the Reverend’s signature.

One option the city is considering is taking the church to court over a “reverter clause” in the deed. Brown explained “if the owner of the property used the property for any purpose other than education, non profit or benevolent work than the city could go to court and ask for the property back.”

Reverent Rawls said “you don’t go from telling us to demolish a building to making the tiles this huge beautiful thing you want to get back.”

Presently the roof tiles are in limbo and sitting in front of the property. The latest meeting with the parishioners and city officials was left unsettled on the roof tile issue.

Roof Warranty Basics

roof warrantyJust like any important product installation around the home, your roof material comes with a warranty. More people are becoming educated as to the different roof materials available to install on their home, but there is still much to be learned about roofing product warranties.

The Good and The Bad

If you have gone through the roof repair or new roof process, then you  understand all the decisions that must be made. Between finding the right roofing contractor to choosing the best material for the look and style of your home, your work is cut out for you. Further, not all roof materials are created equal and many come with vast differences in their product warranties that can significantly influence your future experience with the roof.

The length of the warranty refers to the duration of protection offered under the warranty, which tells you how long the product manufacturer is willing to replace malfunctioning roof products. In general, the longer the warranty the better. For example, a 30 year warranty is better than a 20 year warranty in most cases. However, there are other things to consider when choosing a product warranty.

Some longer term warranties may not cover all repairs, or may only cover damage and repairs on a reactive basis. In other words, if minor damage is discovered the warranty may not cover the costs to repair or replace the materials until the damage has met a certain criteria. The problem here becomes the vulnerability of the roof to water damage and other problems while the minor repairs need for the roof go untouched until they meet warranty standards.  Also, some warranties only cover certain parts of the roof system and  may not cover all the materials such as flashing or base materials.

Homeowners should evaluate their needs in terms of roof product warranties. If full coverage is important, look for a warranty that offers a higher level of coverage for all roof systems and materials, not just the shingles themselves. If length of warranty or cost is more important, chose a warranty that offers basic material coverage for a longer duration.

Dow Solar Shingles Sold in California and Texas

Dow Solar, a division of Dow Chemical announces their Powerhouse Solar Shingles will be sold in Central Texas and Northern California. Select roofing companies in these areas will be the first markets to receive the solar shingles. Previously the shingles were only available in Colorado.

The Solar Shingles are certified as both a solar and a roofing product. The roof shingles offer protection from the elements and also generates energy to offset energy costs. The shingles can be installed by a roofer along with the regular roofing materials.

The shingles are custom designed, and include an inverter that converts DC (Direct Current) into AC (Alternating Current) to power the home. The cells of the shingles are a flat laying thin film material that have about a 12% efficiency rate.

Safety and Perfomance

The roof solar system delivers real time production and consumption readouts from any internet connection. Dow Powerhouse Solar Shingles received 7 performance and safety certifications and is proven to withstand rain hail and wind uplift.

Dow spokesman Kate Nigro said the Powerhouse Solar Shingles cost 2-3 times more than standard roof shingles. The shingles are made in USA with a 20 year warranty. Dow hopes to sell the shingles in a dozen states by the end of 2012.

Professor Pushes for White Roofs

Canadian Professor, Hashem Akbari is lobbying for roofing modifications to fight climate change. Hashem Akbari is a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Montreal’s Concordia University. He said that installing a white or cool roof that would not absorb as much heat as a standard roof is the key element to fighting global warming. “Cool roofs save you energy if your building is air-conditioned. If the building needs air-condition, installing a cool roof may actually solve your problem and you may not need it” he said.

Change to White Roof

When you are changing your roof, have your roof contractor use white or light color roofing materials he suggests. Light colored materials reflect the suns rays rather than absorbing them. Pavements and roofs account for more than 60% of urban surfaces trapping the suns heat and contributing to the heat island.

Replacing traditional roofs and roads with white or light color materials would yield a cooling benefit that over 50 years would be equivalent to reduction of 25 to `150 billion tons of carbon dioxide researchers said. When you improve the air quality within the city you cool the globe.

According to the EPA “The term “heat island” describes built up areas that are hotter than nearby rural areas. The annual mean air temperature of a city with 1 million people or more can be 1.8–5.4°F (1–3°C) warmer than its surroundings. In the evening, the difference can be as high as 22°F (12°C). Heat islands can affect communities by increasing summertime peak energy demand, air conditioning costs, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, heat-related illness and mortality, and water quality.”

Roof Damage From A Hail Storm

roof hail damageHail can be a destructive weather element when it arrives in the severe weather season. Breaking windows, denting cars and causing significant roof damage, a hail storm can be a costly experience. Although most people do check their roof for damage after a storm, there are a few things people should know about roof repair after a hail storm.

Dents and Dings

A hail storm can do more damage than is visible to the naked eye. Although there may be some evidence of missing or damaged shingles, the underlying materials may also be damaged. Damaged underlayment can cause serious problems during the next rain storm or even when the summer temperatures being to rise. If the underlying materials get damaged there can be gaps, cracks or weak spots in the roof structure. These problems allow for water to get into the home and the heat can make a small crack a large one in no time.

Dents and dings may be visible, but not all roof damage is as obvious.  A good rule of thumb is to have a roof contractor evaluate the roof after a storm can save hundreds down the road in avoidable repairs. A roof inspection can also ensure that any damages related to the storm are covered by the insurance company, who often require the damaged be determined to be caused by the storm. Having a quote or inspection report of any damage immediately following the storm can be a valuable tool when filing an insurance claim.

Roofing and Supply Co.’s Team Up to Donate Roof

Doris Allen of North St. Louis County paid Kiela Robertson of K&D Home Specialists to replace her roof more than a year ago. The elderly blind homeowner gave Robertson thousands of dollars for the roof repair. Sadly though, Robertson disappeared with the money as soon as she cashed the check.

Matt Thornton owner of Advance Roofing and Exteriors in St. Charles Missouri saw Ms. Allen’s ordeal on TV. News 4 of St. Louis reported the story and Advance Roofing and Exteriors volunteered to donate all the labor. Thornton called his friend Rick Pogue at Arrowhead Building and Supply in St. Peters and he too was moved to help Ms. Allen. Arrowhead Building and Supply donated all the materials and the dumpster for the roofing job.

Doris had been waiting for over a year for her new roof to be completed by K&D Home Specialist but it was Advance Roofing and Exteriors and Arrowhead Building and Supply that finished the job in just a few hours at no charge to the homeowner.


According to the Better Business Bureau K&D Home Specialists of Jennings Missouri have an “F” rating. Factors that lowered K & D Home Specialists’ rating include:
• Failure to respond to 2 complaints filed against business.
• One complaint filed against business that was not resolved.
• BBB does not have sufficient information to determine how long this business has been operating. BBB made two or more requests for background information from the business. BBB has not received a response from this business and/or has not been able to verify information received from this business.
• BBB does not have sufficient background information on this business. BBB made two or more requests for background information from the business. BBB has not received a response from this business and/or has not been able to verify information received from this business.

Choosing Who Replaces Your Roof

roof repairHomeowners are often baffled by the roof repair and replacement process. With so many decisions involved, even the most simple choices can seem overwhelming. Further, there are thousands of people who claim to be qualified for the job, but knowing the difference between a good and bad roof contractor can put you miles ahead of the rest.

General vs. Roofing

Some states and counties carry strict guidelines about who is eligible to perform certain construction duties such as roofing. In many areas, general contractors are just as eligible by the city code and requirements to complete this task as a certified roof contractor. However, eligibility and true qualification for the work are two different things.

While there isn’t anything inherently wrong with choosing a general contractor over a roofer, there is an increased risk in missing some important credentials. A qualified general contractor should carry a Class B license and have at least 5 or more years experience in the roofing industry. As with a roofing contractor, it is also important to ensure that a general contractor is bonded and insured, as well as have references of their prior roof repair work.