All of the homes in our service area are likely to develop algae streaking within a few years after installing a new roof. It’s my understanding that this is a nationwide problem, however, in Houston; it’s particularly serious because we’re near the Gulf Coast and our climate favors this troubling organism. Most people are very aware of the streaks because they’ve either experienced them on their own roof or seen them on roofs in their neighborhood, even if they don’t know algae is the cause.

Is roof cleaning an option for homeowners to remove the algae streaks?
Commercial roof cleaning services are almost nonexistent in this market, even though roof cleaning is common practice in some parts of the country. In fact, in many of Houston’s mid to upscale neighborhoods homeowners are more likely to replace a badly streaked roof than to clean it, even if the roof hasn’t reached its full service life. As a result, we’ve found that customers who are re-roofing for whatever reason, appreciate a chance to prevent the black streaks, which avoids replacing their next roof prematurely or living with another dirty looking roof
Do homeowners frequently ask about products that prevent the common black algae streaking caused by algae?
An increasing number of homeowners are informed about shingle products with preventive features like copper granules that inhibit algae growth on roofing granules. Almost all of the major shingle manufacturers now offer a variety of shingle products with algae-resistant (AR) granules, and the word is getting out to homeowners who are looking for a long-term solution. Most of the homeowners in our service area immediately upgrade to an AR product when they learn that they can prevent the stains and gain peace of mind that their roof will look clean and keep its color for years. But this option isn’t just for upscale homeowners. Everyone wants their home to look nice, regardless of its market value, and the roof is a large part of the exterior appeal.
Have you installed shingles with algae-resistant granules? What sort of results have you achieved?
We’ve been selling shingles with the algae-resistant feature since they first became available on the market. However, the original products relied on zinc as an algae inhibitor, which has subsequently proved less effective than today’s copper granules. So far, we’ve seen copper granules hold up very well against the black streaks. Currently, we’re interested in selling the 3M Algae Block System, a special mix of 3M copper granules that protect themselves and regular 3M colored granules from discoloration due to algae growth. Many of the shingle manufacturers we work with are incorporating the system into their product lines. We already know that copper is an effective algae inhibitor, and 3M’s reputation conveys quality and innovation to homeowners, so this looks like a promising opportunity to improve sales of algae-resistant products

Is it easier or more difficult to sell a shingle with the algae-resistant feature?
Any tool like the AR feature makes any job as a sales person easier. Homeowners welcome information and options that help them get involved in the selection process and make objective decisions about their new roof. Our job is first as an educator, giving the homeowner as much information as needed to make a prudent choice. We then follow up with professional installation of proven products from manufacturers who have a strong quality process from start to finish and solid product warranties. Most material upgrades are affordable from the consumer’s viewpoint, especially considering the service life of today’s asphalt roofing products. For example, you’re probably looking at a couple of hundred extra dollars, at the most, to upgrade to the AR feature
What type of contractor can be successful selling the AR feature?
It all depends on the contractor’s approach. There are two ways to operate in this business. Some roofers work just as applicators going from job to job, simply installing shingles that meet low bids. Then there’s the sophisticated contractor who operates a professional business involving all aspects of customer service, because he knows a strong reputation will produce more business down the road. Contractors who are conscientious about consumer needs and who take the time to educate their customers about specific features will benefit their business in the long run. Homeowners require information about product options in order to feel comfortable upgrading. The contractor who positions himself as an expert with a variety of options that meet consumer needs will be successful selling algae-resistant products.

 

What are the greatest advantages of opportunities for contractors who market algae-resistant products?
Contractors should embrace this new feature as a way to improve their business and ensure complete customer satisfaction. Depending on the competitiveness of the market and bid, most jobs allow for some markup on materials, offering an opportunity to increase profits. Plus, by adding value to the aesthetic components of a roofing job, they can improve the integrity of their business by building a uniform set of consistent, high quality jobs for future referrals.

 

What kinds of materials are important to your sales delivery when pitching upgraded selling features?
Presentation is everything when you’re selling upgrades. We rely on manufacturers for product literature and samples, plus various sales tools to support our presentation. The job site is equally important, because 90 percent of our work comes from referrals. Our clean and professionally uniformed crew, company-identified trucks, and prominently displayed yard signs all work to display a professional image that remains in the customer’s mind.

 

How receptive is the market to AR products?
I think it’s just a matter of time before the AR feature becomes standard in this market. Already, some manufacturers sell only AR shingles. An example is in Florida and other parts of the South. Manufacturers are realizing that they can exclusively benefit the consumer by making it part of the manufacturing process rather than an upgrade option. This makes sense from the homeowners and contractor’s point of view, because if everyone is selling it, it’s apples to apples on price. We prefer to sell this feature on every job, and most of our customers are open to it as well.

 

How does the AR feature fit within your current arsenal of selling strategies?
It all comes down to focusing on the features that will improve and preserve the aesthetic qualities of a roof. There are many artistic opportunities to create beautiful roofs with today’s shingle designs. And if you enhance the overall look with a new roof, you’ve just gained a happy customer who will provide testimonials to your business and generate future referrals. Installing quality materials and providing unsurpassed customer service are the keys to success in this industry.

If a roofer offers to buy your deductible or that it won’t cost you a penny out of your pocket, stay away. That is insurance fraud in the state of Texas. Those type of roofers are what we call "storm chasers".

Some companies will offer you a new roof without paying your deductible. How do they do it?

  • Using old materials that are no longer in production or defective to save money.
  • Pick-up labor from street corners so they can avoid high labor cost.
  • Re-using all of your vents / jacks on your roof system.
  • Not providing work with warranties or insurance covered crews.
  • Giving you a lesser grade material or roof system overall.
  • Usually they are working out of a truck and the company last only as long as the storm, so they have no overhead expenses.

Who would want a roof like the one mentioned above? Not many people, but some are fooled into it. We are here to educate you & make sure you make the ethical and correct decision. Don’t support these roofers.

To put this in perspective:

When you go to the doctors office or have a surgery you always pay your portion of it, your deductible. The insurance covers the rest. There is no budging on that price and you go on with your day.

But wouldn’t it be strange if a different surgeon asked to do your surgery & told you, you wouldn’t have to pay your deductible, that the surgery would be free.

That’s a raise for concern, maybe the doctor doesn’t have insurance, its his/her first surgery, they do the operation in a hotel, or has no idea how to do the surgery.

Just like surgery with a great surgeon, your roof requires a qualified and great roofer. Not just anyone with a pickup truck!

1) What makes Amstill Roofing different than all the other roofing companies?

At Amstill Roofing we are a roofing specialist company. 99% of our work is residential roofing.

We are also a family owned & operated company. We are one of the oldest roofing companies in Houston. Since 1974 we have strived to do only one type of roof, the best roof possible.

What this means for you, as the homeowner:

We are not decent at many trades; but instead we are a master of one, roofing.

2) What types of materials do you use compared to other contractors?

Unlike some of our competition, we believe a quality roof requires the correct materials. Many roofers use something called a 3-tab single on the hips & ridges of your home. The life span of that shingle is 10-15 years. It doesn’t make much sense to install that style shingle, when the rest of the roof will last 22-25 years for a 30yr roof.

At Amstill we upgrade you at no charge to the high-profile hip & ridge shingle. This shingle is twice as thick will last with the entire roof system we are installing.

On our standard application we use a 30lb felt (#30). Most roofer’s use a 15lb (#15) felt on their standard application. We don’t charge you the difference; instead we give you the greater quality material to compliment your roof system.

What this means for you, the homeowner:

In Houston, as we are all familiar, its extremely humid. Felt is an essential underlayment that acts as a moisture barrier underneath your shingles. The #30 felt is a tried and true system that has been around for many years. It’s twice as thick and more durable than the #15. It compliments

For steeper homes, it is also more resilient to tearing. Believe it or not, #15 felt can tear while being applied from applicators walking on the roof when the pitch is 7/12+.

#15 is the bare minimum requirement for a roof. We are a quality company which is why we use #30 or greater. A good roof is an investment; it covers you and all of your possessions.

 

To put this in perspective:

Would you want to have a surgeon operate on you with bare basic instruments? Probably not.

Would you want to use regular gas on an exotic car? Probably not.

3) Roof Application Standards

Ever wonder how many nails a shingle should have in it? The answer is 4 for a basic application. Amstill requires 6, we use 6 nails per shingle giving you a 130mph wind resistant shingle application with an added warranty.

What do we charge for the extra labor, materials, and extended warranty? It’s the correct application, why would we charge you more for us to do your job correctly.

4) Landscape Protection & Cleanup

Most roofing companies do not protect your landscaping, and if they do its at the bare minimum. They might lay tarp on your shrubbery or cover a window with a piece of plywood. When using Amstill, we protect & cover everything. Here are some examples:

– Plastic covering for your pool

– Tarp covering your shrubbery

– Covering windows with solid decking so falling debris doesn’t damage them

– Covering your deck so debris doesn’t chip it.

– Our cleanups are immaculate, you wouldn’t know we were there, except for the new roof!

5) We aren’t storm chasers & we aren’t deductible buyers.

If a roofer offers to buy your deductible or that it won’t cost you a penny out of your pocket, stay away. That is insurance fraud in the state of Texas.

Some companies will offer you a new roof without paying your deductible. How do they do it?

  • Using old materials that are no longer in production or defective to save $.
  • Pick-up labor from street corners so they can avoid high labor cost.
  • Re-using all of your vents / jacks on your roof system.
  • Not providing work with warranties or insurance covered crews.
  • Giving you a lesser grade material or roof system overall.
  • Usually they are working out of a truck and the company last only as long as the storm, so they have no overhead expenses.

Who would want a roof like the one mentioned above? Not many people, but some are fooled into it. We are here to educate you & make sure you make the ethical and correct decision. Don’t support these roofers.

To put this in perspective:

When you go to the doctors office or have a surgery you always pay your portion of it, your deductible. The insurance covers the rest. There is no budging on that price and you go on with your day.

But wouldn’t it be strange if a different surgeon asked to do your surgery & told you, you wouldn’t have to pay your deductible, that the surgery would be free.

That’s a raise for concern, maybe the doctor doesn’t have insurance, its his/her first surgery, they do the operation in a hotel, or has no idea how to do the surgery.

Just like surgery with a great surgeon, your roof requires a qualified and great roofer. Not just anyone with a pickup truck!

 

6) Labor Warranties

Amstill provides 5-year labor warranties on re-roofs. We also provide 30-120 day warranties on repairs.

85% of roofers offer a 3-year or less labor warranty on a new roof, and very few if any offer warranties on repairs.

A longer warranty speaks for itself. We are confident in our applications, which is why we have an extended labor warranty at no charge.

7) Customer Service

We are only as good as our clients make us out to be. At Amstill, you’re not a customer; you’re a client of ours that we intend to work with for the rest of our lives.

We strive to have the best customer service in the industry. We believe on being punctual, professional, and pleasant to work with. A roofing project can be a lot to think about, let us do the thinking while you do the relaxing!