A roof prepared for new shingles.

Why You Want Laroche Construction

Whether it’s your home or your place of business, your roof protects your investment, and this is one place where you don’t want to skimp. An improperly installed roof can void the shingle manufacturer’s warranty, not to mention leave you with a host of other problems, so it is important to get informed so you know what you are paying for.

Customers often ask me, why did I get such a cheaper price from someone else? There are a lot of different answers for this, but if you get a real low price the reason is probably a lack of proper licensing and insurance. Often roofers without insurance have lower overhead and can offer lower prices—but that may not make you feel better if your roof leaks and causes interior damage. Secondly, people often assume that they are comparing the same product, when in fact, they are not. Would you believe that 80-90% of all roofs we tear off are improperly fastened? Improper nailing is the most common defect with asphalt shingle installation. You also need to know if your roofer plans on replacing flashing, or at least presented with the option to replace it. Sometimes you can re-use flashing, but more often not. Flashing is where the majority of leaks come from. Proper flashing techniques are among the most neglected items by roofers. Sometimes it’s because the roofer doesn’t know how, and sometimes it’s because he bid the job too low to replace the flashing and still make a profit. Here is some evidence of what can happen with a poor flashing job.

Poor flashing example Poor flashing example

Notice how in the first picture the flashing is cut tightly to the corners. This method relies on caulking to seal the corner, which eventually will fail and leave a small void to catch water. In the second picture, notice how the bottom corners all across the roof are rotten. Skylights, and chimney too. For some reason, they used wings on the top corners of those skylights, but not the bottom.

Here are some pictures of a chimney we flashed

Proper chimney flashing on roof installation Proper chimney flashing on roof installation

We use tinner’s wings on both top and bottom corners. Notice how the wings on the back pan are extended 4” past the chimney, to shed water away from the corners. The corners are the weak spot. Some roofers will say that this doesn’t look right, but it is an age old practice, and it is how they used to flash chimneys before modern caulkings were available. They did it this way because it works.

We use tinner's wings for proper water run off

There are also flashings that seal around plumbing vents coming through the roof. The most common ones you see are plastic with a neoprene collar. These will often fail in as little as 6 to 8 years. Take a look at these 2 pictures.

Improper flashing around plumbing vents Improper flashing around plumbing vents

Look at that gaping hole in the side! While this roof is 16 years old, how long do you think this boot has been letting water in? On a 25 or 30 year roof, we mainly use aluminum pipe flashings with an EPDM (rubber) gasket at the pipe. These are more likely to last the life of the roof. On a lifetime asphalt shingle, slate, tile or cedar roof, a lead pipe flashing is the only choice. They will last the life of the roof, and likely longer.

We also are happy to deal with the “hard to fix what was the architect thinking” type spots. Here is a quick example. This chimney was catching a tremendous amount of water, which caused a tremendous amount of damage to the interior. We did a small amount of framing to give the water clear passage off the roof.

Custom framing and roofing to allow for proper run off Custom framing and roofing to allow for proper run off Custom framing and roofing to allow for proper run off

Take note in the last picture, that valley pan goes 3-4” past the corner, again avoiding the trouble spot.

At Laroche Construction, you will be dealing directly with me, the owner, Mike Laroche. I offer free advice over the phone and via email—often estimates are free too (if they aren’t great distances away). Keep in mind that no estimates are actually free anyway, since they usually get added into the bid. If I charge you for an estimate, you will receive a credit if you have Laroche Construction do the work.

I am experienced in a wide array of roofing products and applications, including asphalt shingles, slates, single-ply flat roofing, including EPDM, PVC, and TPO. I pride myself on providing a quality product to my customers.