A good roof over your head — that’s about as important as it gets. And when you consider this very significant investment, you certainly don’t want one that leaks or will not withstand the elements over time.
Russell Roofing, known for high quality products and workmanship, has recently been taking on many more projects in Princeton and the area. “We now have a branch office at 812 State Road,” says Russell Roofing project manager Dan Simpson. “We specialize in unique roofs, including slate, cedar shake, copper, and tile, as well as asphalt shingles. Many Princeton houses have slate roofs, and also a lot have skylights. We are a 5-star skylight installer, only one of 100 in the entire country.
“We offer a solar ventilating skylight, which just became available in March. The remote control operates by solar power. We already have many orders, and today, there is a 20 percent tax credit for the solar skylight.”
A family business, Russell Roofing was founded 20 years ago in Oreland, Pa., and its motto is: “If It’s Russell, It’s Right. Guaranteed!” Known for residential, commercial, and historic renovation, the award-winning company is proud of its high ratings from customers and professionals alike.
“We are a certified ‘Master Elite’ contractor with GAF, the largest shingle manufacturer in North America,” points out Mr. Simpson. “That status puts us in the top 2 percent of roofers in the U.S. We are also a 5-Star installer with CertainTeed shingle manufacturer.”
Russell Roofing handles all types of roofs for private residences, churches, universities and colleges, and commercial buildings. Its employees are highly qualified, having undergone stringent instruction and testing.
“All our roofers are certified and trained by Russell Roofing and the shingle manufacturers,” explains Mr. Simpson. “All our employees are drug-screened, background-checked, and fully insured. Safety First is our motto, and this is a year-round business. We do put roofs up in the winter; but we’re very careful, and if it’s too windy, we don’t go up.”
Roof problems come in many forms, he notes, but improper nailing is the major mistake. “I have been surprised by the disregard for application that some roofers have exhibited on roofs we have to repair or replace, “reports Mr. Simpson, who is a certified roofer himself.
“Nailing is hugely important. We hand-nail all our roofs. We not not use nail guns. Hand-nailing requires great attention to detail. There is only one layer of asphalt between your home and Mother Nature. If the shingles are applied properly and correctly nailed, they can last as long as the roof underneath. The manufacturers have specifications which require the nails to be in a particular spot. A tiny change can cause a problem.”
As project manager, Mr. Simpson comes to the customer’s house for a free consultation. This includes inspection of the roof, measurements, and a diagnosis. “After the diagnosis, I’ll put together a full, detailed proposal. Also, I can do on-the-spot repairs immediately if I see a problem.”
The style, age, and size of the house can determine the appropriate roofing, he adds. “For example, long-lasting cedar shake is appropriate for a Tudor house, perhaps one that dates back a long time.”
Tile is very good-looking, and is often popular for southwestern or Spanish-style homes, he points out. It is also very long-lasting — perhaps 100 years or more — and Russell Roofing has installed tile roofs on some high profile buildings, including Independence Hall in Philadelphia.
“Slate is appropriate for older houses and large stone houses,” continues Mr. Simpson. “Slate, which can also last 100 years, is very heavy, and newer houses cannot bear the weight. In addition, however, there is synthetic slate now, which looks authentic, and is not as heavy.”
Complete attention to detail and personalized service is the hallmark of Russell Roofing, he emphasizes. “We believe in doing the job right the first time, and we do everything accurately according to the manufacturer’s specifications. We see the job through completely from beginning to end. We don’t stop work until the job is done. There is a foreman on the job every day, all day. A production manager also stops in every day, and the project manager comes as often as possible.”
As project manager, Mr. Simpson oversees a number of different jobs. An average house takes three days for complete roof installment. Larger houses can take a week or more, he explains.
He is very proud of the quality work Russell Roofing provides. “During Hurricane Sandy, of the 16,000 houses with Russell Roofing shingles, not one shingle blew off. In an emergency, such as trees through a roof or solar panel, or shingles blown off in a storm, we come right away and put a tarp over it. Our job is to keep the house water-tight.”
In addition to residential work, the company provides roofs for many commercial and institutional buildings including stores, office buildings, factories, warehouses, schools, churches, and municipal buildings.
Although the company’s major focus is roofs, it also installs gutters, siding, and windows. It has recently added a masonry department as well. “We would get calls for roof leaks that were actually coming from the chimney. The challenge really is trying to find the water — the source of the leak,” he explains. “It doesn’t always show up where the water comes in.
“We do chimney repair and replacement as well as stone and brick veneers.”
Customers can count on Russell Roofing for the highest quality and dependable service. And Mr. Simpson points out, “According to the Better Business Bureau, the average life of a roofing company nationwide is two years. It’s so often a race to the bottom: to see who can give the cheapest price. Russell Roofing is now in its 21st year.
“Our pricing is very fair and disciplined. It varies depending on the materials and the size of the job. We do live-job costing — everything is completely identified: the numbers of hours, numbers of workers, materials, etc.
“I knew right away Russell Roofing was the right company for me,” he continues. “I am proud to be associated with a company that believes in quality and doing the best for the customer with a superior level of service. “I’d certainly have them put a roof on my house!
“We look forward to continuing to be a contractor of choice in the Princeton area.”
For more information, call (609) 630-6300. Website: www.russellroofing.com.