Over the top
Tallahassee businessman invests in new Roof Max rejuvenation concept
By St. Clair Murraine
Outlook staff writer
For most homeowners their roofs are basically out of sight, out of mind unless a storm drops a tree or their insurance company calls for an inspection.
Rick Frantz can’t do anything about storm damage to save a roof, but he could rejuvenate a roof enough to make an insurance company back off. That, of course depends on how much damage time has done to the roof.
Since starting up his Roof Max business in Tallahassee last fall, Frantz has been getting calls about a concept that doesn’t include a hammer or nails to make a roof look new. He’s seen a few that he couldn’t do anything to save, though.
“I just like to tell people exactly what I see; the honest-to-God truth,” Frantz said. “If I look at a roof and it’s pretty far gone, I’ve told many people don’t spend the money because you’re not going to get the value.
“It might not even make it five years. I try to give everybody as much factual information as I can give them. ”
His presentation includes a short video that explains the Roof Max concept. It’s as straightforward as spraying a roof with a solution made of soy bean oil. Frantz is quick to point out that the process is not a coating but one in which the oil penetrates each shingle and prevent granule fallout.
Frantz also said rejuvenating a roof isn’t about making it last a lifetime. Instead, he said, five years is the average.
It has seemingly created some enthusiasm in Tallahassee, giving Frantz a sense that there is longevity for his new-found business. The application process takes about two hours.
“I will equate it to a high level of excitement when somebody hears about it,” he said. “They like everything that it stands for, including the price and the ability to save replacing their roof.”
He’s worked on roofs that cost as low as $1,200 to as high at $5,000. HomeAdvisor, a contractor-matching service, estimates that the cost of replacing the roof on a 1,500-square foot house could be between $5,500 and $8,000.
Tallahassee businessman Chris Hill first heard about Roof Max when he ran into Frantz at a home show. They spoke briefly and before long Frantz made a deal to rejuvenate Hill’s roof.
He said it was needed, considering that his house is 15 years old.
“My shingles looked a little brittle,” he said. “I was definitely getting the granule loss. It was pretty significant, but everything has stopped since we treated it.”
Hill ended up with a discounted price after Frantz agreed to his request to help out with treating the roof.
“The results are exactly the way he described they would be,” Hill said. “I’m real happy with the way everything turned out.
“The application was pretty simple. If you can spray a (garden) hose you can do this stuff.”
The idea to invest in the Roof Max concept was suggested by his business partner Randy Hoesley, said Frantz, who moved to Tallahassee from New Orleans 32 years ago. He’d owned auto mechanic and body work shops, but didn’t hedge although Roof Max was a different type of opportunity.
He especially liked the fact that the concept is environment friendly and it didn’t require hauling off shingles to the landfill. He estimated that about 12 million pounds of old shingles are taken to landfills around the country when a roof is replaced.
Getting into the business also came with a “reasonable” start up fee, he said.
“It just felt good that you can offer a product that did all that,” Frantz said. “It saves people thousands of dollars. It was kind of like a home run. It’s green and we can save your roof from being replaced.”