Choosing the correct roofing contractor for the job may be a bit difficult. In fact, a lot of complaints about roofing contractors are received each year. When it comes to roofing, most states have very few or even no regulations in regards to the contractors and installers, they do not even have building code requirements. So most of the time, it may be up to the homeowner to be careful and thoroughly assess the contractors and the roofing company in general.
Not only can some people be deceptive and unprofessional in their job, it is, in general, wise to assess anything, especially contractors, using questions. This way, even if they were legitimate, you may be able to learn more about the contract, what it may include, or some other questions you may be wondering about, to avoid further misunderstandings in the future. It is normal not to know much of the details if you are a new homeowner or if this was the first time you are going through this service, so here are some questions that you may ask your roofing contractor:
Do You Have A License As A Roofing Company?
Firstly, is the most important question considering that you may be new or have no experience dealing with this service. It all starts here as if it is all a deception, it would without a doubt, become a much bigger problem in the future. Let’s say that you have not looked much into the company’s background yet, or you may already have but just want to verify it, then these questions may suit you.
As briefly mentioned before, In order to perform roofing services, Florida requires roofing contractors to be licensed. This ensures and gives peace of mind when you have confirmed that you are working with a roofer that would comply with your state’s codes.
This and similar types of questions make sure that they are legitimate, and in the case that something goes wrong, a legal recourse. Similar questions for verification of professionalism may be:
Is your business local?
It may depend on preferences, but most people prefer local businesses. This is because a roofing contractor with a local physical office and phone number would be easier to contact and find them in case of any issues.
How long have you been doing this business?
Just to confirm their validity, some may ask or research how long the contractors have been doing business in your area. It just not confirms the legitimacy of the business, it may also help find out how good they may be. A good reason is that people want to choose a long-lasting company that would still take care of their roof investment even a few years from then.
Who owns the business and how long have they been doing it for?
Do you have other projects I can go see?
Can I meet the owner & person who holds the Roofing License for your company and are they local?
Will The Old Roof Be Removed?
Some Roofers may visually inspect the old roof and then decide to shingle over it. It is not unheard of but doing so will not be able to identify some problems such as soft or rotten spots, if those issues further grow, they would most likely only create much bigger issues for your roof in the future.
If those issues become much bigger, it is possible that the future repair expenses would be more pricey, not to mention it would take more time than necessary. Experienced and exceptional roofers would without a doubt, make sure that all the problems are identified and attended to, and should always remove the old roof before putting down the new roof.
A related question is “Will the roofer use new flashings or reuse the old ones?”. Replacing the flashings is undoubtedly a difficult and long process. After the flashings have been removed, the old flashings would need to be measured and then custom-created the new flashings to fit and install them properly. Some roofers may find it not worth the work although, for clients, it is crucial.
The old flashings are most likely made to specifically join with the old, original dimensions and shingle type of the past roof. Even shingles may show their age over time like how it is with the other aspects of your roof. Therefore, much bigger repair expenses may be expected in the future if not addressed and replaced during the whole process. If some issues have already been rising such as rusts or leaks, it may lead to extra damages not just on the roof, but on the home.
Do You Have Insurance And Warranties?
It is good to ask for workman’s compensation insurance for their employees, not to mention that it is basically required by the law, no matter their numbers. It is important, even though it is almost impossible for professionally trained roofing experts to get injured or hurt on your property, there are still some low chances.
Although possibly low, there could be some companies that choose not to work with a workman’s compensation insurance, and in the likely chance that they do get injured, you may be held accountable and would therefore need to pay for the medical bills. It is undoubtedly important, even as just for safety measures, it is wise to make sure the roofing professional offers workman’s compensation insurance.
Although now that you have made sure any injured workers would not harm you in any way by the workman’s compensation insurance, you would also have to make sure that damage done to your property caused by a contractor should also not fall into you. There is something called general liability insurance which essentially means that in the case that your house, roof, or anything on your property is damaged, you wouldn’t be held responsible and cover for the damage that was done by someone else.
There could also be roof warranties. These warranties are put in place so that your roofing investment is secured. There are different kinds of warranties on their workmanship, they could range from one year, two years, three years, five years, 10 years, 25 years, and if possible, maybe even a lifetime. Some confident companies may offer lifetime warranties if they really care for the installation of your roof.
Will Drip Or Edge Metal Be Installed On The Roof?
There are usually small pieces, typically made with aluminum, under the shingles which then extend off the roof. It protects the wood decking, soffits, and fascia from runoffs and leads them to the gutters. Of course, if not included, then some parts of the roof, mostly the ones mentioned, would without a doubt suffer more damages in the future and would inevitably lead to heavy expenses for water damages in the future. Some companies may not install them unless it is mentioned or asked for, so it would be great to talk about it with the contractor you have found.
How Would You Be Able To Protect My Property?
Even though there are insurances, it is still always problematic when the property gets damaged during the process. Not just for roofing companies, but even for any renovations or work done on your property, it is always important to ask for specifics on how the contractors would be able to protect your property. Not to mention that protecting the property itself should be one of the utmost priorities in this type of work and service.
For the clients, nothing brings more comfort and peace of mind when the roofing contractors know what they would do to guard the lawn, landscaping, light fixtures, etc., and not damage anything. There should be precautions and actions made before they start working. For example, a tarp or cloth could be placed on the ground to cover the foliage or landscaping around the area of work while going through the work.
As mentioned before, there are some offering insurances, but at the same time, some may sneak in the agreement that they cannot be held responsible for any damages done to the property. It is essential to protect your property during roofing or any renovation work. There should always be precautionary steps taken when dealing with such work. Similar questions are:
Can they protect the eavestrough, how so?
There may be if some steps are not taken, some contractors that can damage the eavestrough while working on the roof, especially some more inexperienced ones. There are ladder stabilizers and other tools and supports that could help avoid these cases. It is also important to ask as the eavestrough may be torn off and broken when the work is done.
Can they protect the gutters, how so?
Similarly, they could also damage the gutters. How the roofers will access your roof is always crucial. Similarly, ladder stabilizers and standoffs may work with this. Some companies may not have these so it is important to ask. If they do not, it may not be the best roofing contractor to choose.