Questions You Should Ask Your Roofing Contractor
Picking a roofing contractor can be a frustrating ordeal. You may be dealing with a leaking or damaged roof, and then on top of that, you have to go through all of the available roofing contractors in your area to find one who can get the job done right while still being affordable. You might not know what makes a roofing contractor good or efficient, particularly if you're a first-time homeowner or have never needed one before.
Before you sign on the dotted line, here are 10 great questions to ask prospective roofing contractors.
ARE YOU A LICENSED ROOFING CONTRACTOR?
Most states require roofing contractors to be licensed in order to work; however, regulations and standards vary from state to state, so understanding the law requirements in your region would be helpful. You'll know you're dealing with a roofer who can meet your state's regulations. Knowing whether or not they are licensed, and whether or not that license is current, would provide you with legal redress if anything goes wrong with the job.
DO YOU HAVE WORKMAN’S COMP INSURANCE?
Despite the fact that roofing companies are now mandated by law to provide workman's compensation benefits to any of their workers, regardless of their number, it's always a good idea to inquire. Some contractors may opt to forego insurance and take their chances, but if an accident occurs on your land, you risk being held liable for medical costs, which no homeowner wants. Make sure the roofing contractor you're recruiting has workman's compensation benefits.
DO YOU CARRY GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE?
While the roofing workers are protected by workman's compensation insurance while on your premises, you must also be worried about harm to your actual property as a result of the work. Request a copy of the roofer's insurance certificate to ensure that he or she carries general liability insurance. This ensures that whether your roof, building, or property is damaged, you will not be held liable for the damage caused by anyone else.
DO YOU USE ROOFING SUBCONTRACTORS?
Roofing work is also delegated to subcontractors by certain contractors. Check to see if they use subcontractors and if they have workers' compensation and general liability insurance. You can also get lien waivers, which will cover you if the contractor fails to pay the subcontractors.
WILL YOU REMOVE MY OLD ROOF?
It's not unusual for roofers to perform a visual inspection of your old roof before agreeing to shingle over ait. Visual checks will still overlook issues like soft or rotten spots, and if they go unnoticed, they will just worsen the roof's problems in the future. Before a new roof is built, the old one should always be removed to ensure that all issues have been found and resolved.
6. ARE YOU GOING TO INSTALL DRIP EDGE/EDGE METAL WHEN YOU INSTALL MY NEW ROOF?
Drip edge and edge metal are small bits of aluminum that extend off the roof from under the shingle. This directs runoff into the gutters rather than behind them, shielding the roof's wood and fascia. Some roofers can not install this unless you specifically request it, so bring it up before hiring a roofing company.
7. WILL YOU USE LADDER STABILIZERS OR STANDOFFS TO PROTECT THE GUTTERS DURING ROOF INSTALLATION?
When you're shopping for a new roof, it's easy to overlook how the roofers can gain access to your roof, but it's important for the protection of your gutters. Standoffs and stabilizers will hold a few hundred pounds off your gutters as your roof is being patched, protecting your guttering system. Inquire whether the roofing company uses ladder stabilizers or standoffs, and if not, how they intend to secure your gutters. If they can't or won't respond, they're not the right roofing contractor for you.
8. DO YOU BRING A CONTAINER FOR REFUSE MATERIAL?
Roof replacement generates a lot of debris, including shingles, old plywood, nails, drip point, and other materials. You should not be expected to supply a container or deal with the garbage until the job is completed; anyone you employ to take care of your roof should carry their own container to the job site to dispose of the refuse in.
9. WHAT IS YOUR PHYSICAL ADDRESS AND PHONE NUMBER—AND ARE YOU LOCAL?
If you're considering hiring a roofing contractor, make sure they have a physical address. Using a P.O. Box as a base of operations A PO Box is typically a red flag, so always demand their physical address, as well as their phone number and the company's full name. It's a good idea to know this information to see if they're nearby.
Roofers can travel to hurricane-prone areas, such as Florida, in search of work; however, what if the roofing company you employ isn't local and you have problems with your roof after they've finished? They may not be available to correct any errors or problems if they are from another city or state.
10. WHAT IS MY NEW ROOF'S WARRANTY?
Shingles are the same price as older shingles, but they last much longer. Customers should expect new shingles to last at least 25 years (at the very least), so inquire about the warranty period on the new roof. Anything less than 25 years should be treated with a grain of salt.
There are important questions to ask, and knowing the answers ahead of time will save you time and money if you employ a company that won't take care of your home or landscape.