It’s one thing to expect your roof to hold fast against most of the “bombshells” nature throws around. But taking it for granted can be a costly error. Why? Because a roof is arguably the most crucial part of any construction. First and foremost, it shelters people. Secondly, it protects your internal assets and decor from wind, rain, hail, ice, snow, and the sun’s ultraviolet rays. On the other side of the coin, simultaneously, your roof is vulnerable to sudden unexpected damage, on top of normal wear and tear. Harsh conditions leave broken shingles, rusted nails, damaged underlayment, and other corrupted materials in their wake, no matter how you look at things.
Depending on where you live in the US, roofs have life cycles that vary considerably. States like Arizona (a notable heat-belt), Florida (a hurricane target for a few summer months every year), and the northern states with winter temperatures consistently below zero are prime examples.
So, when do I need a roofer?
There are primary situations that should initiate an inspection from a roofing contractor:
- After any extreme weather event, it’s prudent to get your roof checked out, even if everything looks okay. “Is that necessary?” you may ask. Yes, it is – consider the following:
- Powerful winds can destabilize sections of a roof, as can hail and severe storms that launch bizarre combinations of weather disruption at your building. Left unattended, a weakened roof may succumb quickly to the next disturbance, thus creating severe damage, avoidable at much less cost if you had remedied it early.
- The fact is that latent defects frequently rear their ugly heads months after a severe weather event causes the core damage. Unfortunately, delayed leaks are challenging to connect to a weather debacle from long before. Therefore, it’s likely to make an insurance claim problematic even considering that you insured the roof for that eventuality.
- A “physical” – much like a visit to the doctor – every couple of years is advisable. Nobody routinely gets up on their roof, so we never truly know what’s happening up there. Periodic inspections are wise moves, especially for commercial buildings.
- Leaking roofs are the first sign of damage and material deterioration – damp markings on your ceiling or walls, or worse, puddles on the floors. Here’s the thing with out-of-control water – it can:
- Manifest itself into a dangerous mold (info here).
- Create chaos with the electricals in the attic.
- Rot wooden stirrups and supports.
- Create property and asset damage beyond expectations
- In any of the above situations, you will call in a roofer. With that, there’s a decision to either replace the entire roof or repair parts of it.
- Finally, new construction involves deciding on what kind of roof to install. These days, technology and space-age materials have reshaped the alternatives available to developers and homeowners.
How do I choose the right roofer?
A. Pay attention to these four alarm signals.
Let’s start with the roofing company you don’t want to employ under any circumstances. Based on years of experience in the roofing business, flashing alarm signals reoccur with unhappy results in almost all cases. These embrace contractors who propose working with you:
- For cash to save money.
- While flying under the radar of local authority regulations to bypass:
- Permit costs.
- Inspection hassles.
- On the “wink-and-nod” system versus formal documentation.
- Non-compliance in even one locally required protocol.
Indeed, all four are kill points – no-nos that signify a roofing journey about to start on shaky tracks.
B. So, what should a homeowner or landlord look for?
Suppose the contractor arrives with none of the baggage covered above. Still, it doesn’t mean the company is up to par. There’s a lot more due diligence in front of you, so let’s get to a checklist of genuine benefits – items that support a competent roofer’s proposal. It should meet five-star standards that succeed by:
- Documenting all the aspects covered in this list, the legalities, terms, and conditions.
- Highlighting the verifiable credentials of a fully licensed and insured contractor.
- Outlining genuine pain points and alternative options for remedying them.
- Detailing the branded materials that the roofer visualizes to complete the project.
- Scheduling work to complete in a reasonable turnaround time.
- If relevant, aligning with the general contractor for new or significant construction.
- Underpinning the highest level of integrity, experience, and specialization (if relevant) by submitting:
- Proof of other jobs in the same arena
- Substantial reviews and testimonials.
- Pricing the project comparatively well without unambiguity.
- Attaching material and workmanship guarantees. In this regard, note the following.
- A contractor’s guarantee may only be as good as the health of the latter’s business.
- Whereas a manufacturer’s warranty on materials in most cases circles back to an enterprise-scale organization and a stellar pedigree.
- In both cases, don’t spare any due diligence in looking back at the solidity of the provided backup.
The checklist above is not overly long, practical, and easy for customers to apply to roofing candidates. However, going through the process is worth every second if it leads to connecting with one that proves to be a sure ticket to success – thus, saving you time and staying within a tightly defined budget.
C. Talk to the roofing prospects.
Outside of the checklist, a quick tell rests on how those bidding for the job conduct the inspection. A methodical approach using the latest technology to assess the project’s ins and outs tells you a lot about what’s to come. That’s not all – the roofing industry is by no means stagnant with new roofing materials streaming through. Options provide enticing optics and new durability standards. Therefore, conversation adds to your confidence:
- So ask questions about metal roofing, flat roofing, and unique quality shingles – the pros and the cons. You can quickly tell if the roofers are on the cutting edge of their industry or not.
- Discuss permits and regulations: A competent contractor should seamlessly take the permit application burden off your shoulders, even though it’s ultimately your responsibility.
- If an insurance claim is in the mix, bring it up. Experienced operators understand the procedures to make a claim.
- Don’t be afraid to text or phone review clients if the door is open.
We have attempted to deliver an integrated and comprehensive overview of selecting the right roofer for your job. It’s not a one-minute exercise but not too complicated either. Much of it is common sense. It advocates going the extra mile to develop insights that’ll stand you in good stead in finding a company that fits your needs. Don’t stint on anything and spare no effort getting to the crux of the matter.