As a homeowner, there are many projects you can put on the back burner until you have time to tackle them on your own. A leaking roof isn’t one of them. Ignoring a roof leak can quickly turn into a nightmare and often causes severe damage that you can’t initially see. Mold, damaged rafters, and wood deterioration are just a few critical reasons you need to hire a professional roofing contractor for your roof repair or replacement.
Hiring a professional roofer that you can trust is not an easy task. The Internet is flooded with possibilities that include good and bad reviews about service, quality, and professionalism. Hiring the wrong roofing company often leads to another roof replacement in a few short years instead of 25 to 30 years down the road. It pays to research roofing contractors, ask questions, and compare multiple companies before you hire the first one you find online.
Here are nine questions to ask a roofing contractor for your roof repair or replacement:
Every professional roofing contractor has a legal name registered with the state and listed on their license. Some contractors also have a “Doing Business As” name. To research a company, you need both names.
If a contractor isn’t willing to provide a legal name or avoids answering your question, they are not a roofing company you can trust.
There are two important types of insurance every roofer needs to carry: general liability and worker’s compensation. Pennsylvania and Maryland require roofing contractors to carry a minimum of $50,000 in general liability insurance.
Any professional contractor should be willing to provide proof of insurance. If a contractor doesn’t carry insurance, you can end up spending thousands of dollars on their employee’s medical bills or repairing damage from their mistake.
Some roofing company owners are on site during the entire roofing project, and others are not depending on the size of the company you hire. As long as they can provide you with a point person that will make sure your project goes smoothly, you can feel comfortable hiring them.
Being able to personally contact other homeowners that have used the roofing contractor’s services is important. Calling references gives you the chance to get honest answers about the process, timeliness, and the homeowner’s satisfaction with the final product.
Manufacturers typically offer a warranty on the products used in your roof replacement, but they don’t include the workmanship of the contractor you hire. Ask potential roofing contractors if they offer a warranty, how long it lasts, what it includes, and how you notify them of a problem.
Some roofing contractors try to take shortcuts by using a roof layover method. A roof layover means they place the new shingles on top of the old ones. The only way to know if there are any soft spots in the wood under the shingles is to remove them. Look for a roofing contractor that only offers a complete roof replacement to avoid more expensive projects later.
If a roofing company says yes to emailing their estimate, they don’t care about their customers. It is important to meet personally with the company so you can review their services, ask questions, and get the answers you deserve to make a well-informed decision.
In Pennsylvania and Maryland , roofing contractors are required to provide a scope of work that includes all materials they plan to use, start and end dates, their contractors HIC number, an agreed price, payment terms, and the right for a customer to rescind in an allotted number of days.
If a roofing company offers a vague scope of work or 1 page proposal, consider it a red flag. Do you want to trust your biggest home investment with a company that cuts corners? What type of shortcuts will they take during your roofing project?
This may seem like a trick question, but it isn’t. The best roofing contractors believe in the quality of their workmanship, and their answer to this question should reflect that. If they provide an answer based on price, they aren’t promising that they will deliver a quality roof that lasts.
Hiring a reputable roofing company in South Central Pennsylvania or Northern Maryland doesn’t have to be difficult. Use these nine questions to simplify the process and make sure you find a roofing contractor nearby who completes the job right the first time.