What Do I Need To Consider Before Hiring a Roofing Contractor To Replace My Roof? | Mr. Happy House
Are shingles disappearing from your roof? If so, it’s probably time to start thinking about replacing your roof. We have put together a list of questions that you as a homeowner should ask your roofing contractor before signing any contract so that you can ensure that your new roof will be safe and durable in the future.
Is the Roofing Contractor Licensed & Insured?
Some states like Tennessee and Illinois require a license for roofing contractors to do business however if you live in Texas or another States this may not be the case. Depending on which state you live in make sure that your roofer has a legitimate license and has liability insurance.
The reason you would want to go with a roofing contractor or roofing company that is licensed and insured is in case if something were to go wrong during the roofing project, you’ll have something to fall back on.
For example, if an accident were to happen on the job site where the roof is being replaced and the roofer you have hired does not have liability insurance, you could be responsible for the damages!
This is why it’s important to not just hire any roofing contractor that has a cheap price for a roof replacement but a reputable one with experience and knowledge in the roofing industry. Chances are if the roofing contractor is well below the normal price of a new roof, they may not have the coverage that is necessary in case things go wrong. They could be out to take your money and never come back. Don’t fall into the trap of low price tags, you get what you pay for.
When making sure that your roofer has liability insurance ask for a physical copy of their liability insurance certificate. A Certificate of Insurance should have their name and address so in case something happens on the job site, your hard-earned money will not be used to cover the costs of damage. You can also call the insurance company to double-check.
How Do They Replace Roofs?
Some roofers often say they will save you time and money by simply just inspecting the roof as fast as possible to make sure it looks good and installing new shingles right over the old ones. This is a very bad practice because you’ll never know if you have rotted decking underneath the old shingles so by installing new shingles over the old ones you’re putting your roof at risk for a leak.
Ask your roofing contractor what type of felt they use during replacement and how do they shingle the roofs do they put two nails on each roof shingle or do they put 5 nails in each shingle? Do they hand nail the roof or do they use gun nailing? (this is not an issue with GAF Timberline roofs because the shingles have a white line that makes it obvious where to nail the shingle)
Does your roofing contractor install drip metal or drip edge? this material is is it necessary to keep water from entering underneath your shingles and onto your soffits, fascia, and interior. Is your roofing contractor willing to fight with your insurance company to get you the money you need to replace your roof after a storm?
Do They Offer Warranties?
Roof warranties should always be included in the installation of a new roof, generally, most roofing contractors offer a 20 to 50-year warranty. The warranty should cover the shingles, the underlayment, and any manufacturing defects. The roofer should also include a labor warranty along with the roof material warranty. Generally, the material warranty lasts longer than the labor warranty (5-10 years is the industry standard labor warranty for roof replacement).
Check to see if the roofing contractor is associated with any top roof brands such as GAF or Owens Cornering, you will probably get more coverage when you go with a roofer that is certified with any top roof shingle brands.
Who Will Be on the Job Site During the Roof Installation?
Returning home from work only to find out that your roof is not covered properly can be a nightmare. you want a project manager on-site to which you can communicate if you have any concerns. You don’t want to have a full roofing crew on-site if there is no manager to oversee operations.
Installing a roof can seem so easy with the click of a YouTube video, but in reality, it’s very complex. If there’s a small problem during the installation, what can seem like a simple roof project can turn into a major problem if it is not handled by someone who is experienced such as a project manager or the owner of the roofing company.
A reputable roofing company should have a project manager or a highly trained associate to oversee the roof installation and help to answer any outstanding questions you may have. If the contractor tells you that the roofing crew has enough experience and that they don’t need any supervision, this could be a red flag.
WARNING Signs to Look Out for When Hiring a Roofing Contractor
When considering hiring a roofing contractor to replace your roof, make sure that you get an estimate either electronically or physically. A verbal deal should never be the way to go, especially when you’re replacing your roof. A contract protects you from getting scammed by a contractor. Upon signature, the roofer is now obligated to do what is said on the contract.
When the contractor does give you an estimate, make sure that they go over with you the details of the contract so that you are informed about everything that is going on. Any information such as the products, installation practices, and company history should be discussed with the roofer.
If a contractor is offering to just give you the roof replacement estimate by your door, run away from them as fast as possible!
It can be tempting to just get a bunch of estimates just to compare and choose the best deal but it can hurt you in the long run because it’s not about prices. Don’t just compare different roofing companies based on price, compare them based off the information you’ve got such as roofing experience, how they install roofs, what the new roof will look like, etc.
During the estimation of the roof project, the roofer might need to inspect your attic to check for any leaks and vulnerable roof areas. The roofer should not give you a full roof replacement estimate if they had not done a thorough inspection of your roof and discussed with you the details of the project.
How Much Do They Charge to Replace Plywood Sheets?
Unethical roofers might never touch this topic upon agreement of replacing your roof, but it should be immediately addressed. As soon as your new roof is installed, you can’t exactly make the roofer repair any rotted plywood underneath if it has not been addressed.
Rotted plywood sheets that are not repaired or replaced during the roof replacement can end up costing you a lot of money a couple of years from now in damages.
Ask your roofer how much do they charge per square foot of plywood repairs. This can help you to determine the cost of replacing your roof before hiring a roofing contractor.
Generally, plywood sheets are not included in the roof replacement estimate, as it would increase the cost dramatically and it is not necessary to replace all of the deckings on your roof during a roof replacement. Only rotted plywood areas should need replacement.
Are They Local to Your Area?
If you drive to New Orleans or different parts of the United States after a hurricane, you’ll probably notice a lot of contractors and roofers looking to find a job. They can offer extremely low prices compared to other local roofing contractors since they do not have many overhead costs, but beware of these roofers.
They can offer you some of the best prices in the industry, but what happens if something goes wrong during the installation? Or better yet, you get a new roof, and then the following year, it starts leaking. What are you going to do now?
You can’t possibly call a service technician to inspect your roof, because they’re probably in a different state! If you choose to go with a roofing company that isn’t local to your area, your putting your money and home at risk for future problems.
When you hire a local roofing contractor or company, they typically will offer you better service than most contractors that are only in town for a few weeks or months of the year.
If you have any questions or notice any problems in your roof, you can rely on your local roofing contractor to rely on the warranty that they have given you to fix any issues that could arise before, during, and after replacing your roof.
Do They Provide Written Roof Estimates?
Signing a contract without detailed specifics on what is going to be done is not a wise decision to make. If the estimate only contains a small bullet point with no description and just a cost (example: Roof Replacement, Black Shingles, $20,000), then you should either ask the contractor for a more detailed estimate or find another roofer.
The estimate should include details such as the removal of the old roof, underlayment, new roof details & specs, drip edge installation, etc.
Before considering hiring a roofing contractor to replace your roof, make sure that the estimate has the right details, because chances are, if they have it, they’re probably going to do the job right.
If Your Roof Has Problems, Make Sure They Inspect the Roof from Your Attic
Before hiring a roofing contractor to replace your roof, make sure that they do a thorough inspection of your roof inside and out. This is especially true if your roof is leaking in several areas, the roofer may need to determine where the leak is coming from so that during and after the roof installation, no major issues will arise.
Having a qualified eye inspecting your roof is it’s very important as they can quickly spot any small areas that are prone to leakage. Areas you should probably have your roofer inspect are areas inside your home.
They can quickly spot any small stains or cracks along with the ceilings and walls and those are definitely a sign that must be taken into consideration.
If the roofing company you are calling does not put the inspection of your roof inside and out a priority, you should call another roofing company. in some cases, a roof can look perfect from the outside but completely deteriorated from the inside which is something that only a professional roofer could see.
Ask the Roofing Contractor about Roof Ventilation
If you live in a hot climate region such as Houston, New Orleans, or Miami, ventilation in your roof can make or break your home. Without proper ventilation you can put your roof at risk of growing mold, attracting animals, attracting insects, and more.
Make sure to ask about what will be done in terms of venting if there are going to take out any previous events or install new vents. Before hiring a roofing contractor to replace your roof, please note that this is the best time to address ventilation problems in your roof.
After reading this article on what you need to consider before hiring a roofing contractor to replace your roof, I hope that you are now more informed about what it takes to replace your roof and the steps you need to take to ensure that your roof is going to be replaced right the first time.
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