The market of roofing is vast and new homeowners often find fishing the right contractor from the sea of roofers intimidating. With so many contractors now available, it can be quite a task choosing who to hire. This problem gets worse when you need emergency roofing repairs after a bad storm has damaged your roof. That’s when you really can’t afford to delay calling in professional help. But does that mean you should hire the first company that approaches you? We certainly don’t recommend that! It’s not uncommon for fraudulent roofing companies to appear out of nowhere after a storm has hit town.
How, then, do you choose the right company?
Here are some key tips we can give you to save you from falling into the traps of scammers and protecting your roof from inexperienced workers.
Things You Need to Know When Choosing the Right Roofer
#1: Always ask for referrals for a roofer
Nothing defines a contractor’s success more than the testimony of past clients. This principle applies to every other occupation as well but when it comes to your roof, you really can’t afford to skimp on this vital step. By referrals and reviews, we’re not talking about the reviews highlighted on the company’s website; nobody can tell how real those are. Instead, contact the clients in your area and ask them about their experience personally. You may need to do some digging but it should be worth it.
#2: Check for designations
Experienced contractors with a good work profile and history are likely to carry a designation with their names. This manufacturer designation is almost like a show of honor and can only be obtained when the contractor in question meets certain requirements to be certified through the state or head organization. Remember: only a handful of contractors wear this badge of designation so if you stumble across one, you’re probably in good hands.
#3: Look for the BBB ratings of a roofer
Better Business Bureau are ratings that a contractor gets on the BBB.org website. When you’re researching a company, make sure that they are listed on BBB and that they have a satisfactory BBB rating. It’s not surprising to find after-storm roofers absent from the BBB list altogether. You might want to steer clear of such a contractor.
#4: Consider the warranty policy
Warranties in roof projects are critical. An extended warranty that spans over a number of years is the ideal company you want to be working with. That’s because roof installation and repair work can often show their true colors after a considerable amount of time has passed. A poor work done might not show roof damage until years to come. That’s why you should consider a contractor that offers an extensive warranty.
#5: Safety protocol
All qualified contractors are familiar with the safety protocol that comes with roofing projects. If your roofer is oblivious or careless to safety, there’s no telling when an accident will occur. Look for a certified company that has had training and follows the predefined safety program.
#6: Research heavily into the insurance policy
Perhaps one of the most important things to consider before signing a deal with a contractor is to make sure they are licensed and have insurance for all of its workers. The insurance coverage should be adequate enough to cover for any accidents that may occur during the project. When the insurance is limited, it could lead to a legal dispute that you want to avoid. You should also pay your insurance deductible to avoid any chance of fraud.
Similarly if an insurance coverage issue does arise where you’re required to file your claim, make sure you do it yourself. Any contractor that urges you to let them handle your insurance claim is probably trying to fool you one way or another. Not only is this a big gamble financially but it’s also considered unlawful.
#7: Let go of contractors that pressurize you
One big warning signal you need to look out for when hiring a company is to check if they are coaxing you into something that may sound debatable. Contractors that constantly urge and pressurize you into quickly signing a deal (perhaps for a discount or some other perk) are probably playing you. One example of a rushed contractor is one who doesn’t pay your roof a visit and gives you an estimate of the damage after the insurance company has provided you with theirs. Contractors that are willing to pay for any insurance coverage might turn their back on you once the final repair costs come out.
#8: Participate actively
Roofing repair and installation is not joke. Your job as a homeowner is to actively participate every step of the way in the process. This means you should familiarize yourself with the best materials for shingles and other elements in your roof as well.
Help from a certified roofing company can be a blessing in a time of crisis. Take time in researching every little thing you need to before hiring the right roofer for the job.