If visible wear-and-tear on your roof is making you anxious, you might feel rushed into selecting the first contractor that comes your way before the next rainstorm. However, it’s crucial to do a little research before choosing a roofing contractor for your home.
To avoid problems like inflated prices and shoddy workmanship, make sure to ask a potential roofer these questions before you sign a contract with them.
1. Are you licensed?
Make sure that the roofing contractor you select has a license that meets the code requirements in your area. For instance, in Missouri, there is currently no business license or general contractor’s license at the statewide level. However, in St. Louis, all contractors performing work within the City of St. Louis must obtain a graduated business license for contractors (according to the Office of the License Collector).
Bottom line: you want to make sure you’re doing business with someone who is authorized to do business with you.
2. What is your company’s full name and physical address?
If the roofer is unable to give you the company’s physical location (not just a mailing address), then it’s best to select a different contractor. A roofing company without a physical location is a red flag. Besides, if the company doing your current roofing repair is not local, you may have issues down the road if you need them to return to your home to fix a problem.
3. Do you have general liability insurance?
General liability insurance protects your property in case the roofing contractor’s employees damage it during the repair job. Even when roofers take care with your property, accidents can still occasionally happen, such as items dropping onto cars or ladders breaking windows. When you’re already paying for a roofing repair, the last thing you want is the financial burden of paying for additional damage.
4. Do you have workman’s compensation insurance?
Although it’s unpleasant to contemplate, occasionally roofers get hurt during a job. The company’s workman’s compensation insurance will cover the employee’s medical bills if they suffer an injury on the job while on your property. If the company does not have this insurance, you might find yourself paying out of pocket to cover the medical bills instead.
5. Approximately how long will this project take?
An experienced roofer should know approximately how long it should take to complete your roofing project. However, keep in mind that certain factors can affect the project’s timeline, such as inclement weather.
6. If bad weather occurs, what will your team do?
You want to know that your roofer has a plan in case it starts raining during the repair. If it starts to rain, roofers should ensure that the opening in your roof is thoroughly covered with tarp or plastic sheets to prevent water damage. Make sure you know what the plan is for situations in which rain continues over several days. Can you expect someone to stop by to check on the roof and the tarp and readjust it if needed?
7. Will you be using ladder stabilizers or standoffs?
Ladders used for roofing can weigh a few hundred pounds, making them more than capable of causing damage without stabilizers or standoffs in place. Roofers should always use ladder stabilizers or standoffs to protect your home, particularly the gutters.
8. What warranties will come with my new roof?
Generally, your roof will come with two warranties. There will be a manufacturer warranty that covers the roofing materials, and there should also be a warranty from the roofer that covers the work they performed. Make sure to ask for the details on each.
9. Can you provide me with a written estimate?
A reputable roofing contractor should have no problem providing you with a written estimate. You can expect the estimate to include items such as the expected start and completion dates, the cost of the materials and labor, the cost for permits, information about the materials to be used, and proof of licenses and insurance.
Need a roofing repair or installation in St. Louis? Contact IMPACT Roofing and Exteriors online or gives us a call at (314) 310-3605.