Picking a roofing contractor can be far more stressful than it may seem. Given that your home and roof is a large investment, people often wonder what are the right questions to ask the roofing companies are. However, the questions to ask roofing companies can vary depending on the issue you are currently facing. You may be dealing with a damaged roof that is leaking or a roof that has simply aged and needs to be replaced. Regardless, even if you ask all the right roofing questions, you still might not be sure if the roofing contractor is good or reliable, especially if you have never needed one before. But we are here to help! Below are some of the top questions to ask a roofer to help you make an educated decision when picking a roofing company to work with.
1. Is your company licensed and insured properly?
This is the single most important question you will need to ask any and all roofing companies you might work with. Ensure that the roofing contractor is licensed and that their company has workman’s comp insurance and general liability insurance.
- Roofing Contractor License: Most states require roofing contractors to be licensed in that state in order to work, however, codes and requirements can differ between states. Knowing if they are licensed (and up-to-date) or not, will give you legal recourse in the unfortunate event that something goes wrong with the work they are doing.
- Workman’s Comp Insurance: Although it’s now mandatory by law that roofing companies offer workman’s compensation insurance to their roofers, it is still wise to ask and double-check. Some roofing contractors might choose to do without it and take their chances, but if an injury happens on your property, there is a risk that you could be held liable for the medical expenses – which would be a nightmare for any homeowner.
- General Liability Insurance: Workman’s comp insurance covers the roofing company’s employees while they’re on your property, but you still need to worry about damage to your actual property as a result of their work. Be sure to ask to see an insurance certificate to verify that the roofer has general liability insurance. That way, in the event that your roof, house, or property in general is damaged, you won’t be responsible for covering the damage that the roofers caused.
2. What type of warranties do you offer?
A new roof is a large investment making the warranty a very important aspect to consider. At the very least, you want to be sure your investment is backed by a one year warranty but it would be wise to strive to find something longer, if possible. Warranties often cover the cost of workmanship, roofing materials, and sometimes both.
After determining which warranties the contractor offers, be sure to see if there is any additional manufacturer warranty for the roofing materials. If there is a manufacturer warranty for the roofing materials, ask them how long these warranties last. For new shingles, you can expect to have a manufacturer’s warranty that lasts at least 25 years.
3. Will you remove my old roof?
In some cases, roofers can give your old roof a visual inspection and decide to install new shingles over it. Unfortunately, visual inspects will always fail to identify problems such as soft or rotten spots; and if those issues linger, they will create larger problems for your roof in the future. That said, your old roof should always be removed before a new one is put down to ensure all problems have been identified and addressed. If the roofing contractor isn’t going to remove the old shingles, it would be smart to consider using a different contractor.
4. Will you provide a written estimate?
When hiring a company to redo your roof, having them provide you a detailed estimate can save you a ton of headache down the road. Before you sign and agree to having a company do work on your home, make sure you have a detailed and itemized estimate for the job. This estimate should inform you of what they are charging you to remove the old roof, adding the new roof, labor, materials, and anything else that may come up during the process. This will limit the opportunity for surprise costs when the work is done.
5. What happens if it rains?
Roofing requires good weather to complete safely and on time, so when the weather turns sour and it rains or if it’s very windy, the work can get cut short. This means the roofers may have to stop midway and pick back up once the weather gets better. This doesn’t happen much in San Diego or Southern California, but still something to be mindful of. However, if it does happen, there are a few issues that come up in that scenario. Be sure to ask the roofing contractor what they’ll do to secure and protect their work and what precautions they take in if the weather gets unpleasant to ensure that your roof, home interior, and belongings don’t get ruined by rain, wind, or an incomplete job.
6. How will you protect the rest of my property from being damaged in the process?
Roofers often require a lot of equipment to get their job done properly. For example, there will often be trucks, tools, ladders, benches/tables, and large dumpsters around your property while your home is being worked on. Be sure to ask the roofing contractor where they plan to place their equipment as well as how they will ensure that their equipment doesn’t damage your property (such as. protecting your gutters with stabilizers). Furthermore, if something is accidentally damaged, it’s important to know if the contractor will do anything to repair any damages they cause? These roofing questions will help give you the peace of mind while your home is being worked on.
Please note that the questions to ask a roofing contractor listed above aren’t all the questions that could or should be asked. However, these roofing questions will give you a better idea of whether or not you should hire a given company or continue to search for a better one. To make sure you are 100% confident in the contractors working on your home, don’t be afraid to ask all the questions you can think of. When the investment is this big, there are no bad questions.