Do you have an issue with your roof?
Maybe you have water dripping through your ceiling, or a sudden bout of windy weather sent a dead branch through your shingles. Perhaps you had a satellite dish removed, leaving an inconvenient hole in its place. Whatever your issues, you should attempt to get them repaired as quickly as possible.
If you have severe damage to your roof, this could lead to more severe problems affecting the liveability of your home. Prolonged wet weather could create water damage that might eventually affect the structural integrity of your home. It could also lead to issues of mold and mildew which can pose health problems for you and your family.
How to fix your roof
So what can you do to mend your roof before it gets worse? You have two main options.
The first option is to fix your fix yourself. Depending on the scale of the problem, it may be relatively simple to repair with a few basic tools and a little home improvement knowledge. There are plenty of online guides and tutorials that can walk you through the majority of DIY projects. Going down this route will save you a great deal of money, as well as giving you personal satisfaction when you complete the job by yourself. However, if you are a novice then you could risk doing an imperfect job or potentially making the issue worse.
The alternative is to hire a professional roofing company to solve your problem. They will be able to mend your damaged roof while giving you the peace of mind that you are receiving a high quality service from trained experts. It will also save you time and effort, as you can let them get on with the work in the background. This will come at a price, but the benefits to your home and family will be more than worth it in the end.
Choosing a roofer
So how do you choose the right roofing company? There are so many firms and contractors oru there, it can be tough to know which one to pick. Yes there are excellent companies who will provide a fantastic service at a reasonable rate. But then there are those less reputable outfits who give the industry a bad name. You don’t want to risk making the wrong choice and receiving a shoddy job or being painfully overcharged.
To help you make the right decision, it’s wise to do your research. Make a list of a few different roofing companies who operate in your area and browse their websites. Have a look at examples of their work and narrow down your preferences to a select few. Once you have this shortlist, you should get in touch and ask a few important questions. The answers you receive will help you make your choice.
Questions to ask when hiring a roofer
- Do you have a license?
Each state has different regulations regarding the licenses required by professional contractors. Therefore it’s understandable you might be unsure about the particular laws that apply in your area. Do your research before contacting a roofer to find out what licenses and qualifications they need in order to operate. You should only work with a roofing company that has these licenses in place and are willing to show evidence of this documentation. If a contractor refuses to show you their license for any reason, you should see this as a red flag and refuse to work with them. A license shows that they are legitimate and will abide by industry regulations when completing your repair job. Click here to find out roofing license requirements by state.
- Do you have insurance?
The next thing you want to check for is whether your prospective roofer has the right insurance policies in place. For a start, you should ask if they have workman’s compensation insurance. This is a requirement by law, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t employers out there who skimp on the expense. If a contractor is injured while carrying out work on your property, workman’s comp insurance will ensure they receive a payout. But if this policy isn’t in place, you could find yourself being sued and having to pay thousands of dollars in medical bills. Checking your roofer’s insurance is a sensible way to protect yourself.
You should also ask about general liability insurance. While workman’s compensation insurance covers the safety of the roofers working on your home, it doesn’t cover damage to your property. If a contractor accidentally destroys your home, you could end up financially responsible for the aftermath if they don’t have insurance in place. Yes, you could take them to court but a positive outcome is not guaranteed.
Don’t just take your roofer’s word for it if they tell you they have insurance. Ask to see the policy documents and don’t take no for an answer.
- Do you have any references?
If you want to find out about the quality of a roofer’s work, the best people to ask are former customers. They will be able to inform you whether they did a good job and provided a professional, courteous service at the same time. Ask contractors to show you examples of past jobs and testimonials from the homeowner. If they don’t have any references to show you, this could mean they have something to hide. Most good quality companies will be happy to share their positive reviews and case studies as it shows pride in their work and an admirable dedication to the job.
- Do I need a full roof replacement?
If you have a small hole in your roof, you might just be expecting your roofing company to patch it over with minimal fuss. But this is not always the right course of action. Some roofers might convince you that covering the damage is good enough, as it will do the job quicker and save everyone time and money. But there could be additional underlying soft spots or water damage that needs fixing. Unless you remove all the shingles and inspect every inch of the roof, it is always preferable to perform a complete replacement. Yes, this will take longer and cost more money but it will remove the risk of further problems occurring down the line. You should never let a roofer fix your roof unless they have taken up the old roof first.
- Will you protect my gutters?
A common mishap that occurs during roof maintenance is gutter damage. If careless contractors lean their ladders up against a gutter, it is potentially putting hundreds of pounds of pressure on a fragile piece of plastic piping. It is only a matter of time before it cracks or comes loose entirely. The most thorough roofers will use ladder stabilizers or standoffs to access the roof without causing unnecessary damage. These are essentially long arms extending from the roof for the ladder to rest on, thereby protecting the guttering system from harm. Make sure you ask your roofing company where they are taking these, or other, protective measures.
You could also ask about drip edge, or edge metal. These are small pieces of metal that sit under the shingle where it extends past the roof. This will ensure that any water runoff during the job will flow into the gutters, rather than behind them and damaging the roof. Some roofers will skip over this part of the process so it’s important to ask about it before hiring a company.
- Will you dispose of waste materials?
A substantial roof repair job will produce a lot of waste. There will be huge quantities of old wood, shingles, and packaging from new materials. And the last thing you want is for this rubbish to be littering your roof and garden while the project is underway. Ideally, your roofing company will bring a large refuse container with them. This will hold all waste materials while the job is going on, and will make it easier to dispose of rubbish when it is complete. You also don’t want to have to deal with the waste yourself once the roofers depart, so make sure there is a system in place for collecting refuse.
It’s also important to consider where this refuse container will be placed. A skip full of discarded roofing materials can weigh several tonnes, and there is a risk of causing damage to your property if the contractors aren’t careful. Asphalt driveways, for instance, can crack when placed under a lot of pressure. Make sure you ask where the container will be placed and what they will do if there’s not a suitable location in your garden.
- What will you do if bad weather occurs during the repair?
If the repair goes on for an extended period, it’s likely there will be wet weather at some point. You need to check that there are measures in place to protect your home and the repair job from water damage during this time. Most contractors will be used to this occurrence, so will come equipped with tarpaulins and plastic sheeting to cover up the holes in your roof.
This is simple enough when it’s just a few hours of rain. But what if the bad weather carries on for several days? Will they just stick a tarp down and come back next week when the sun comes out? Or will they send someone over in the meantime to check on the tarp and make sure it is secure. You want to have peace of mind that your property is being properly looked after.
- What will you do to protect my garden during the project?
If you’ve spent a lot of time and money on cultivating a beautiful garden, you don’t want a bunch of heavy handed contractors tearing it up with ladders and discarded plywood. Ask your roofing company what they will do to protect your landscaping while the project is going on. You should make sure that waste is being tidied up so as not to disturb your plants and flowerbeds, and that care is taken with heavy equipment like refuse containers and vehicles.
It’s also worth asking what the company will do to fix the damage if an accident occurs and one of their employees damages your garden.
- What if there are unforeseen problems?
In any roofing job, there’s the possibility that unforeseen problems could arise. Perhaps the roofers will come in to fix your shingles and discover extensive water damage underneath. Or maybe there’s a termite infestation that has destroyed your structural foundations. If the company decides that more work is needed to ensure the safety of your home, you want to avoid the risk of being swindled. Have an honest conversation with your roofer about the likelihood of unexpected problems occuring, and the possible costs and course of action in such a scenario.
- Do you have a local address and phone number?
If something goes wrong during the job or you discover further damage, will you be able to get in touch with the roofing company? You want to work with a local company who are easy to contact in case you need them to perform additional repair work. Otherwise they may not be able to come back and fix whatever is wrong.
- Who can I communicate with during the repair?
It’s understandable that you want someone to liaise with while the project is going on. For example, if you have complaints or requests about the work you will want a project manager on site with whom you can communicate your concerns. A lot of companies hire contractors to perform a fixed job, with no hierarchy or contingency plan. The best companies will have a dedicated project manager to serve as your point of communication. They will be on hand to answer and questions address any issues you might have.
- How long will the job take to complete?
A roof maintenance job can be somewhat disruptive. While it’s going on there will be some noise and a lot of roofers coming in and out of your property. It’s understandable that you want it to be as quick as possible. There is no guarantee how long any job will take, as it is dependent on a range of factors like the level of damage, the weather, and any unforeseen problems.
But you can still ask for an expected timeline to give you a general idea. Most companies will be able to provide a rough figure based on their past experience, and you should be suspicious if they evade the question.
- What will the warranty be on my new roof?
Most roofing companies will offer warranty in case anything goes wrong after the work is completed. This protects you in case the company you hire does a poor quality job that results in further damage. The industry standard for a roof warranty is a minimum of 25 years, so if anything happens in that time you will be covered for the cost of repair and replacement.
- How much will replacement materials cost?
If your roofing company finds damaged plywood or shingles in the process of tearing up your roof, they will need to order new materials to replace them. The cost of these will be included in your bill. You should ask how much materials such as plywood will cost per unit if replacements are needed. This is straightforward information that your roofer should be able to supply. If they skip over this info when negotiating the job, it might be difficult to argue with an overinflated charge when you receive your bill.
- Can you provide an estimate?
Of course you want to know how much the job will cost so you can compare the figure provided by different roofing companies. It’s difficult to provide an exact figure before the work begins, but most organizations will provide a free estimate to give you a rough idea. If you settle into a contract without asking for this estimate, you could end up in problems when you are charged an extortionate price for the completed work. Make sure your estimate includes itemized costs for the materials and labor involved. This will help you make your final decision as to which roofing contractor to choose.
Get in touch today
We can answer all of these questions for you. If you have a roof maintenance job that needs completing, you can chat to us about your requirements free of charge, with no strings attached.
Out There Roofing is an Ogden-based company who offer quality roofing for a quality price. We understand the importance of having a safe roof over your family’s heads. We have a wealth of experience in roof maintenance and a team of well-trained professionals who can carry out the project for you. No job is too large or too small. Get in touch today for a free estimate or to chat to a member of our team about your roofing needs.