You’re a homeowner and determined your home’s roof needs fixing or needs to be improved with a replacement roof. You’re all set to get moving. What’s the optimal way to get a high quality roofer who will accomplish a good job? What could you look for in a roof contractor or contractor to obtain this work? Drake
When homeowners choose to repair a roof or replace that roof with asphalt during the cold winter months, they’re often plagued by worries that their family will freeze before the job is completed. In the same vein, those starting a roofing job in the sweltering summer months worry that they’ll be facing heat stroke. These concerns are perfectly normal and common among many homeowners looking for roofing fixes or roof replacement contractors.
DrakeFollowing any major hailstorm in the United States, homeowners in the affected area are hit with another storm; hundreds of roofing contractors! It can be very confusing for homeowners to know how to navigate through all the flyers and brochures and decide on which contractor to hire. Unfortunately there are some scam artists out there as well that put the homeowner on high alert in making their decision. This article will make the process of choosing the right contractor a much easier task.Eliminate Imposters QuicklyWith a little detective work, you can quickly figure out which companies to avoid like the plague. The obvious initial thought is to Google the company name, but for a scam artist looking to run away with your insurance proceeds, this method is not likely to be very effective. You may find a website, and not much else. If they have scammed other homeowners in another city, they likely did it under a completely different business name, and possibly even under another personal name.The next place to look is on the Better Business Bureau website. There you can see if they have any prior complaints, and whether or not those complaints were resolved. In some cases you will also be able to see when the entity was created, though this date is taken from the information the contractor sends to BBB, so further research is needed. In order to find the actual business creation date, you will need to do a business entity search on your state's secretary of state office website. Some states will allow you to search for this information, showing you the date the business was started, as well as the local entity creation. There are reputable contractors that will open a new office in your city following a major storm. But if the business itself was not created until shortly after the storm date, it gives you an idea that this might be a scam artist. Obviously if a Google search and a BBB search both result in no information about the company, you have good reason to believe you should eliminate that company. Once you have eliminated the potential scam artists, it's time to do further research on the companies you like.Knowing What You're GettingChecking references is a common suggestion when it comes time to choose a contractor, and this is a great suggestion. However, this should not be the only method used. It is unlikely that any contractor is going to hand out references that will give them a bad review. Still, by calling a few of the references you can get an idea of what kind of work they do.Another important factor to consider is the detail of the proposed work. If the contractor is vague in their work description, ask for a detailed breakdown. As you compare multiple contractors, you can see which one is offering the highest quality product.Be sure to ask about the workmanship warranty offered. You will want to be sure to get at least a 2-year warranty on workmanship. Most issues in workmanship will show up almost immediately following the installation, or the first time the roof is exposed to extreme weather conditions. Extended warranties are often offered by the contractor; in some cases at no additional charge, and others for a fee. If you want the peace of mind, you may be interested in an extended warranty, but it is not necessary. Any issues you experience with your roof beyond the first couple years are not likely to be a result of poor workmanship, but rather caused by failed materials or external damages.Interview Contractors Rather Than Comparing BidsThe insurance company is covering the cost of the repairs anyway, so the price is irrelevant. If you hope to have your deductible covered, or possibly even make money off the claim, think again. That would be insurance fraud, and you could end up getting into some serious trouble for doing so! Beware of contractors who try to lure you in by offering to pay your deductible, give you free upgrades, advertising credits, etc. If they can't earn your business because of the quality of work they do, they probably aren't worth your time. Plus, it is better to pay a little more now, than a lot later because of shoddy work. Be sure to ask the contractor their experience in dealing with insurance claims. If they have little or no experience handling claims, you're probably better off to cross them off your list. A professional insurance restoration contractor will be able to assist you with the claim process, get you the most money (and therefore the highest quality repairs), and get the claim approved. Professional insurance restoration contractors will use Xactimate software for their estimates, and some may even have licensed adjusters on staff.SummaryDon't be in a hurry to choose a contractor following storm damage to your home. Take your time to research several companies, interview them, and make your own educated decision from there. You will be glad you did when your property has been restored with top quality craftsmanship, while your neighbor complains about all the issues they have had with their project and the contractor that covered their deductible and gave them free upgrades!
How to Identify and Repair a Hail Damaged RoofBeing professional roofing contractors we know all too well the damage hailstorms can do. Hailstorms produce balls of ice ranging in size from a few centimeters up to nearly 6" in diameter. A 6" piece of hail is pretty rare, and would certainly do major damage to your home, but even the more common, smaller hail frequently does enough damage to roofs and siding to require major repair work.Hail damage is not always easy to detect, especially if you have a two or three story home and cannot easily access your roof. Hail damage can leave your home exposed to potential water damage as well as limiting the lifespan of your roof. Because of this you should identify and deal with damage as soon as you can. If you wait too long you may also be denied by your insurance company when you finally get around to filing a claim for the repairs. Have there recently been any hail storms in your area? Do you suspect your home may have been damaged? The following steps will help you determine if there was any damage and outline the steps to getting it repaired. Step One: Check around the exterior of your home for visible damage. Look for things like freshly damaged paint or dents in the siding. If you are able to safely access your roof, look for missing shingles or shingles with blisters or dents. Also, check for dings and dents in your gutters and downspouts.Step Two: Check inside your home for visible damage. New water stains on your ceiling or running down your walls is a problem that needs to be immediately addressed! If you don't fix a roof leak in a timely fashion you could end up having to completely replace your roof, in addition to major repairs do to water leaking into your home.Step Three: Contact your insurance agent right away and make sure they are aware of the damage. They will probably have one of their adjusters out to evaluate your home and prepare a cost estimate for the repairs.Step Four: Contact your own local roofing contractor for an independent evaluation. Even if you trust your insurance agent and their adjuster, you should always get a second opinion from a roofing contractor you trust. Because they don't work for the insurance company they should be less biased in their assessment. Usually the roofing contractor you contact will be willing to communicate with the insurance company if there are any discrepancies in the two evaluations. Step Five: Get everything in writing. The roofing contractor you decide to hire should provide you with a contract detailing the work to be done and what it will cost. You insurance company should also provide you with paperwork about the details of your claim. Cover yourself by getting as much as you need to feel comfortable in writing.It only takes a matter of minutes for a hailstorm to do an amazing amount of damage to your roof. As soon as the storm passes begin the process of determining the damage and contacting your insurance company and roofing contractor. If you wait too long it may be too late!