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? Virginia Dale
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.
Virginia DaleFollowing 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!
What To Look For In An Estimate Of Roof RepairThe storm has come and gone, did your home suffer any roof hail damage? Hail storms are capable of producing hailstones up to 6" in diameter. These balls of ice fall from the sky with no regard to your roof. The larger a hailstone is, the faster it will fall, potentially causing more damage to your home.Many factors play into how much damage a hail stone may cause. Size of the hail, wind speed and direction are only a few pieces of the puzzle. The age of your roof's shingles, the type of shingles and if your shingles are "impact-resistant" can all factor in to the severity of your roof hail damage.Damage to your roof's shingles can compromise the effective life of your roof and even if not immediately visible, may lead to large scale problems if not identified in a timely manner. Here are a few tips which will help you properly identify roof hail damage.Tip #1: Is there any visible damage on the inside of your home? If you see water stains or slow drips on the inside of your home, then you have a problem which requires immediate attention. A new water stain on your ceiling is most definitely a sign that your roof was compromised. If left untreated, the problem will worsen leading to further damage which may require a complete tear-off of your existing roof, not to mention repairs to the interior of your home. Tip #2 Are there any visible dents (blisters) on your roof's shingles? Just because you don't see any damage to the inside of your home does not mean your roof was not damaged. When there is no visible damage to the inside of your home, it may provide a false sense of security. By neglecting exterior damage, you run the risk of damage to your home in the months to come. Even worse is if you don't file an insurance claim within the time guidelines stipulated in your homeowner's insurance policy, you may lose benefits that you are entitled to now.Identifying shingle blisters requires a visible inspection of your roof. Sometimes blisters may be hard to see. It can be helpful to look for small dings on metal or aluminum vents, downspouts or gutters. It is typically easier to identify these marks than blisters on your shingles. If you believe you have visible evidence of damage, it is suggested that you contact your insurance agent immediately to express your concerns and to find out what your policy covers and the procedures necessary to file an insurance claim.Tip #3 Get your own independent professional opinion. There's no denying when a hail storm has blown through town. The National Weather Service records all storm data. If there is knowledge of a storm, and you contact your insurance company, they will most likely dispatch an adjuster. That adjuster represents your insurance company. His job is to identify damage, assess the cost to repair or replace your roof and make sure all of the paperwork is in order to process a claim.It is suggested that you contact a local roofing company that is trained in roof hail damage for an independent opinion prior to your insurance adjustor performing their inspection. Your roofing company is capable of representing your interests. They should be willing to provide you an inspection and estimate to repair any damages free of charge. More importantly, they should be willing to back up their estimate and make themselves available for mutual consultation with the insurance adjuster. If the adjuster and roofer can agree on the remedy for the damage and the cost, this can expedite the process. In most cases your roofer will be awarded the repair job.Tip #4 Get It In Writing. Most insurance companies will only issue a check directly to the roofer. This protects the insurance company from the homeowner "pocketing" the proceeds and never repairing the damage. By getting your roofing contractor to agree to the type of repairs to be performed and the costs involved, this will insure that your roof gets the required repairs. If your roofer agrees that the insurance check is sufficient to repair your roof hail damage, then they should be willing to do the repairs for that cost, nothing more. Roof replacement or repair due to hail damage can be one of the most expensive repairs for homeowners and insurance companies. Making sure that you properly identify roof hail damage in a timely basis, and following the proper procedures will help protect your family's most important asset, your home.In summary home owners who think they may have suffered storm damage should: Look for visible water damage inside your home. Look for damage to your roof's shingles that may compromise the effective life of your roof. If necessary, contact your insurance agent and file a claim. Consult a local roofing contractor trained in Roof Hail Damage to represent your interests.