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 DaleMy home suffered damage from a severe hail storm this year. It broke out our two street facing windows and our upstairs window. It totaled the exterior of our cars and even destroyed the rosebushes my wife had tried to keep alive through the summer. And the hail damaged roof? The roof was wrecked, even I could tell that and I am no roofing expert.My doorbell was ringing almost before the rain had stopped. It was an "Invasion of the Roofing Guys." I talked to no less than five on the first day. So who do you choose? They all pretty much say the same thing. Some guys seem more professional than others, some were very pushy and applied a lot of pressure for me to sign a "no obligation" contract. I felt like I was in over my head. Who was going to rip me off the least? That was the pessimistic thought that kept coming back to me.I eventually picked a roofing contractor that seemed like a decent kind of guy. He talked to me about his family and he convinced me he was on my side. I have a pretty good BS detector and even though I thought he was a little too pushy, overall he seemed trustworthy. He had testimonials from other home owners whose roof installations he had done. He seemed knowledgeable. Based on my limited knowledge, I felt like he was the best guy to go with out of the many I had talked to. So I didn't take the time to call any of his referrals and I signed a contract. Things started well. We got the paperwork done and he received his first check and went to work. A large group of workers descended on my house and had the roof stripped before 10:00 am on the first day. By the morning of the second day it was done and they were gone. I was amazed at how fast the job went. Right away, I saw some things that bothered me. They left nails in the yard and a pile of shingles for me to remove. I felt like full cleanup would include nails but I let it slide. I'm sure they assumed the shingles were mine so I would want the extras. I didn't need them, and how was I to dispose of them? But the roof itself just didn't look exceptional; it bowed in some areas and had some uneven spots. Basically, it looked like a poorly done job.The roofing company also contracted to repair the windows. Once they had my check they were far more difficult to reach than before. The windows finally got done 2 months later. Then we had problems with the final payment. Somehow it worked out that I owed him more money. I refused to pay and they eventually faded away. So I would give my roofer experience 4 out of 10. I'm sure others have had much better and much worse experiences.Here is some key points that I learned that I hope will help you when you need your roof replaced:1. Get a local roofing company to examine your house before you call your insurance company. 2. Get at least two quotes from local roofing contractors. Unless your live in a very rural area, there should be no shortage of roofers to contact. Make sure you get referrals from them. 3. Follow up on these referrals and talk to their customers about the job they did. 4. Be careful what you sign. The "no obligation" contract may be more than what you are told. 5. Make sure the quotes spell out exactly what will be done. If not, you won't be able to compare an apples to apples quotes. Be sure it includes cleanup and haul-off. 6. Contact your insurance company and schedule an appointment with the adjuster. 7. If you have found someone that you feel comfortable with, I would suggest you have the roofing contractor on hand when the insurance adjuster is there. 8. Do not pay for the entire job in advance. Make sure everything is completed per the contract before you make your final payment. 9. And finally - to repeat - take your time, use a local roofer and ask for references. Next time I will take my time to find someone I am totally comfortable with. Always ask questions. Make sure your contract spells out exactly what will be done. Find a roofer who takes the time to make the job clear to you before he collects the check, or your sign a contract. Take it from me, the little bit of extra time it takes up front will pay in a satisfactory job and peace of mind later.
Flat Roofs and Hail DamageThe 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.