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.
Roofing Hail Damage - Things You Should Know Before You Hire a Roofing ContractorHow much damage to your roof can come during a hail storm? In Georgia, hail storms are not that uncommon and many homeowners visually see hail several times during the year. That is the case in metro Atlanta, where the last few years have resulted in elevated hail activity.Most people are somewhat aware of the damage hail can cause, in particular the larger variety of hail that is notorious for damaging and denting cars. This awareness doesn't always fully translate into the impact a hail storm can have on your home's roof. While you can visually see the damage to your car after a hail storm, you can't always see the damage to a roof. The damage you can't see can put the longevity of your roof at risk.Roof replacement due to hail damage is one of the most expensive fixes for homeowners and insurance companies. Hail can vary in size dramatically, falling as small as the size of tiny pellets, or as large as baseballs. It is typically the larger hail that can cause enough damage to your asphalt roof to justify a roof replacement. Asphalt Roof Shingle Damage from Hail:Hail damage to asphalt roofs occur when hail beating against the surface of asphalt shingle results in the protective granular surface of the shingle to loosen and potentially fall off. When the granules are loosened, the asphalt shingles loses some of its protection potential and becomes vulnerable to additional damage.- Note: Damaged asphalt layers can potentially allow water seepage into the roof.- Tip: If the granules of an asphalt shingle are removed by a hail storm, the shingle's longevity can be severely diminished.Signs of Hail Damage to an Asphalt Roof:- Bruises or small dents in the asphalt shingle - Granulation is displaced exposing the asphalt - Granulation has settled at the base of your downspouts - The spots hit by hail usually leave a soft spot in the shingle - Significantly damaged metal air vents on the roof indicate similar hit pattern for roof - Damage and denting of siding, or guttersIf my Roof is damaged, how fast should I replace it?There is a misconception if your roof sustains damage from a hail storm that your roof needs to be replaced immediately. You'll find some conflicting evidence online from other roofers that advise immediately replacing your roof. In Georgia for example, any reliable roofing contractor in Atlanta should tell you otherwise. Typically the damage sustained from a hail storm will pose no immediate threat to your roof. The threat is in the longevity of the roof, because hail can dramatically decrease a roof's life expectancy. The deteriorated protection from a roof that is not expected to last its full life is why insurance companies will authorize the replacement of your roof.Will Homeowner's Insurance Cover a New Roof?This answer varies by the coverage on your homeowner's insurance policy. For some homeowners the answer is "yes." If you believe your home has been the victim of hail, contact your insurance company to determine if your policy will cover the damage. For many homeowners they will be able to have the roof repaired, or replaced and will need to pay a deductable. - Tip: If you are unsure if you homeowner's policy covers hail damage to your roof, contact your insurance company.Caution: Avoid Storm Chasers!Homeowners need to beware of 'storm chasers.' A storm chaser typically consists of an out of town roofing contractor that goes door to door after a hail storm soliciting for business. While it may seem tempting and convenient, these roofers can do more harm than good. Make sure any roofer you look to work with has a good reputation in the community. Look for a roofer that is located locally and check references. Look for references that are over a year old and ones that are more recent, within the last 30 days. Finally never give a deposit for a roof. A reliable roofer will only ask for payment once the roof has been complete.If you think your home has sustained roof hail damage, get a professional opinion. Experienced roofing contractors should be willing to provide free roofing estimates upon request.