The average lifespan of a roof is 30 years – provided it was well-constructed with quality material. Roofs are however, prone to weather damages because they are the most exposed part of a house so more often than not, roofs require repairs in some parts.
Caring for your roof is essential. Doing repairs when necessary prevent leaks in rainy weather. Leaks lead to the development of moisture that can damage the wooden structure of the house. Not waiting until it is too late to have repairs done will also save you lots of money.
For many DIY people, the most obvious thing to do is to repair the roof themselves. But roofing repairs, it must be noted, can be quite tricky and unless you are a roofing contractor yourself, you must come to terms with the fact that you might need to hire a professional roofer.
In the following short report, you will find out practical reasons why roofing repairs must be left to the professionals only, the benefits of hiring a roofer and the 5 essential things you must know before calling the local roofing company.
Should You Do It Yourself?
Many people opt for DIY repairs because it saves a lot of money, and it can be fun sometimes. However, there are simply some projects that must be handled only by professional contractors and roofing repair is one of these.
There are lots of mistakes that one who is not well versed in doing roof repairs can commit… And these mistakes can be really costly and even life-threatening!
The following are the most common mistakes DIY people commit when it comes to roof repairs:
They ignore safety precautions
Roofing repairs and installations is one of the most dangerous occupations of all time. There are a lot of hazards involved in it such as falls, tool hazards, injuries like puncture wounds and cuts, electrical and fire hazards and natural dangers like strong winds, ice and lightning. Is it worth it to lose limb or life just to save a small amount of money?
1. Fasteners end up in the wrong place
Just one fastener out of place can cost you hundreds of dollars plus more repairs. This mistake is easily avoided if you know what you’re doing or if you hired someone who does.
2. They buy the wrong roofing systems
A poor choice in roofing system increases the risks already associated to roof repairs. Metal roofs become slippery with the slightest amount of moisture and asphalt roofs require a certain slope to prevent leaks. Speaking of slopes, there are requirements that must be considered and only a roofer understands these.
Mistakes in roof repairs or installations will lead to the necessity of replacing the system again, thus the need to spend more cash. Additional expenses can be avoided by hiring a reliable roofing company.
Why It Is Best to Hire a Professional Roofer
Aside from the avoidance of mistakes and unnecessary expenses, there are other benefits to hiring a professional roofing contractor:
• The right type of roofing system is used. Since there are many different types of roofing materials (metal, steel panels, wood shakes, asphalt shingles, clay tiles, rubber slates, etc.), choosing the right one can get confusing. By hiring a roofing contractor, you are spared from making mistakes that you’ll soon regret.
• The old roofing material is properly disposed of. Majority of roofing contractors will cover everything from removing the old roofing, replacing it and disposing of the old material.
• Expert installation. You are sure that the roofing system is installed securely and weather tight.
• Damage to the roof system is avoided. Roofers have scaffoldings that they use to repair or install roofs without inflicting damage to other parts of the roof or house.
• Your roofer will help you decide if a new roof needs to be installed or if some repairs are all it takes.
• Get advice on the side. Good advice on roof care is a bonus you get from your roofing contractor. A professional roofer can tell you ways to care for the most exposed part of your house and ensure that it will last as long as it can.
Roof repair is not as simple a task as many might think. There are lots of tiny details that must be considered if you want your roof to become good as new. A reliable contractor can help you figure out what needs to be done and how much everything will cost you.
The 5 Things to Know Before Hiring a Roofer
Now that you know the benefits of hiring a roofer and the risks involved to doing the repairs or installation yourself, there are still a few things you need to understand before picking up the phone and calling your local roofer.
Upon deciding to hire a professional roofer, your first thought will naturally be to call the nearest contractor and get a quote. Not all roofers are the same and if you want to get the best service for your money, there are things you need to consider. There are bad roofers and there are the reputable ones. Of course like any sane homeowner, you’d want to make sure you deal only with a reputable contractor.
Here are some of the things you must know prior to hiring a roofer that can help you identify the best contractor to hire:
1. Know Exactly What You Want Done
Before you make that call, it is but sensible to have an idea of what the problem is and what you want done exactly. It’s not as simple as deciding the roof needs fixing and calling someone over to fix it. When talking to a contractor, he will likely ask you a lot of questions concerning the project. And if you have not prepared or have no idea what you want done, you can be swayed easily into believing that there are more problems than there really is.
You must know the extent of the damage so you can tell your contractor exactly what needs fixing. Are there holes? Are there shingles falling off or missing? Does the flashing need to be re-aligned? What about the drainage, is it working fine?
Knowing exactly what must be fixed will also save you money. When discussing the project with your contractor, you can tell him everything that must be covered; he will make the assessment then give you a quote. Anything you forgot to tell him will cost you extra.
2. Know the Signs of a Bad Roofing Contractor
There are rogue contractors who will only rip you off so you must be careful.
The following are signs that a roofing contractor is far from trustworthy:
– Not fully licensed, bonded and insured. Do not trust the contractor’s word: Verify it at http://www.cslb.ca.gov/ or simply call Phone (800) 321-CSLB = 1-800-321-2752.
– When asked about cost, they do not discuss it in an open, clear or comprehensive manner. If you deal with such a contractor, expect additional costs to spring up along the way.
– They have a bad history of unresolved complaints from other clients. Check with the BBB for any unresolved issues or complaints. Review the reviews on Angie’s List; check their information on the Contractor’s License Board. Always call a couple of previous customers. Feel they are real and not paid. Even the best contractor cannot please everyone. There always someone who just can’t be pleased. But a lot? That is an indication there is something wrong with the contractor’s work or service. Stay away from them.
– You don’t feel comfortable about hiring a contractor. Sometimes, you get this gut feeling that you and the contractor cannot get along properly. If you feel that way, it is best to keep looking.
– The contractor’s rates are cheap, in fact way too cheap compared to others. When it is tempting to go for the lowest rate available, you must be wary because most roofers who have really low rates will end up charging for more than you are prepared to pay. Cheap contractors also rarely redo a project for free so if there’s a problem with the workmanship, they might ask you for additional payment before they fix it.
– They do not send a qualified estimator. A reliable roofing company will always send someone over to consult with you, make assessments, do actual measurements and discuss roofing materials with you.
3. Know Your Options
One thing you must understand before hiring a roofer: there are lots of fish in the sea.
You have a lot of options so don’t settle for the first contractor you find or hire the one that offers the cheapest rate. By speaking with several other contractors, you can determine which one is most suitable for your needs and who you can easily work with.
For many homeowners, the first consideration is always the price. This is understandable because we all need to save money. However, the cost should not be the deciding factor. You must weigh other factors too prior to making a choice. Keep in mind that you can’t always expect a good job from someone offering a cheap rate and the costliest rate doesn’t always mean the best service.
Speak with at least three different contractors and make comparisons. By doing this, you avoid paying for the highest rates in the industry as well as get to know more reasonable rates. Aside from being able to compare prices, interviewing several contractors will also let you know their relevant experience, specialties or whatever special offers they might have.
The best way for you to know your options is by doing your research. Go online and search for roofing companies and contractors near you and compare them. Find out each one’s work history and see how customers find their services. Ask relatives, friends or neighbors for their recommendations, they might know a good contractor you can check out or a company you must be wary of.
While researching, you should also take the time to learn some bits about roofing because basic knowledge can help you avoid getting scammed by unscrupulous roofers.
4. Know the Terms of Their Insurance Policy
One of the biggest mistakes homeowners commit when hiring roofing contractors is not bothering to ask about the company’s insurance policy and warranties.
When there are a few roofing companies that automatically include insurance in their package, there are many that don’t, so you need to ask to make sure.
The insurance should cover both client and worker so that in case an accident happens while the repair or installation is going on, you won’t be held liable. The roofer’s insurance can help cover you against anything unexpected. Ask for the proof of insurance and make sure that the policy is in effect through the duration of the project.
Warranty is also very important. You should know if the warranty covers only the roofing material or only the labor or both. Roofing material manufacturers offer warranty for their products and their conditions and limitations might be different from the contractors. Some of the things you must know pertaining to warranty are the dollar limits, whether or not it is prorated over the life of the roof, the life of the warranty, provisions that might void the warranty, etc. Only certified roofers would offer you certain additional warranty from the manufacturer.
The contractor must provide at least 2 years workmanship warranty and clearly discuss the terms of the manufacturer’s warranty. Don’t forget to get a copy of the proposed warranty.
5. Know What Should Be Included In the Written Agreement
Securing a copy of a written agreement is necessary because this will ensure that there will be no surprises along the road. It will provide you with a clear view of what is to be done.
The agreement, signed by you and the contractor, should clearly state the following:
– What materials are to be used
– Expected completion date
– Pricing details
– Payment schedules
The roof is the most neglected part of the house, yet it is the one part that takes the most beating. Any damage to the roof that is not properly repaired can affect the whole house, costing you more money and headache.
When it’s time for roofing repairs or replacement, choose to hire a trustworthy roofing company. You want someone reputable working on your roof, people who know what they are doing, are honest and can deliver as agreed.
Take note of the five things to know before hiring a roofer as these will help you locate a contractor you can trust. As a bonus, here are a few other things to consider when looking for a roofer:
– A website is not enough; the contractor must have a physical office, landline, business license and tax ID.
– Ask for references; a reputable contractor should have a lengthy list of customers who are satisfied with their work
– Find out if the contractor belongs to any regional or national industry associations which is an indication that they are indeed professionals
– A reputable company is financially stable and should be able to provide current financial information when asked
– Ask the contractor to explain quality control and their supervision procedures. Find out how many workers are needed and get the name of the person in charge of the project.
– Opt for the contractor that has the right experience, shows professionalism and gives importance to quality workmanship.
You don’t want your roof to come crashing down your head so seriously consider hiring a roofer when the time comes for repairs or replacements.
You might want to tackle the project yourself, especially if you are skilled in repairs but keep in mind that roofing repairs have special considerations and there are hazards involved. It is still best to go to a professional for help and with the tips you just received, finding a good contractor that won’t rip you off and give value for your money has become a lot easier.