It is an unfortunate truth that no roof lasts forever. Often when you least expect it, a leak or missing shingle leads to the sad diagnosis of an impending required replacement.
The fact that many roofing needs are last minute and quite urgent leads homeowners to make stress-induced poor decisions. There is no greater folly than closing your eyes and simply choosing a roofing contractor.
When you learn a new roof is necessary, take a deep breath and remember the importance of this job. A new roof is likely to last decades if the right person for the job is selected. Before hiring your roofing contractor, think about these things and consider asking any candidates these questions before settling on a decision.
Are you licensed?
This is a non-negotiable tenet to choosing a contractor of any kind to do work on your home. Whether changing a light fixture of replacing your roof, the person you hire should be licensed.
Licensing not only means that your roofer is more likely to know the building codes for your state or region but also allows you some security from a legal standpoint if anything goes wrong.
To build on this question, it may be beneficial to inquire about insurance. Worker’s compensation pays for anyone injured on the job to obtain healthcare. Other types of insurance cover your property for any damages that might occur during the project. Simply put, anything not covered by the contractor’s insurance would likely have to be paid for out of your pocket.
If any subcontractors are going to be used, ask about their insurance coverage, as well.
What is your process for inspection and replacement of my roof?
Some roofing contractors will give your roof the “eye test” before deciding whether or not to replace the roof itself. While it may seem like a good way to save some cost in the short-term, the long-range outlook for a roof that was simply shingled over may not be great.
Your roofing contractor should be committed to truly inspecting your roof and determining if it is fit to reuse or needs replacement before applying new shingles or roofing material. While you’re on the subject, ask about how much new plywood would cost if the decking needs to be replaced.
Feel free to get into specifics like if the contractor will utilize edge metal to ensure water runs into the gutter. Speaking of gutters, make sure ladders are not being placed directly on your gutters to avoid damaging them. Just because you are getting a new roof does not mean you should need a new gutter system.
Other general questions that may not have the obvious answers are fair to ask as well. Things like will there be a dumpster or refuse receptacle brought in or how the contractor handles bad weather can be helpful in deciding who seems like the best fit.
The only way to understand how a contractor will handle your roofing job is to ask these questions and any others that come to mind. The only silly question is the one you decide not to ask!