How to Choose the Best Roofing Company

Your roof serves as a vital heat and humidity release valve for your house.  A leaking roof can damage the walls, the floor, your furniture, furnishings, and even the things you have stored in your attic. In fact, even a damp roof can cause considerable damage by increasing the possibility of mold, rot, and other unsightly and unhealthy growth that requires extensive remediation.  A damaged roof that is not attended to at once can be a hazard to the occupants as it can collapse more easily in the event of a storm or over the passage of time. Proper insulation also creates a transitory heat zone that can help your home stay warmer in winter and cooler in summer.  When you are looking for a good roof, it’s important to remember that the roofing materials are only half of what makes a quality roof. Proper installation is also important.

Here are some tips to follow when looking for a quality roofing vendor:

Requesting Proposals

Request proposals from at least 3 different roofing companies.  Each time you have someone out to look at your roof, ask questions and learn what you can.  Pay careful attention to what each roofer recommends. Take the time to make an informed decision.  Resist the urge to jump at the lowest bidder.  If all of the bids for your roof are within 20% of each other, then going with the lowest bid might be okay.  Compare what each roofer is offering and watch out for hidden costs or extras.  (The most frequent causes of roof deterioration are inadequate venting and poor flashing.  Find out how the roofer plans to deal with these areas.  If you don’t see it in his proposal, ask about it.)

Registration And Insurance

Make sure the company is properly registered and insured.  Ask the roofer for his contractor’s registration number, which is used to verify credentials for legal operation in your state.  You also need to make sure that the roofer is adequately insured to avoid liability for anything that might happen during the installation/repair of the roof.

Estimates Vs Bids

Do not consider anything but a proposal in writing.  Ask the roofer whether what he has given you is an estimate or a bid.  An estimate is the roofer’s prediction for the cost of the job.  It is usually supplied when much of the work needed to be done is unable to be seen or measured.  A bid, on the other hand, is a fixed price for the job; an agreement that the job will be done for an agreed-upon price.

Time Frame And Payment

Ask when payment will be due.  Some roofers want a percentage up front before they begin the job.  Others request the full amount to be paid within ten to 30 days after completion.  Find out when the job will begin and end.  Ask what you can do to get ready.  Will the roofer clean up when he’s finished?  How? (If clean-up is not included in the contract, ask to add it in as a contingency of payment.)

Preexisting Conditions

If you’re replacing an existing roof, ask the roofer how many layers are already up there.  (This can usually be measured by making a small cut.)  Ask if he will remove the existing old material. As a rule of thumb, after three layers, the roofer should strip the roof.  Have them check for rot in the wood below, insulate, and then reroof.  A good roofer shouldn’t be afraid to do this. Keep in mind that most roofing materials are covered by a manufacturer’s warranty.  Some roofing materials are designed for special applications, such as high wind, heavy snowfall, or salt-water exposure.  Ask your roofer how each of these could apply in your situation and what warranty will come with the material you choose.

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