The roof on your house protects you and your family from the elements. It provides architectural style to your home and is more susceptible to damage than any other part of the structure.
Residential roofing endures extreme heat and cold, all manner of precipitation, and a continuous onslaught of UV rays from the sun. The average shingle roof may last 20-25 years, but storm damage and other events may result in damage that requires more frequent repair.
If you are considering a new roof for your home, there are many things to consider before hiring a contractor. This article will answer some of the most frequently asked questions and help you decide on the right company for your home.
How Do I Know If I Need a New Roof?
Let’s start with the basics: have your roof inspected. Don’t just perform a roof inspection when you suspect damage. It’s a good idea to have your roof checked every year or two to ensure it is free from defects.
If there are broken or missing tiles or shingles, we can make roofing repairs. This will prolong the life of your roof and protect your home from leaks and other damage.
What if My Residential Roofing is Beyond Repair?
If your roof sustained significant damage during a storm, or if the roof is more than 20 years old, a new roof may be required. Installing a new roof is a large investment, so it’s important to find a qualified contractor to do the job. Here are some questions to ask about roofing services.
Are You Licensed and Insured?
Many people who claim to be “roofers” are not professional roof installers. They may have some experience with roofing installation, but they do not carry the proper licensure and insurance to protect you and them during the work.
Make sure any contractor you talk to has full coverage insurance to cover their employees and any damage that may occur to your home.
Are You Removing the Old Roof?
This may seem like an obvious answer, but you’d be surprised how many times a contractor will shingle over an old roof instead of removing it. By removing the old roof, the installers can inspect the structure beneath and make any necessary repairs. Always insist on removing the old roof before installing a new one.
Have You Installed Any Roofs Nearby?
Ask to see examples of the roofers’ work and ask for nearby homes you can look at before signing a contract. Some roofing companies will have a website with photos of their past projects. They may even bring photos with them for you to view during the consultation.
How Long Will the Roof Installation Take?
This is going to be different for every house depending on the size of the roof, the number of people working on the job, etc. Removing and installing a roof can take two to three days, but some crews may complete the work in a single day.
Make sure you’re aware of the start and finish times the contractor plans to work each day. You may want to be out of the house while the work is being performed. Typically, heating and cooling systems are turned off during an installation, and the work can be noisy.
What Kind of Warranty Do You Offer?
There are two different warranties to ask about when it comes to residential roofing: the materials and the labor. Most roofing materials carry a limited lifetime warranty. This means for as long as you own your home, the manufacturer will cover the cost of replacing defective roofing materials.
Some roofing contractors also provide a warranty on their services. Ask your roofing contractor if they stand behind their work with a warranty.
How Will You Protect My Property and Clean Up Construction Mess?
Make sure you know how a roofing company plans to protect your trees, shrubs, and flowers in your planting beds. Also, ask about covering heating and cooling systems during the installation.
When the work is complete, ask about how the company will remove all the construction waste, old shingles, nails, tarps, and other materials used during the process.
Do You Provide a Written Quote?
Don’t hire a contractor who doesn’t provide you with a written document that outlines the work to be performed and the associated cost. Too many homeowners have been shocked by hidden fees or unexpected expenses once the job is complete. Get a quote upfront so there aren’t any surprises.
Do You Provide Workers Compensation Insurance?
It is required by law for roofing contractors to carry workers compensation insurance for anyone working on a residential roof project. However, make sure you ask any prospective contractor before they begin the work. If they do not have this insurance and someone is hurt on your property, you could be financially responsible.
Protect Your Home
If you live in a house long enough, you will likely have to replace a roof. Sun damage, weather, storms, and age all take a toll on your roof. Some materials will last longer than others, but at some point, every roof has to be replaced.
You can prolong the life of your roof and prevent large repairs or replacement by having regular residential roofing inspections every year or two. Repairing tiles or shingles when they are first damaged can help you avoid more extensive, more costly repairs in the future.
When the time comes to install a new roof, make sure to ask lots of questions. Take a look at the previous work of any prospective contractor. Find out if they are licensed and insured and ask about warranties on materials and labor.
We Can Help
If you need an inspection of your residential roofing, minor repairs, or a complete replacement, let’s talk. For more than two decades, we’ve helped thousands of homeowners with roofing and home improvement projects.
Contact us today for a free consultation and quote.