17 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Roof Repair Professional
Updated: Jul 14, 2020
If you currently live in or have recently bought a home with a cedar roof, you know the natural beauty that comes with having cedar shake shingles. But as with many parts of your home, your cedar roof will eventually need repairs due to wearing out or rotting. You may even need to have your entire cedar roof replaced.
If you’re looking to have your cedar roof fixed, then you’ll need to begin by finding the right contractor who can provide professional service and deliver a quality product that fits within your budget.
Keep in mind that choosing a roof repair contractor is an important decision to make. The caliber of roofing contractor will determine the overall experience and outcome at the end of the project. Know that there are some roofing contractors who are better than others, so it’s important to do your homework and find the right fit.
17 Questions to Ask When Looking for a Professional
If you’re looking for cedar roof repair companies, you’ll want to be certain you’re making the right choice. Because there’s so much to know about roof repair projects, you should start by asking the right questions to find the best roofing repair contractor.
Here are 18 of the most important questions to ask when choosing a company for roof repairs:
1. Are you a licensed roofing contractor?
Before getting too deep into your search for a cedar roof repair contractor, one of the most important things to find out is whether or not the individual or company holds an authentic license. Most states require roofing contractors to hold a license for many reasons, including safety, liability as well as ensuring code requirements are met. However, some states do not require it.
Ask for a copy of the contractor’s license and be sure is it still current and valid before proceeding.
2. How long have you been in business?
As part of the initial screening process, you’ll want to also find out how long the company or individual contractor has been in business. Often times you can find out this information from the company website or even from an advertisement.
Generally speaking, if a company has been in business for several years, it can be a strong indicator of the type and quality of service you can expect. Many roofing companies have been in business for 20 or 30 years.
However, you shouldn’t necessarily dismiss a company just because they are newer. It could indicate they are willing to put in the work to build up their repertoire. While it’s not a deal breaker, business longevity should be a factor in your final decision.
3. Are you a locally based company?
Primarily, you’ll want to ensure the company in question has a physical address and office. This indicates a basic level of professionalism that most customers expect. Secondly, you’ll want to make sure the company is locally based.
If something goes awry, you’ll want the peace of mind in knowing you can easily and efficiently access the contractor and that they can address the issues as soon as possible.
If you hire a company from out of town, it may not be feasible for them to come make any necessary repairs as quickly as you require them.
4. Are you covered by workers’ compensation insurance?
Workers’ compensation insurance is incredibly important for your own financial protection. If any tradespeople were to become injured while working on your property, and they weren’t covered by workers’ compensation, the liability could fall to you as the homeowner.
While having workers’ compensation for all employees is a legal requirement, it doesn’t mean that all companies will follow this rule. Workers’ compensation is a huge business expense, and some companies skip it in an effort to save money or cut corners. Be sure to ask upfront whether the company pays the workers’ compensation insurance for every person who will be working on your property.
You may also want to inquire about general liability insurance and whether the company is covered for any other types of incidents.
5. Do you use subcontractors?
Sometimes contractors will hire outside labor to help on certain projects. If the roofing contractor subs out part of the work to subcontractors, you’ll want to make sure you know about it. This is important because you need to know who is showing up on your job site and performing the work. It’s also important to know who the subcontractors are so you can ask them some of these same questions — especially regarding workers’ compensation insurance.
Be sure to find out right away what the company’s labor situation is like and whether or not they plan to use subcontractors at all.
6. What is your track record for safety?
Find out from your cedar roof repair professional what their safety records have been. Ask them to produce a copy of their company’s EMR (Electronic Medical Records) ratings. Also, ask about their OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) logs.
If everything checks out, it demonstrates the contractor’s commitment to safety, which reduces overall liability. When a company prioritizes safety, it’s generally a good indicator of the overall level of service and quality you can expect. Adhering to proper safety practices is important to protect everyone working on your job site.
7. Do you have homeowner references?
If the initial screening process looks good in terms of the company’s background, you’ll want to also ask for client references. These will be past homeowners like yourself who have hired this cedar roof repair contractor for a similar job. The more recent the client reference, the better, as it demonstrates a more realistic experience.
Find out what the client’s experience was in dealing with the company and whether or not they would recommend them. Ask the reference about what you can expect in terms of the positives as well as any potential negatives. This will help you determine what you can expect in dealing with the company.
8. Will you provide a formal estimate?
Once you’ve established the company’s credibility, you’ll want to start thinking about the financial aspect of your roof repair job. This is where you’ll want to ask for a written estimate that outlines all the details of the project.
An estimate should indicate the complete scope of work, timeframe and cost. It should cover items like costs of materials, roof removal, adding the new roof and any other costs associated with the project. It can also include contingencies that may come up in the process.
Remember that a written estimate holds everyone accountable to the scope of the project. It also sets clear expectations upfront in order to limit surprises during the project.
9. Does my roof need to be removed?
Before getting started, you want to know the extent of the project ahead of you. Make sure the contractor thoroughly investigates what they are dealing with before getting started. As a professional, the roofing contractor should pull up segments of shingles to inspect the state of the roof underneath.
By inspecting the current state of the roof, the contractor will be able to determine the full scope of work. This may include replacing the roof altogether due to a large quantity of rotting material.
Whatever the outcome, you’ll want to know right off the bat if the entire roof will need to be replaced or not.
10. Can it be repaired?
When your roofing contractor goes to investigate the current state of your roof, find out if there is a possibility for it to be repaired rather than removed and replaced altogether. Depending on the severity of damage or rot, it may be possible to repair sections of the existing roof. Be sure to explore all the options before proceeding.
11. Will there be a warranty on my new and/or repaired roof?
It’s always a good sign when a company stands by its work. Ask the roofing contractor what the warranty coverage will be like on the repairs or on the new roof altogether. There may even be two types of warranties in question. Manufacturers’ warranties cover the actual material itself, while the roofing contractor will guarantee the work done.
If the contractor covers their work, find out exactly what is covered and how long the protection is guaranteed for. Be sure to also ask about what kinds of circumstances may void the warranty. This might include property damage or failure to perform regular maintenance.
12. If my roof needs replaced, will you install metal drip edges?
Drip edges are the pieces of aluminum that are installed under the shingle at the end point of the roof. Drip edges help to divert water that has dripped off the roof and into the gutter as opposed to behind it. This protects the fascia and other wood on your roof. Ultimately, metal drip edges help to prevent future water damage.
Be sure to ask specifically about drip edges to ensure they are installed. Some roofing contractors may not necessarily install metal drip edges unless the homeowner specifically asks about it.
13. How will you protect my home and landscaping from damage?
Before getting started, you’ll want to make sure your contractor has a game plan for how to protect your home from possible damage during construction. Professional roofing contractors have equipment they use to protect the exterior of the home and the gutters. Be sure they are going to use equipment such as ladder stabilizers or standoffs to protect your home.
You’ll also want to make sure the contractor is conscious of where the ladders are being placed. Be certain their locations aren’t damaging your gardens, shrubs or bushes that may surround the home. Additionally, find out where the old plywood and roofing material will be tossed to avoid hitting any of your plants.
14. If necessary, do you supply your refuse bins for the job site?
You’ll want to make sure as part of their service, the roofing company will supply a refuse bin to have on-site for disposing of old materials. Also, be sure they will remove the refuse material when the job is finished. This shouldn’t be the responsibility of the homeowner to look after.
You’ll also want to find out where they plan to place the refuse bin. Be aware that sometimes, asphalt driveways can crack under the heavy pressure of a refuse bin. If placed in the yard, refuse bins may also cause damage to the lawn. Find out how the company will address these potential problems should they arise.
15. What happens if the weather turns?
While ideally a roof repair project will occur on sunny days, this cannot always be guaranteed. Ask about the precautions the contractor will take if it begins to rain. Contractors should be prepared to cover the roof with plastic sheets or tarpaulins to protect the interior of your home from the elements.
16. Who will be my on-site point of contact?
If something goes wrong on the job site or if you have questions and concerns, you’ll need a designated point of contact to reach. Find out who this person will be and whether or not they will be on-site. Ideally, you’ll want to have someone on-site who you can go to during the project.
This person will likely be a project manager who is responsible for the state of the job site. This person should be available to call and discuss any concerns with as well as to ask about the progress of the project.
17. How will you ensure quality?
Cedar roof repairs and replacements can be a large investment in time and money. As a homeowner, you want to ensure you’re receiving a high-quality end product. Ask your cedar roof repair professional about their quality standards. Find out how they ensure quality and what kinds of inspections they perform.
A professional roofing contractor will make sure a knowledgeable expert is available to perform inspections during the project as well as at the end. Ask your contractor about building codes as well as any local regulations to make sure your roof is compliant on all fronts.
Hiring a Cedar Roof Repair Professional
Selecting a cedar roof repair professional can be a complicated and even overwhelming process. By following this guide of questions to ask when choosing a roof repair contractor, you will be better equipped to pick the best company for your needs. If you have any questions feel free to contact Cedar Roof Coatings today.
If you currently have a cedar roof or you’re purchasing a home with a cedar roof, be sure to familiarize yourself with the requirements of cedar roof maintenance. Check out these cedar roof maintenance tips from Cedar Roof Coatings.