By John North
Better Business Bureau
According to the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), more than 300,000 roofs are installed daily in the United States. This number has been rising steadily since 2004 and is expected to reach 500,000 roofs a day by 2030. In fact, there are more than 100,000 roofing contractors in the United States. If you’re in need of a new roof, be sure you choose a reputable contractor.
There are many signs you may have a roofing problem, such as you may be seeing leaks, light in the attic, damaged or loose shingles and/or loose flashing. It’s also important to remember it may just be time for a new roof. Tile, slate and metal roofs can last a lifetime, but asphalt shingles cover an estimated 75 percent of U.S. homes. Most asphalt roofs start to fail in 15 to 20 years. The older a roof, the more it requires inspection, especially along peaks, valleys, penetrations and edges.
Before you hire just anyone, the Better Business Bureau offers these tips when hiring a reputable roofing contractor:
Research the company. Look at reviews from past clients and ask family and friends for recommendations about who they’ve used in the past.
Get multiple written estimates from different companies.
Find out if the roofing contractor is a member of a professional trade association like the NRCA or the National Association of The Remodeling Industry (NARI).
Check your homeowner’s insurance to see if your project is covered and how you should proceed if it is.
Check the contractor’s insurance coverage for worker’s compensation, property damage and personal liability.
Ask what happens if there’s bad weather while your roof project is underway. What will be done to protect your home if it rains or snows?
Meet contractors face-to-face. You want to be comfortable working with them.
Don’t let any work begin without a written and signed contract. Make sure verbal promises are included in it. The contract should include the timeline, cost, payment arrangements, warranties/guarantees, project description, as well as names of parties involved in case of any disputes. In addition, it should state who will haul away the old roofing materials and/or project waste, etc.
Don’t pay in full upfront and use a credit card for payment as it will provide some protection should the job not be completed as stated in the contract.
Request a receipt marked “paid in full.”
Hold on to your contract for future reference or if any questions arise after the work is complete.
Beware of companies offering quick solutions or using misleading statements, high pressure or scare tactics, as well as roofers who “just happen” to be on your street and notice damage to your roof. Some shady contractors knock on your door and tell you they have extra shingles or roofing from another job and can offer you a good deal.
To help maintain the quality of your roof, clear dead or overhanging branches. After a strong storm, have a licensed insurance adjuster or contractor inspect your roof. You can also inspect your roof and gutters regularly and monitor for damage.
You can always contact your BBB for a list of BBB Accredited roofing companies and Business Profiles on ones you’re considering. Visit www.bbb.org or call (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301.