An unexpected leak in your roof is not a surprise to be celebrated. No one likes to be caught off guard. But before you reach for your telephone to call in a repairman, are you prepared with the right questions to ask during your roofing inspection?
Preparing for your roofing inspection may seem like a silly idea, but it can save you hundreds of dollars. Knowing what to ask and the types of information to gather can help you get a more accurate quote and ensure that you are hiring the right professional for the job.
So, before you settle for a roofing quote that may not address all of the concerns present in your home, we’re here to help ensure you know where to start the conversation.
Here are our top five questions every homeowner should ask as part of a routine roofing inspection:
Do you have references from other homeowners you’ve worked with recently?
In order to receive the best quality roofing available, you need to confirm that the experts you are hiring are, in fact, experts. Testimonials from other homeowners are a dependable way to get a true understanding of a contractor’s standards of excellence. Remember, you are hiring a business to complete an important service for one of your greatest assets; it’s okay to inquire about credentials.
Ask to see photos of previous projects, check out the company’s Google or Yelp reviews, and do a little research. It’s important to be confident in the team you have selected before agreeing to a roofing quote.
How is the general condition of my roof—will repairs be cost effective, or is it time to replace?
Believe it or not, there are a lot of rules when it comes to building a roof. For example: did you know that all nails used to build a roof must be weather resistant? Or that the intersection of shingle roofs or chimneys have to be protected with flashing, otherwise your roof may have to be completely redone?
It’s true! If you are investing in repairing your roof, it’s worth your while to have a professional assess the overall roof system as well. A good amount of the time, if your roof has one leak, there are other areas about to fail as well. Having a good visual inspection of the entire roof will help you address any potential weak spots before more leaks appear.
The most common areas for leaks are around vents, seams, and flashing, and a trained roofing expert will be able to spot these before they become major problems.
Repairs on a roof that is on its last legs could be throwing money away. You may be able to squeeze another season or two out of it, but eventually all roofs need to be replaced. It’s not something you can avoid forever.
Remember, your house is built from the ground up but protected from the roof down.
Do you provide a warranty for your work, as well as for the materials you will be using?
Unfortunately, many a homeowner has been duped by handiwork that looked expertly done at first, but led to issues as soon as the contractor was gone. A truly skilled and savvy roofing company will stand by their work, offering some type of guarantee or warranty to its customers.
Although it is difficult to offer a lengthy warranty on a repair of an older roof, a warranty of one to two years is standard. Any certified roofer should be happy to discuss their protection plans with you. A quality warranty policy is essential for your peace of mind, as well as your wallet.
Who will be responsible for overseeing the quality of my roof installation?
Accountability is essential for any project, but especially during one that requires such a large financial investment and is so integral to your quality of life. Knowing exactly who to turn to when an issue arises or when expectations aren’t being met will significantly reduce the amount of stress you feel during the building process and will help keep the lines of communication open.
Don’t be afraid to ask the person conducting your roofing inspection if they will be your main point of contact. If not, ask them to introduce you to the project lead. If the roofing company you are meeting with is legitimate, there shouldn’t be an issue with you meeting face to face. After all, you are placing your home in their hands. The least you are entitled to is a handshake and a recognizable face.
You should also ask how long the company has been in business for. Roofing companies that don’t provide quality work tend not to stick around very long.
How does your company protect the safety of your workers, my home, and my family?
No matter what kind of project you are undertaking, safety is always of the utmost importance. Your roofing project is no different. During your roofing inspection, ask the contractor how they dispose of debris, what their plans are for your project if you encounter unfavorable weather, what kinds of safety gear they will be using, and what types of safety certifications they hold.
The only thing that could make your roof repair or replacement more inconvenient than it already is would be encountering a safety violation during the process. A workplace injury or other safety infraction could result in your project being delayed, or worse, result in someone being seriously injured.
Ask for all proper paperwork, and have all credentials verified to ensure their accuracy. Keep an eye out for expiry dates on all certifications, and ask for a copy of the company’s safety policy. The more information you arm yourself with, the less likely it is that you’ll be left holding the invoice for a project that didn’t go as planned.
Although taking on a roofing project of any kind can feel daunting, asking your roofing repair provider the right questions—and getting solid answers—will ensure you are prepared for anything, as well as keep your project on a safe, and affordable, trajectory.