Roofing is a specialty, and one that many homeowners don’t truly appreciate until Uncle Jimmy puts a foot through your concrete tiles causing more damage in one moment that he could ever possibly have repaired. So many homeowners make the mistake of thinking that they are saving themselves a lot of money by attempting to do roof repairs and maintenance themselves or hiring a friend or relative cheaply.
Before you decide you can’t afford to hire a professional roofing contractor, ask yourself if you really can afford not to.
Will Insurance Cover It?
A lot of the time you will find that your roofing repairs will be covered by your homeowner’s insurance. If you have kept up with regular basic maintenance, then any damage caused by winter storms should be covered. Your biggest question then should be how to choose a roofer, because whatever you do, you absolutely do not want to put in a claim with the insurance company and then try to cut corners on the payout.
In actual fact, a good roofing contractor will actually arrange to sort the insurance claim out for you, removing the stress that this can involve – something that Uncle Jimmy is only going to create.
Are Roofing Contractors Qualified and Licensed?
Whether or not a roofing contractor needs to be licensed will vary from state to state, and from country to country. Generally, most roofers will have some form of licensing, and all of them will have public liability insurance. In some areas a roofing contractor must be a fully qualified builder with a specialization in roofing. https://www.networx.com/article/does-a-roofer-need-a-license
Roofing contractors tend to serve apprenticeships rather than attending a trade school to become qualified, although there is bookwork required in order to become a fully qualified master builder.
One of the biggest aspects of becoming a qualified and licensed roofing contractor is an in-depth knowledge of the safety aspects of roofing. It can be a very dangerous profession, and although you may think that your single-story home is quite safe to repair with just someone holding a ladder, it really isn’t. While for most standard home roof repairs or roofing replacements the range of safety equipment a professional roofing contract will use is generally limited to a movable scaffold, for larger jobs there may be safety harnesses and full covered scaffold required.
Remembering that the safety requirements of a roofing job are not simply to protect the health and safety of the workers, but also of the homeowner and anyone walking nearby. A loose piece of corrugated iron flying off a roof at speed is a deadly weapon, as is a simple piece of slate tile.
How Do I Know My Roofing Contractor Is Any Good?
Choosing the right contractor is where word of mouth is a great thing. However, repairing or replacing your roof is not something that happens every day, so finding a recent recommendation from within your immediate circle of friends, colleagues and acquaintances may be harder than you anticipated.
Thankfully social media is here to help. If you are on Facebook, you will be able to find a local ‘news’ type group and ask for recommendations there. There are also trade specific websites that have been set up in many areas to allow people to review, recommend and warn others about tradespeople they have worked with (see here).
Of course, you can also actually ask your contractor. They will usually have a proud portfolio of work they have done displayed on their website that you can look through. If they don’t, ask why. It may be that the contractor has only just recently gone out to work for himself, in which case you might be able to see a portfolio from his previous workplace.
You can also see if your roofer has a guarantee on their workmanship. They should offer a complete manufacturer guarantee on the materials they will be supply, but they can go above and beyond this to assure you that the work will be up to the standard you expect. With a manufacturers guarantee, the manufacturer will generally only guarantee their materials if they have been installed by an approved contractor, so this is something else that you may wish to check with your roofer before you sign them up to do your roof repair.