Top Questions to Ask Your Roofer in 2020

There wasn’t a business on the planet that hasn’t experienced tremors from the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. The roofing industry is no different, so prospective customers have numerous questions for roofing companies. If you too are repairing or replacing the roof this year, then these are the top questions to ask your roofer.

Do I get a warranty?

If you are installing a brand new roof, then the manufacturer will provide a warranty for the shingles or slates but the roofer also needs to give you a warranty on the installation. The average warrant on the material is around a quarter of a century but shingles can last up to 50 years with regular maintenance. Anyhow, don’t forget to ask the roofer if their work comes with a warranty.

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What happens with the old roof?

Having your entire roof replaced raises the question of what will happen with the old roof. Once it gets taken down, the roofer should (if they are true professionals) show you where the problem area was.

Whether it was water damage or metal fatigue, simply knowing what went wrong with the old roof can help prolong the new structure’s lifetime. After the demonstration is over, the roofer will probably offer you to keep the old roof or you can let them salvage and repurpose it after finally discarding it responsibly.

Are you a licensed contractor?

Depending on the national, regional, and state legislation, roofer and builders are issued licenses they have to periodically renew. The reason behind such licensing isn’t the state’s wish to additionally tax contractors but to ensure their businesses comply with the state’s building codes. This way, clients like yourself are legally protected in case something goes wrong.

Will you use subcontractors?

A logical question to ask your roofer involves their partnership with other professionals from the construction industry. General contractors, for example, like to hire roofers as contractors to complete the roof. There is nothing wrong with this practice as long as both parties are fair to their workers and behave in a professional manner.

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Of course, if you know exactly what type of roof needs repairing and/or replacing, you can turn to companies such as MLR Slate Roofing which specialize in slate, heritage, copper, lead, and zinc roofs. For older structures, you can even find a roofing specialist for timber shingles.

Who takes the trash away?

Just like any other type of construction work, replacing a roof on a house leaves a lot of trash behind. The refuse ranges from shingles and old plywood, down to gutters and nails. Luckily, a good roofer will never let his or her clients deal with such debris, as they are the ones who call a skip bin to haul away all the refuse straight to the dumpsite.

Can I get a written estimate?

Having a friend or a family member recommend a roofer is a good thing but you shouldn’t let your guard down. Some contractors will try to arrange a business deal without setting on paper the conditions you have orally agreed to.

Ask for a written estimate of the costs (materials, labor, transport, etc.) and the timeline, so you have an argument if a misunderstanding occurs later on. There are always going to be liability costs but they shouldn’t be higher than a fifth of the agreed total price.

What happens when if the weather turns bad?

You’re probably heard of a “construction season,” i.e. the period of the year ideal for construction work. Roofers accept work all year round but repairing or installing a roof in fall or winter can be tricky due to inclement weather.

A hurricane or even a nearby wildfire can halt the work on your roof but this shouldn’t be a problem if you agree in advance what happens in these instances. In most cases, the work is stooped and the construction site sealed off until work can recommence.

Whom can I talk to on site?

Large roofing companies have showrooms where administrative staff works and who will take care of the paperwork. However, the roofer should delegate a go-to person whom you can communicate with on site.

They needn’t be present there all day (to the relief of employees) but should stop buy almost every day to inspect how the work is progressing and offer their help with any issues you might be having. In reality, it is such care for the client that separates average from top-tier roofing companies.

The year 2020 has been a unique challenge for the construction industry, as roofers and their clients faced various scenarios. The 8 questions listed above are actually lessons you needn’t learn the hard way if you ask then before you hire a roofer.