When it comes time to replace your home’s roof, you want to make sure you’re working with an experienced, reputable roofer who will get the job done right the first time. When you consider the cost and time it takes to replace a roof, you also want to make certain that the estimate and warranty you receive are both going to stand the test of time. Below are ten things you need to consider before, during, and after you hire a roofer.
- Beware of roofers who refuse to set foot on your roof before giving you a quote. – While it’s fairly easy to use Google Earth to rough out the amount of material needed to replace your roof, only by walking the roof and inspecting your attic can a roofer be able to produce an honest quote. A reputable roofer will take the time to examine the roof and everything connected with it before writing a quote. To do otherwise would lead to a lot of guesswork that could later come to haunt you when the roofer demands more money for damage that should have been discovered before the estimate was written.
- Did your roofer quote you a lowball price only to jack it up during the installation? – This is a variation of the old bait and switch scam. Some roofers will underbid the competition only to later demand more money once the shingles are removed. While it’s possible that an old roof may have more than the average amount of rotten decking beneath the shingles and underlayment, make sure you see the damage before you authorize the work, or you could wind up being nickeled and dimed to death when the roofer soon points out other expensive repairs that weren’t included in the initial bid.
- Did your new roof quickly spring a leak? – This is a big red flag that indicates the roof or the flashing wasn’t installed properly. While the error could have been caused by an honest mistake that can easily be repaired by your roofer, it could also be a symptom of deeper systemic problems. Cut rate materials or fasteners could have been used to save money. Old underlayment or flashing could have been installed While any of these underhanded tactics can save the roofer money, they are guaranteed to cost you big when your roof springs a leak or wears out years before its time. Beware of roofers who come in with a significantly lower bid than the competition. They have to make up for the difference somehow.
- Did your roofer neglect to replace the old roof vents with new? – Just like shingles, roof vents have a limited useful lifetime. That’s why a reputable roofer will always include their replacement in the quote. That’s also why consumers need to read the itemized estimate to make sure that new roof vents have been included. Poor ventilation is one sure way to increase your utility bills and decrease the useful lifetime of your new roof.
- Does your new roof look like an old horse? – Just like horses that are past their prime, an old roof can start to sag if the decking or the support timbers below them start to rot. One of the first things that a competent roofer will do when they strip off the old shingles is to check the roof decking for signs of rot. If water damaged wood isn’t replaced before new shingles are installed, the decking won’t hold the roof nails in place for long. This will result in leakage or loss of shingles after a windstorm. If rotted support timbers aren’t replaced, the result could be the collapse of a portion of the roof.
- Did the roofer neglect to install drip edge flashing on your roof? – Drip edge is a thin strip of metal flashing that’s installed next to the gutters. Their task is to keep the rain from getting under the shingles to rot the wood that lies beneath. It also helps steer runoff into the gutter instead of letting it seep behind it, which could cause the wood that supports the gutters to rot. If you climb up on a ladder and look at the area where the shingles meet the gutters and see the shingles overhanging them, this is a sure sign that the roofer cut corners by excluding drip edge flashing. While this will work for a few years, what will inevitably happen is that the shingles will start to curl at the edges which will allow water to get beneath them.
- Have you taken a good look at your roof? – Unless you climb up on a ladder, you can’t really appreciate your roof properly. What may look like a picture-perfect roofing job from the ground can expose obvious errors in installation from a higher vantage point. Since homeowners are only required to pay a portion of the quote upfront and the balance when the job is done, it would behoove you to take a good hard look at the final result up close before you sign off on the work. A properly installed roof should have no damaged or missing shingles. The flashing and roof vents should shine. The roofline should be ruler-straight. There should be no mismatched shingles or stains on the roof.
- How long does it take for your roofer to respond to a question or a concern? – Whether it’s during or after installation, a reputable roofer should respond to a question or concern about a roof within 24-hours. If your roofer either fails to or takes forever to respond, this is a sign that the roofer cares more about the bottom line than about establishing a long-term relationship with their customers.
- Is your roof warranty worth the paper it’s written on? – While a roof warranty is important to every homeowner, it only works if the roofing company honors it. That’s why you need to make sure that any roofer you hire is not only licensed and insured but a local roofer who has been in town for a long time. If your roofer moves out of town or goes out of business, the warranty you receive won’t be worth the paper it’s written on.
- Other danger signs – A reputable roofer will always provide you with an itemized estimate that lists what is and isn’t included. A reputable roofer will never hesitate to show you their certifications, their insurance, and their references. A reputable roofer will never ask you to pay for a job upfront. A reputable roofer should never ask you to pull a permit or purchase materials to complete a job.
Hi, my name is Nicole Corson and I am the owner of RoofCrafters Roofing and a very blessed mother of two beautiful daughters and a handsome dog! In 2013 I decided to pivot when I had an opportunity to take my 12 years of experience in property management, property maintenance, and my passion for helping others by applying it to the roofing industry. Coming into a predominantly male industry, I am very proud to say I have created some much-needed structure for our team and an exceptional customer experience for my clients.