The roof over your home needs to be maintained and repaired from time to time. It also likely needs to be replaced every 10 to 20 years, depending on the type of material present. Who is going to help you do this work and do it well? Selecting a roof contractor is a big part of the investment in your home. Here is what to look for when choosing a roof contractor in Charlotte, NC.
There are a few key things to consider about roofers, specifically what type of qualifications they have.
Look at their Customer Reviews
A great way to get an accurate picture of a roofing contractor’s work is to look at reviews left by other customers on Google, Facebook, Yelp, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). You can see if customers have experienced the same problems, or on the flip side, have had consistently exceptional experiences.
Look at Their Education, Experience and Credentials
There is no formal education required to become a roofer. Some vocational schools offer certificate programs they can earn. Note any formal training the roofer has.
Many people learn by doing the work through on-the-job training and experience. If they’ve worked for a large and busy company, they may have a lot of experience. Experience matters because it can speed up the work and ensure masterful workmanship. Ask how long they’ve been in the industry.
Some roofing manufacturers provide specific training and certification for those working with their products. Manufacturers such as GAF, for example, teach roofers how to use their products. This ensures proper application and technique. You can ask about this certification.
It also helps to see if the contractor has credential verification from the BBB. When a business is accredited by the BBB, it signifies that the business meets BBB’s ethical business standards and that the company makes an effort to resolve customer issues.
Look at the Roof Contractor’s Licensing
At the heart of the qualifications to look for in a roofing contractor is licensing. Simply, you need to know that they are licensed to operate in your state. State and local licensing requirements differ by state. Often, states have roofing laws in place to minimize the risk of an unlicensed and unskilled roofer coming into a community to provide services, a common situation after severe weather.
Some states have laws in place that require a formal licensing exam. To obtain this exam, a person may need to have two or more years of hands-on experience or other training. A state licensing board may be present in the state to oversee this type of licensing requirement.
Ensure They Have Insurance
All roofing contractors should have ample liability insurance. This coverage protects you should something go wrong with the project. Liability insurance is one component of coverage. All roofing companies should also have workers’ compensation coverage as well. If they lack protections for their employees, that may lead to you, the homeowner being responsible for an injury to that employee. You don’t want that to happen.
Ensure They Are Bonded
Ask specifically if the roofing company is bonded. Bonds, sometimes called surety bonds, are an investment the roofing contractor makes. Should they do a poor job, the homeowner is able to file a claim against this bond to pay for the loss and replacement. For example, if the roofer installs a roof that ends up leaking, the property owner may be able to file a claim to receive compensation for the loss, enabling the property owner to get repairs made by a third party.
When it comes to licensing, insurance, and bonding, ask the roofer about these protections. Then, be sure you also ask to see proof of this coverage. That way, you can have peace of mind. Reputable companies are more than willing to provide that to you.
Review the Type of Work Done
A well-qualified roofing contractor is a good step, but you also need to know their experience is in line with the type of work you need completed. There are several areas to consider here.
To start, what type of work do you need the contractor to do? This may include repairs and patchwork, re-roofing, or watertight sealing. You may need help with replacing the whole roof. Some contractors specialize in commercial roofing, which is very different from residential roofing. Some may not work on multi-family properties because of the extensiveness of the project. Be sure the company specializes in the type of work you need help with on your project.
Review Type of Roofing Materials Used
Roofing companies don’t always offer the same products. From cedar shakes to clay tiles, their abilities with various materials can differ significantly. Also, some roofing contractors only work with specific manufacturer brands. Others offer more variety and are more flexible to meet the specific needs you may have.
Review Extra Services Provided
Soffits and gutters are two key areas to consider when it comes to added services from a roofer. If you think you’ll need both, be sure to hire a roofing company that can get all of the work done for you.
Review the Details of Your Project
Finally, make sure the roofing contractor has what it takes to help you when you need it. Today, there are labor and material shortages, so projects often take longer. Yet, you should have some idea of when the company can come to you to handle the project for you. If you need emergency services due to a large hole or leak, seek out a provider capable of offering that, too. It’s all about asking the right questions to ensure the roofing company can fill your need.
If the damage to your roof relates to an insurance claim, be sure the company is experienced and capable of doing this work for you. Many companies work directly with insurers to minimize the frustrations you’ll face during the process.
With all of these considerations, you’ll want to set up some time to speak to a roofing contractor to get a good idea of the type of work they can do for you, a timeline, and a budget. With ample reliability available from many roofers, you can find a professional truly capable of providing exceptional service to you in most cases.