Roofing jobs can be complicated work. Before you start working with a roofing contractor, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re both on the same page with the job. Unfortunately, there are shady contractors out there. The more questions you ask, the more likely you are to avoid bad work. Here are a few questions you should ask your roofing contractor before signing on the dotted line.
1. What Is Their Company Name and Physical Address?
The first one is simple, but it’s easy to overlook. Just ask the contractor about their legal company name and address.
Yes, you probably saw their name and address online when you initially found them, but it never hurts to make sure they’re a legal company. Like any legal company, they also need a physical location. Even if they use a PO box for their mail, they still should have a building where they keep their tools, trucks, and supplies.
If the contractor can’t produce a legal company name or physical address right away, it might be time to start looking for another roofing contractor.
2. Are They a Licensed Roofing Contractor?
Washington State (and just about every other state) requires roofing contractors to be registered and licensed by the Department of Labor and Industries. This makes sure that a contractor passes all background requirements to do roofing work safely and correctly.
Working with an unlicensed contractor is a surefire way to get shoddy roof work. If you want to avoid leaks and expensive repair bills in the future, it’s best to just ask if a contractor is licensed before they start work.
3. Do They Have Insurance?
Roofing work can be dangerous. Falls are an, unfortunately, common occurrence in the roofing industry and are the leading cause of injury or death on the worksite. Since the contractors are working on your property, that means you could be liable if something goes wrong.
Before anyone climbs up on your roof, ask your contractor if they’re properly insured. All contractors should carry two types of insurance:
- Worker’s comp
- General liability
While both types of insurance are required by law, there are some contractors who would rather take their chances than pay an insurance premium. If that’s the case, you could be held liable for any work-related accidents—either injuries or property damage. It’s much easier, and cheaper, to just ask if your contractor has the right insurance.
4. Will You Completely Remove My Old Roof?
It’s not uncommon for contractors to simply put new shingles over your old roof, rather than replace the roof entirely. While state regulations allow up to two layers of shingles on a roof, it’s not always the best idea.
If your roof was in such bad shape that it needs a replacement, putting new shingles over the top won’t really solve the underlying issues. It’s like sweeping your problems under the rug. It might cover them up for a while, but eventually, they’ll cause more trouble down the road.
Ask about the project before it starts. If the contractor says they’re not going to replace the roof entirely, it’s not a bad idea to get a second opinion. It might be the right choice, but it never hurts to make sure.
5. Is There a Warranty on the New Roof?
Many new roofs—or at least some of the materials—come with warranties. Before a contractor installs your roof, it’s nice to have an idea of how long it’ll last. You should expect anywhere from 20 to 50 years for asphalt shingles and sometimes more depending on the material you choose.
Always check if your contractor offers a warranty and how long it’s good for. It might help you save some money on repairs or replacements in the future.
Find the Right Roofing Contractor
Your roof is an essential part of your home. It keeps out all the damaging moisture the Pacific Northwest is famous for. If you need a roof replacement, remember to ask the right questions to make sure your contractor can provide the services you need.
At Cloise & Mike Construction, we’ve helped Kitsap County homeowners and business owners protect their properties with high-quality roofs for over 25 years. When it’s time for roof repairs or a replacement, contact us for a free inspection and estimate, and work with a contractor who’s as serious about your roof as you are!