One of the biggest concerns most homeowners have prior to a roof construction or replacement job is what all the project will entail. The average person probably doesn’t know the finer details of roofing, which can leave them dissatisfied when the finished project doesn’t match the one they envisioned.
For this reason, it pays to find out the entire scope of the project well before any papers are signed. You don’t want to leave anything out. After all, no matter how great the contractor, he or she is only responsible for the work lined out in the contract. Don’t set yourself up for failure by neglecting to go over exactly what your project will entail.
Here are some good questions to ask your prospective contractor before beginning your next project.
1) Uses The Proper Tools
Regardless of the type you choose, your roof should last you fifteen years or more. However, if it’s made with certain materials, such as alternative composite shingles, 3-tab asphalt shingles, “living” materials, or other less-than-stellar components, it might not last ten, and almost certainly won’t last the lifespan of your home.
Ask your roofer what equipment does the team have at their disposal, and are they qualified to use it? Will they have access to industry-leading technology, such as the GAF lifetime roofing system?
- What kind of shingles, or other roofing type will be used?
- What kind of attic ventilation system?
- What kind of roof deck protection?
- What kind of leak barriers?
- What kind of ridge cap shingles? Will these be used?
2) Removes The Existing Roof
Among the most important aspects of getting a new roof is making sure the old one is removed first. While tearing the old roof off may be slightly more expensive up-front, it will allow for a better, more thorough inspection of any damaged or rotten sections along valleys, eaves, rakes, sidewalls, and chimneys, and allows for new flashing to be installed.
Removing the existing roof also comes with other benefits. Excessive layers build up heat, which will eventually curl and damage the singles on the roof, so fewer layers generally equates to a longer-lasting roof. Likewise, extra layers will also decrease the resale value of the home, so getting the original roof removed is always a better deal in the long-run.
3) Repairs Damaged Roof Deck
Ask the contractor if their team will take care of repairing any damaged or defective decking after the original roof has been removed. How will they handle water damage? What about damage from insects or pests? Placing a new roof over damaged decking will only create more problems in the future.
4) Protects Your Home During The Project
Repairing existing damage is a vital part of the roof replacement process, but so is preventing damage during the project. The project itself is expensive enough; the last thing you need is extra expense of replacing anything that gets broken.
What protective measures will the company take? How will the team protect your garden, garage, attic, and deck from damage? What about vegetation and lawn ornaments? What specific tools will the team use to ensure that falling debris doesn’t land on anything? After the job is done, will the team pick up and safely dispose of all trash and debris present?
5) Is Up Front About Exclusions
In other words, what won’t your company do? In some ways, knowing what a contractor won’t do can be just as helpful as knowing what they will. For instance, if a contractor says they aren’t responsible for property damage, you may want to seek a safer option.
6) Communicates A Clear Estimated Time of Completion
Your contractor should be able to give you an accurate schedule for every stage of the project. While unexpected complications can always arise, you should never be in the dark about what deadlines are in place and what measures will be taken if something doesn’t go according to schedule.
- When will your team show up?
- How long is everything going to take?
- What happens in the event of rain, snow, or other inclement weather?
- If the project goes too long past the scheduled date of completion, will a liquidated damages clause come into effect?
7) Has The Proper Insurance
Finally, what steps will the company take in the event that something goes wrong? Accidents happen after all, and even the most cautious contractor can’t prepare for everything. For this reason, it’s just as important to know how the team will repair any damage they cause as it is to know how they’ll try to prevent it from happening in the first place.
- What kind of insurance does the contractor have?
- Do they offer general liability insurance, protecting you in the case of property damage?
- What about workers’ compensation, in the event that an employee gets injured on the job?
Want to learn more great questions to ask your roofer to ensure you get the safest, most effective roof possible? Download our free informative Ebook, Questions to Ask Any Roofing Contractor, and get one step closer to your perfect roof.