What to Look for in Quality Roofer
If you like what you see, it’s time to verify that the roofer carries workers’ compensation coverage and at least $1 million of liability insurance. Get his agent’s name and proof-of-insurance certificates. Then get an estimate, which should be free.
Because roofing is a short-term job, break up the total due into two payments: one-third up front for materials, and the remainder when the roofing and cleanup are done to your satisfaction.
Also insist on a warranty that covers leaks, flashing failure and other labor-related defects. A one-year warranty is the minimum, though two or three years is preferable. These same stipulations should go into the contract, which should also include what type of roof will be used. Request the highest-rated, longest-lasting shingles you can afford.
Shingle manufacturers generally back their products for 20 to 30 years. Some warranties are void if shingles are put on over existing shingles, so tearing off the existing layer could be required, at an additional cost. Asphalt roofs last 13 years on average, so a 20-year warranty should be fine. Just be sure you get the paperwork and proof of purchase needed to pursue any problems down the road.
Getting a Quality Roofing Job
Several other quality checks will also help you ensure a leakproof job for decades.
- Find out how the trash will be disposed of and nails picked up. Be sure Dumpsters or trucks used for garbage pickup don’t roll onto a new lawn or over an underground sprinkler system. What’s more, there should be thick plywood under Dumpster or truck wheels to protect the turf or driveway. An alternative is to pay extra and have the old shingles carted by hand to the curb.
Finally, trust your intuition. If a roofer rubs you wrong, even at the contract stage, don’t be afraid to back out before signing, and resume your search. Unless water is pouring in overhead, it pays to take your time on this major investment.