If you’ve recently had a storm at your East Tennessee home and need a new roof, it’s important that you do your homework and select the right company for your needs. Severe storms that impact a city by causing a significant amount of damage to roofs are often followed by roofing companies flooding into the city. These companies are often looking to make a quick buck, so they will perform the job as inexpensively as possible, which doesn’t always mean your roof will be repaired or replaced correctly. To ensure that you don’t fall victim to these overnight roof companies, here’s some questions you need to ask prospective roofers before you hire them to work on your house.
Are you Licensed?
The state of Tennessee requires that a roofing contractor be licensed through the state, so it’s important to check that they have this required credential. Licensing requires that a roofing contractor is knowledgeable about Tennessee construction laws and regulations. It also ensures they have the insurance coverage and finances necessary should an issue or dispute arise.
Are you Local?
A great way to avoid contracting companies that are just in town to make money after a storm is to ask potential contractors whether or not they are local to the area. If they are, they should be able to provide a local phone number and office address, which you could visit in person if a problem develops with your roof after installation.
What is your BBB Accredited Rating?
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) provides accreditation for businesses, so it’s important that you ask if the roofing contractor is BBB accredited. The BBB accreditation looks at complaints made against the business and their resolution when giving a score or grade. Your ideal roofer is BBB accredited with an A+ rating. A company with this type of BBB accredited rating demonstrates a reputable company that takes pride in getting it right the first time and works with customers to address any concerns or complaints they have following the job.
Do you have Insurance?
The state of Tennessee requires that a company specializing in roofing has general liability insurance as well as worker’s compensation insurance in order to be licensed through the state. While the obvious answer to this should be yes if they answer yes to being licensed by the state, it’s always best to check. You don’t want to be liable for an accident on your property if the roofing company isn’t properly insured.
Will you Remove the Old Roof?
A quick and cheap trick that roofers sometimes use when they want to save time and money is to lay the new roof over the old roof. While this may seem like providing your home with extra protection, leaving the old roof on the home prevents the company from being able to identify potential issues in the structure of the roof. Wood and other materials underneath the shingles are often wet, especially if the roof was leaking prior to having it replaced. Taking the old shingles off exposes this and allows for damaged materials to be replaced properly. Failure to do this can result in future problems for your home, such as further damage to the roof or mold.
What is the Warranty on a New Roof?
A roofing contractor should provide some type of warranty for your roof either based on their craftmanship or the quality of materials used. For example, a shingle manufacturing company provides a Golden Pledge Warranty on its products when installed by a master elite contractor. This warranty is guaranteed to last a lifetime, so you can have peace of mind knowing that your home is protected.
What Type of Materials Will be Used?
If you have a home with shingles, you want to find out what type of shingles the roofing company can install on your house. Extremely popular are GAF shingles, which are notorious for being high-quality, durable shingles. They even come with a Golden Pledge Warranty. This Golden Pledge Warranty provides a lifetime warranty on the shingles, so you can rest assured knowing that your roof is going to last for many years to come.
What is the Cost to Replace my Roof?
Companies that replace roofs are accustomed to meeting in advance with customers to review the job and then provide an estimate on what it will cost have the roof replaced. While you may get multiple cost estimates before you choose a roofer, it’s important that you don’t automatically just go with the lowest cost. Costs can vary based on the quality of materials and the expertise of the contractor. While you may pay more to have GAF shingles installed on your home by a licensed, master elite contactor, the longevity of your roof and the protection provided to your overall home is of greater value than the cost to install standard shingles, which can quickly wear out.
Will you Work with my Homeowner’s Insurance Company?
If your need for a new roof is due to storm damage, chances are high that you have or will file a claim on your homeowner’s insurance. Experienced contractors located in East Tennessee typically have a vast amount of experience working with various insurance companies to replace and repair damaged roofs. Most roof companies are happy to work with the insurance company directly for billing and costs. This makes it extremely easy for you as the homeowner. You just have to sit back and wait for your new roof without having to serve as a middleman. You will need to make sure that the roofing company knows the difference between acting as a public adjuster and helping you with the claims process.
Are you a Master Elite Contractor?
If you elect to use GAF shingles on your roof, you’ll want to make sure to choose a master elite contractor that has been trained by the GAF Materials Corporation. This certification demonstrates that the master elite contractor has the knowledge and expertise on how to correctly install GAF materials. Proper installation is a requirement for the Golden Pledge Warranty, so it’s important to verify someone has been trained and approved to be a master elite contractor in advance. Knowing you have a professional on the job installing a roof of high-quality material is all you need to feel good about the condition of your new roof and the protection it will provide to your home.