Choosing the Right Roofer is like choosing any other specialist, like the right dentist or doctor for your family, at least it should be. Would you take your children to a dentist that worked out of his basement? Would you recommend a doctor that worked out of his car? Okay, maybe it’s a little extreme to compare roofing to a medical practice, but it does get you thinking doesn’t it?
Let’s face it; our homes are our most valued personal possession. We work long and hard to afford them. The last thing any of us need is a bad roof installation, with roofing that either needs repaired or replaced again in a few years. Although I am a contractor, like you I am also a consumer. I battle the same question and answer game as all of you when hiring people to help me.
Everyone asks the same basic questions that have been asked for the last 50 years:
- How long have you been in business and doing this?
- Are you insured?
- Do you have a license to perform this work?
- How long will the job take?
- Will you work straight through until the job is complete?
These are important questions and should be asked of any roofer you consider hiring. But there are other, more important questions that will let you know what type of roofer you are dealing with and what kind of roof you will get.
- How will this roof be installed? Answer: The answer should always be by manufacturers’ specifications. Installing roofing to the manufacturers’ specifications ensures that whatever is being installed will meet warranty & installation requirements giving you the upper hand in any warranty claims or installation failure disputes. Most important get that in writing in your contract.
- How will the ventilation of my attic space work and affect the roof performance? Answer: There will always be an intake at the gutter or roof end line and an outlet at the roof peak. This item is not open for negotiation. Without either item the warranty will be null and void, period!
- How will you handle the gutter end line where the roof edge meets the fascia board? Answer: We will install a roof to fascia apron or a roof to gutter apron at that end line. We have all dealt with ice dams and icicles over the past couple years in the Pittsburgh area. The leading cause of most ice dam leakage is that apron. Properly installing that apron will prevent the melting ice from backing into your living space like it tends to do here in Western PA. Unfortunately, we have no control over icicles.
Now you know what to ask to make an informed decision when it comes time to have your roof replaced. Choosing the right roofing contractor can make the difference between a quality roofing job and more follow up work after the installation. Remember, sometimes it’s what’s under the roof that you don’t see that’s most important.