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Checklist of Questions to Ask When Hiring a Roofer

The roof is often the most neglected structural part of a house because it is mostly away from sight. If you have a leaking roof, it often means that the damage has been in the process for some time. If you notice shingles disappearing on your roof, it may be too late for a repair. A best practice as a homeowner is to check your roof every couple of months. It will be even better if you get it checked by a licensed roofing contractor every 6 months.

Missing or curled shingles, ceiling spots, damaged flashing, and granule loss are some of the signs that your roof needs repair or even replacement. With so many roofers in the market, choosing the right one for your roofing work can be a challenge. Here is a checklist of 5 questions that can make it easier for you to hire the right professionals.

1. Will You Remove the Old Roof?

Ideally, the roofing contractor should pull the old shingles up and inspect the old roof. Many may just shingle over it in order to cut corners. There may be soft spots underneath. If this happens, you will be looking at expensive repairs in the near future. An ethical roofer will always determine the true condition of the old roof before placing a new one.

2. Will You Provide Practical Recommendations to Keep the Costs Low?

A roof replacement is an expensive job. If there is a leak or other issue, ask your contractor if they can suggest other practical recommendations to fix the issue without the need for a replacement. Minor leaks can typically be fixed without a replacement. However, this doesn’t mean that you should prefer a temporary fix. If the roof must be replaced from the perspective of safety, cost-savings should not be the priority.

3. Can You Provide an Inspection Report?

Before you get a quote from them, make sure there is a professional roof inspection involved. What does a detailed report encompass? It must include:

  • Photos of the problem areas
  • Recommendations for problem resolution
  • List of pricing options

A detailed inspection means that the contractor has complete knowledge of your roof. There can be no accurate solution or quote if the roofer has not conducted a thorough inspection.

4. How Will You Handle the Risks?

As already mentioned, any roof work is a major job. Since it is done at a height, the risks are further elevated. While your intention is to ensure everyone’s safety, you should enquire if the roofing contractor has insurance. You should know that issues with home renovation projects are the most common consumer complaints with the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services. And a significant percentage of them are related to roofing projects.

This makes it as much more important to know the risks to avoid:

  • Poor workmanship
  • Legal liabilities
  • Scams

You must protect your interests as a consumer from the moment the roofer lays a step on your property. Provincial laws require that roofing workers must:

  • Be protected when working at heights of 10 feet or more
  • Have completed training to work safely at heights
  • Have training in handling workplace safety hazards

Ask the contractor how strictly they adhere to the OHSA Act.

5. Will You Offer a Lifetime Workmanship Warranty?

Make sure your roofing contractor offers a lifetime workmanship warranty. If they don’t, the cost of any issues arising after their work will have to be borne by you. A warranty means that you will be working with a company that values their work and clients. Make sure to get it in writing. 

You should also enquire who will be offering the warranty on the materials. Most manufacturers offer a warranty on their products only if they are handled by well-trained and certified roofers. 

Hiring the right roofing contractor can be a challenge. But finding answers to these questions can certainly make your job much easier and faster. 

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