First, inspect your roof from the ground using a pair of binoculars. For your own safety, leave climbing onto your roof to a professional. See below for specific items to look for.
If your roof is leaking, your repair bills will not only include the roof repair, but the cost of items associated with the roof leak. For example: the repair or replacement of insulation, drywall, paint, furniture and flooring. Not to mention the longer you wait the more damage that can occur, which means more money out of your pocket.

The first thing to consider is the age of the roof. If the roof is over twenty years it may be a good idea to have it looked at. Check the appearance of the shingles. Are they curling up or are there a lot of missing shingles or granules? You should use a pair of binoculars to inspect the roof. We do not advise climbing on your roof if you are not comfortable, gravity never sleeps and it only takes an instant to find yourself in trouble.

Again, I would consider the age and the appearance of the roof. Very often a roof can be repaired and perform for many additional years. Roofing repair is both an art and a science but there are many common issues that are easily solved. Many companies do not do repair work and will tell you that your roof needs to be replaced no matter what. Most of these companies use subcontractors to do their work and most of them are not interested in them. Another issue is that on occasion the first repair might not solve the problem as there can be more than one issue and they are not interested in trying again. We did over 1000 repairs last year with a 95% success rate on the first attempt.
Some years ago, one of the roofing manufacturers changed their warranty to a Lifetime Shingle. Soon all of the manufacturers followed suit. These warranties pro-rate the shingles over 50 years. In my opinion, a quality architectural shingle should last 30 years. They may last 50 but by then are likely to be so weather beaten that they will look terrible.
There are many different roofing materials available and we would be happy to show you the various products and explain the pros and cons. It usually comes down to what fits your budget. The majority of the roofing that we do is architectural asphalt shingles. They are attractive and affordable. If you want something to make your home stand out we can show you many houses that we have done in the area.
Roofing costs vary widely according to size of the house and steepness of the roof. Another variable will be the cost of labor. Many companies use low-priced subcontractors that are not properly insured. It is very difficult to determine whether this is the case but is very important because this insurance not only protects the workers but also protects you the homeowner.
Flashing covers a wide range of issues but is basically the material that prevents water from penetrating the roof at places lake wall, skylights, plumbing pipes, furnace pipes, etc. We will gladly explain to you and show you what these important parts of you roof do.
Beware of the people that knock on your door saying you have roof damage. They are usually sales representative from storm chasing companies that are more interested in insurance money than your roof. Most of them are from out of the area and subscribe to companies that issue hail reports from throughout the country. They will set up a local office and swarm the neighborhoods telling you that they can get you a free roof from your insurance company, “just sign here.” I always say that you can tell they are lying if their lips are moving. These companies come in, do a lot of roofs (often roofs that were perfectly fine) and in a year they are gone. If you have a legitimate hail claim, a local company can get that roof for you as well. My advice is to stick with a company you can trust to give you an honest assessment and will be here years down the road.

Not sure if you need work done? Just give us a call or e-mail. We can evaluate your roof honestly, and let you know what’s going on up there.

Helpful Tips

  1. Interview your contractor. Whether you speak with the owner or a sales rep, they should be able to explain the details of what your installation will require and answer your questions about a new roof or replacement roof. The salesperson should show pride and enthusiasm in discussing the project. The salesperson should also be knowledgeable in the actual job and steps involved.

  2. What is the full name of the company? Do some investigating. It should have an address, not just a P.O. box number. Try to hire a local company. The likely hood of better service and quicker response time is greater if the company is based near your home.

  3. A contractor should carry comprehensive liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance to protect you in the event of a roofing accident. This can be verified by asking to see the contractor’s certificates of insurance (workers’ compensation and general liability). Let the contractor know you want current certificates sent to you by the insurer before the job is started. Contractors may also carry other kinds of insurance including health, life and auto insurance. Bland assurances of insurance coverage may refer to these. Don’t be confused. Ask for proof of general liability and workers’ compensation coverage for roofing projects.
    < See "Worker Accidents" and "Uninsured Contractors" below >

  4. Ask for referrals, preferably in your area, and call them as well as drive by. Ask his customers specifically for information about these four things:
    • Did he perform his work on a timely basis?
    • Was he responsive when asked for information and changes?
    • Did he act as if he cared about the customers interest?
    • Would you call the company trustworthy?

  5. Is the company a licensed or credentialed contractor?

    When you pose this question, you are, in effect, asking if the contractor is licensed by your state and/or city. Not all states require contractors to be licensed. If your state does license contractors, then he might have had to pass a written examination in his specialty, although few licenses make this a requirement. A number of cities also require professional licensing. Check with your local licensing authority for details.

  6. How long has the company been in business?

    Needless to say, longer is usually better. Under three years may signal an unstable business or one low on the learning curve. On the other hand, everybody has to start somewhere. References will be helpful to doublecheck any business, and are especially important when dealing with a new business. A newer business may have a great future but it is only reasonable to be more careful when considering its referrals. The failure rate of small businesses in the first three years is very high.

  7. Expect the estimator to go up on the roof to inspect it and take accurate measurements. He should also evaluate siding, soffits, fascia, decking, gutters and downspouts, chimneys and flashing and landscaping near the job site.

  8. Expect to be shown samples of roofing materials and to have the differences in their properties and warranties explained. Make sure you understand how various materials affect the cost to replace a roof.

  9. Be wary of any request for a deposit more than half on the price of a new roof or payment in advance for materials. Typically, payment is due upon invoicing or on completion of the project.

Be aware that if a worker is injured on your property, the homeowner might be held liable for all costs unless the employee is covered by workers’ compensation insurance. Hospital bills for serious accidents can be extraordinarily expensive. Contractors who carry insurance and follow safety guidelines on fall prevention endure higher job overhead costs. These expenses could be the cause
Roofers who do not carry insurance will most likely be cheaper to hire as they do not have the large insurance premiums to pay. Workers’ compensation premiums can increase wage costs from about 20% to as much as 100%, depending on the state. There are a variety of reasons why full insurance may not be carried by a contractor, such as:
  • Not a full-time contractor
  • Operates as a partnership or self-employed without employees
  • New in the business
  • Can't afford insurance premiums
  • Doesn't stand behind work

It is up to you to determine if it is worth the risk to hire a contractor who does not carry insurance.