We are no strangers to snow in Minnesota. But when it comes to hailstorms, homeowners must make decisions. One of those decisions is taking on the task of hiring a roofing contractor to inspect and repair any weather-damaged roofs. Fortunately the CAM is here to provide you with a definitive guideline that will help you make that decision in an informed and smart way. This ensures that the work done on your roof will be done right.
The Importance of a Roof
Shelter is one of the necessary needs of a person. Roofs protect the structure of your home from the natural elements as well as keep you protected and safe, so keeping a solid roof over your head becomes a top priority. Bad hailstorms can accelerate the rate of damage to your roof, leaving it vulnerable to leaks, rot, mold, and other structural issues caused by hail damage. This is why it’s so important to hire a professional roofing contractor to evaluate any damage that nature has done on your home.
Go with a Reputable Source
Not all contractors may be reputable. If you get someone knocking at your door asking for you to sign a paper to grant an inspection on your roof, don’t sign it right away. It’s not wise to assume this document is just an estimate or permission to see your roof. Much of the time this is an actual roofing contract that includes a 20% cancellation fee in one of its clauses. Always know what you’re getting into and don’t feel pressured to sign anything you are not certain about!
Check out more than one contractor. If you’re not sure what a reputable contractor looks like, a good point of measurement is to make sure your contractor has been in business for at least as long as the warranty they offer. Check their rating on the BBB, and make sure they are licensed in your area. It’s important that your contractor knows your building’s code requirements.
Stay Calm After A Big Storm
Understand that many quality contractors will be busy after a major storm, so take the time to follow all the necessary steps. Find out what you need and who you’ll be working with, and always go with someone you are comfortable with working on your roof. Unless your roof is leaking, it can usually wait until you can schedule with a preferred contractor. Oftentimes insurance companies are lenient after major storms and other disaster situations.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Talk with your insurance company in the event of a major storm damage. While it is the homeowner’s job to choose a contractor, it is the job of the insurance adjustor to assess the damage. Deductibles and insurance quotes are done between the homeowner and the insurance company, and a roofing contractor should not be involved in paying a deductible for the homeowner. The most a roofing contractor can do is give you an initial estimate.
When looking for a Minnesota roofing contractor, it is always a good idea to have more than one contractor evaluate the damage. Compare the different bids you receive. A good estimate should be detailed, itemized, and include materials to be used and the labor needed to complete. It is always important to receive a time-frame for the roofing work. A contractor should be able to give you a rough estimate for everything.
Use Common Sense
Low bids may seem nice, but they can also mean that someone is cutting corners when working on your house. Make sure you are 100% aware of the labor, materials, and other factors that go into your roofing repair project. Don’t feel pressured to make a decision right away–play it smart and you’ll be happy with your outcome.
Seek Transparency in your Contract
Your roofing contractors should be transparent and honest about their qualifications. Make sure you verify a contractor’s proof of insurance, which includes Workers’ Compensation and General Liability. Make sure this is done before signing a contract.
The Agreement should clearly state the labor, materials, and anything else that will go into your roofing repair project. It should state how long you have to accept the prices quoted as well as any penalties for cancellation. The Warranty should be given in writing and the contractor should provide you with a sample for you to review before you sign your contract. Always discuss payment, and you should not make a payment until you are satisfied with the completed work.
HAIL DAMAGE CAN CREATE CARBON MONOXIDE RISKS! After a hailstorm, check for damage on the ventilation caps on your chimney or furnace. Type B vents, which are used as exhaust pipes for gas furnaces and water heaters, can also become damaged by hail. Flattened pipes can prevent gas from escaping and cause a buildup of carbon monoxide. Last but not least, always make sure you have working carbon monoxide detectors.
IMPROPER VENTILATION AFTER ROOF REPAIRS! Moving vent stacks on the roof can unintentionally cause a carbon monoxide leak. These can further be unintentionally masked after roof repair. Generally this is caused by new or uneducated roofing contractors. Always make sure you are working with an experienced roofing contractor for major roofing repairs.