Natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes and tornadoes reveal best among people, as complete strangers help the victims. However, such calamities also bring to fore the worst among humans, for who such natural catastrophes are opportunity for business. Roof damage is one of the primary targets of after-disaster scammers. Whether the roof of your house needs replacement due to prolonged use or a disaster has hit it hard, you should take necessary precaution before you hire any roofing contractor.
Consumer inquiries regarding trustworthy roofing contractors exceeded 3.3 millions in 2011, post a natural catastrophe. So, here are certain tips for homeowners for hiring a reliable roofing contractor.
Research: Enquire with your insurance firm about the coverage offered by policy and specific document requirement. Save the receipts if roof need temporary repair.
Keep calm: You may feel anxious about getting everything back to normality, your overwhelming emotion can let others exploit you. Do not feel pressurised for making any immediate decision that can have long-term effect. Select pro-actively rather than reactively.
Shop: In case of major repair, seek estimates from the same materials and specifications from different vendors. Prioritise references older than a year, and verify license and/or registration for working your locality. Besides, ask the local building inspector about building permit requirement.
Avoid pressurising sales tactics: Avoid workers with leftover materials from another contract and without a permanent business office. Check for solicitation permit requirement in your community for door-to-door salespersons.
Trust yourself: Do not pay heed to exhibition roofing contractor who knocks at your door to mention how unsafe your roof has become. If you already have concern, call an engineer for assessment. Some unethical contractors may damage the roof of your house to prove their point and get work.
Ask everything written: Demand a written agreement of contract from you decide to hireany roofing contractor. Make sure that the written document features the name, license number, business address, phone number and other relevant details. Always read the full terms of contract and understand each point. Do not agree to sign on a blank or ambiguous contract. Besides, make sure that there are 2 copies of the contract agreement so that you can posses 1 right from the time you sign.
An indication of genuine roofing contractor is the clarity in his contract agreement. It should have simple, unambiguous and short sentences. The terms are often divided into sub-heads or bullets for utmost clarity. A proposal or an estimate should include the following items:
- Roof type, colour and manufacturer
- Required materials such as ice damp protection membrane and underlayment
- Scope of the roofing work
- Roof replacement or removal
- Whether existing flashings will be reused or replaced, addition of new flashings, metal of flashing, etc.
- Whose responsibility is to replace or repair interior finishing or exterior landscape damaged due to the work
- Installation method
- Payment procedure
- Approximate duration of work
- Warranty coverage and length
- Disposal of older roof
These points give brief idea of what a contract should include. You should improvise according to your requirement.