Every property owner needs to ensure their roof remains in good shape. This involves regular inspections along with timely repairs. The choice of roofing contractor plays a role in properly maintaining a roof. How should a business owner go about making this choice?
What to Look for in a Contractor
Commercial roofs vary greatly from residential roofs, in many cases. For this reason, it is essential to hire someone with experience in commercial roofing services. To learn more about these differences, click here.
For example, many commercial buildings have flat roofs. In contrast, residential homes have sloped roofs. Repairs differ significantly between these two roofing options, which is why the contractor who did the business owner’s residential roof might not be appropriate for repairs to the roof of their business.
Licensing and Insurance
Never work with a roofing contractor unless they can show they have the proper licensing and insurance. Many states require roofers to be licensed, and it falls on the property owner to ensure this license remains valid.
In addition, follow up with their insurance company to be certain their workers’ compensation and liability insurance remain in effect. No business owner wants to learn their property has been damaged or an employee of the roofing company has been hurt while on their property and the contractor doesn’t have insurance. The property owner could then become responsible for any bills associated with the incident.
Ask About a Bond
Imagine having a roofing contractor come out and start a job, only to walk away before it is finished. Sadly, this can happen. How will the homeowner resolve this problem and have the work completed?
Another roofing contractor may not be willing to take on the job. They worry that the first contractor cut corners or didn’t do the work properly and they will be held responsible. The property owner might find they cannot get someone to finish the work.
Although most states don’t require roofing contractors to secure a bond, try to find a contractor who has taken this step willingly if it isn’t mandated. This bond will kick in if a contractor walks away before the job is completed.
It will also compensate the property owner if the contractor did not live up to the contract. It’s an added layer of protection a business owner might wish to have.
Speak with several roofing contractors to learn about different roofing options. Ask them to explain the benefits and drawbacks of each option. If a contractor cannot or will not answer these questions, look elsewhere. Many people assume their only option is asphalt rolls, for example, but there are numerous other options today. This includes spray polyurethane foam and acrylic coatings.
When speaking with roofing contractors, learn where their business is located. Require a physical address before agreeing to have any work done. During times of bad weather, people often go door-to-door offering roofing services. Don’t work with one of these contractors unless they can provide a local business address.
The business owner needs to know the roofer will be available if a problem arises once the work is complete. If the business is not local, it may not be around to help in this situation. Always work with someone local for prompt service.
A Written Quote
Demand a written quote from each contractor that is interviewed. Never take their word on the work that will be done. When it is in writing, they must comply with the contract or face legal action and a loss of their license.
This quote should include all information related to the project. This includes the materials that will be used, who will be doing the work, who is responsible for hauling the trash away, and more. Ensure they include the project deadline or timetable in this quote, as well.
Detailed information in the quote is of help if there are any problems as the project moves forward. Both parties can refer back to this contract to see what was agreed upon. This helps to resolve many disputes before they escalate.
Every roof should come with a warranty. There are two parts to this warranty. The roofing material manufacturer warranties its products, and the roofing contractor should warranty its work. The manufacturer’s warranty is often significantly longer than the warranty provided by the roofing contractor.
Learn who will be responsible for labor costs if the problem is determined to be caused by the product rather than work done by the contractor. It may fall on the business owner to pay for labor for any repairs associated with product defects.
Always ask for references from a roofing company. A minimum of three references is best, as this provides a bigger picture of the company and of how it operates. If the company refuses to provide references, choose to work with someone else.
These references should provide detailed information about the customer’s experience with the company. If the reference is only one or two sentences long, this won’t be of much help.
It’s best to read online reviews from prior customers before choosing a roofing contractor, as well. When the roofing contractor provides references, they are going to choose those customers they know were satisfied with their work. Online reviews allow a potential customer to get a more accurate view of the business.
There will always be dissatisfied customers, regardless of what a business owner does. Keep this in mind when reading these reviews. Experts recommend throwing out the worst reviews and the best. Look at those that provide both the positives and negatives when working with the contractor.
Take into account the overall rating of the business rather than one review. This ensures the decision isn’t made based on one customer who could not be satisfied or a review written by a company employee posing as a customer. Sadly, this does happen, and people need to be aware of it.
When the time comes to replace a commercial roof, the business owner must thoroughly research all contractors to find the right company for the job. Do a Google search for available commercial roofing contractors and speak with other business owners to see who they have used with great success. Always talk with a minimum of three contractors before making a choice to ensure the right decision is made.