A home's roof is the first line of defense against the elements. Even a minor leak can lead to catastrophic mold growth, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars to remove.
To protect their largest investments, homeowners should make sure their roofs are in good condition. This usually means working with a reputable roofing contractor to inspect, repair or replace an aging or damaged roof as needed. But how do you know if you are working with a reputable contractor who can provide quality service and materials?
In most cases, this involves asking the right questions and following through with a little research. According to Eric Brown from Denver's A to Z Roofing, this can help differentiate experienced, knowledgeable roofers from less reputable contractors who are unable - or unwilling - to provide quality service.
"Many roofers are only able to provide a limited scope of services," said Brown. "They may be able to repair minor damage without much trouble. If you hire them to remove and replace a roof, however, things get iffy. Many times, a smaller contractor will enthusiastically take on a job only to realize they are in over their head. Unfortunately, it's the homeowner who pays the price."
When hiring a roofing contractor, it's important to make sure they have the experience and expertise to provide a full scope of services. This includes everything from partial and complete roof replacement to roof repair, gutter and downspout replacement, low-slope and flat roof installations, energy-efficient roof upgrades and, if necessary, commercial roofing installation.
To ensure that they are working with a reputable contractor, homeowners need to do their due diligence. Unfortunately, it's common for homeowners to rush into the hiring process.
"Many homeowners fail to properly vet a roofing contractor before they sign a contract," said Brown. "Sadly, there are far too many unscrupulous roofers out there who will charge a high price for quality materials and then go on to use lesser-quality materials and provide shoddy workmanship that won't hold up against the elements and Father Time."
To help determine whether a roofer is reputable, homeowners need to find out how the contractor plans to approach the job. This means asking whether they will remove the existing roof or just shingle over it. It also means asking if they plan to protect gutters by using ladder standoffs and if they plan to bring a container along to hold refuse material.
According to Brown, it's also critical that homeowners make sure they are working with a licensed roofer.
"Knowing whether a roofer is licensed will give you legal recourse if the roof fails months after the job is complete," he said. "It will also help make sure you are working with a professional who is familiar with Colorado's stringent state codes."
Homeowners also need to protect themselves from liability by ensuring that a contractor has workman's comp insurance. While this is required by law, some less-reputable contractors are willing to risk going without. Even if they have worker's comp insurance, the contractor may work with subcontractors who don't. If anyone on the job site gets injured, the homeowner could be held liable for medical expenses.
"In addition to workman's comp insurance, the homeowner needs to make sure the contractor has general liability insurance," said Brown. "This will protect the homeowner from having to pay for any damage to their property or a neighbor's property that might occur as a result of the contractor's work."
If a homeowner has hired a roofer to perform an inspection, it's important to verify all these things before they let them up on their roofs.
"Many people are surprised to learn that roofing scams usually begin with a so-called free inspection," said Brown. "Once you let the scammer onto your roof, they will often pull up shingles and fabricate damage to help make a sale. These days, they may even show you photos of a different roof on their smartphone and claim that you are looking at damage atop your roof."
This is why it's so important for homeowners to make sure the contractor is a local provider with a local phone number, Colorado license plate, and local brick-and-mortar street address. This will help protect the homeowner from unscrupulous roofers who travel state-to-state pulling scams.
About A to Z Roofing
For a quarter of a century, A to Z Roofing has developed a well-earned reputation as one of Colorado's premier roofing contractors. We've done this by using only the finest roofing materials and delivering quality workmanship and unrivaled customer service.
At A to Z Roofing, we specialize in flawless residential, commercial and multi-family roofing and repair. Locally owned and operated, we've been working continuously in Colorado for nearly three decades, serving the roofing needs of businesses and homeowners throughout Colorado's Front Range.