Things to Know When Looking for a Roofing Company
A roof is essential to protecting your home and keeping you sheltered. This structure blocks rain, wind, sun, snow and debris from damaging your belongings and household, making it a significant investment for anyone. With so much money and safety riding on your roof, finding the best roofing company possible is vital.
Whether you need a professional to replace, install or repair your roof, you need to know their qualifications, reviews, process, pricing and more to ensure you’re getting the right roofing contractor for the job. Don’t just rely on price to find the best company — vet potential roofers thoroughly, so you aren’t left with a subpar roof.
With so much information to learn and keep track of, where do you start? Check out our helpful guide on what to look for in a roofing company so you can get a high-quality, durable roof that protects you for years to come.
How to Know if You Need a New Roof
Before finding a roofing contractor, you should first make sure you need a new roof. Sometimes, vegetation builds up or a few shingles are loose and you might think the whole roof should go. These could also be signs you simply need some roof repair and maintenance. Evaluate your roof thoroughly so you can be sure a brand new roof is necessary.
1. Your Roof Is Old
While roofs are built to last many years, yours may be at the end of its life span. Some roof materials can last over 100 years if well-maintained, but any roof will degrade with enough time. According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, here’s how long roof materials will last:
- Metal: 40 to 80 years
- Concrete: 100+ years
- Asphalt shingles: 20+ years
- Slate: 60 to 150 years
- Wood: 25 years
- Copper: 70+ years
There are many factors that can influence roofs. The exact life span of your roof will depend on material quality, building, design, climate and maintenance. If your roof has had a long life, it might be time for a replacement.
2. Vegetation Growth
While some moss and plant growth on your roof can just mean you need a roof cleaning, lots of vegetation might be a problem. For example, moss can crack and push up your shingles, creating gaps. These gaps let water and moss inside your roof, causing expensive problems when left unchecked. If you see lots of vegetation on your roof and have cracked or bent shingles, you could have mold or moisture damage that requires professional work.
3. Extensive Exterior Damage
Examine your roof to check for damage. A few broken, missing or warped shingles probably mean you need a roof repair, but lots of missing or ruined shingles could be a sign that replacement is necessary. Evaluate the overall roof structure. Is it sagging anywhere? Does it feel spongy when you press down on part of it? These are signs of severe water damage that you’ll need to take care of.
After looking at the outside of your roof, head up to the attic and upper floors. Check for signs of moisture, like dampness or mold. If you see signs of or notice dripping water under your roof, you’ve got a leak. Look for any spots where sunlight is shining through, as well. An undamaged roof doesn’t have any holes of light coming in. If you notice any signs of a leak, contact a roofing company immediately for an evaluation.
Independent Contractors vs. Roofing Companies
Once you’ve decided you need roof servicing, it’s time to call a professional. Avoid handling roof work on your own if you don’t have professional roofing experience — they can be dangerous to work on, and you might create more damage in the long run.
There are two options when looking for roof services — independent contractors and residential roofing companies. Both can get your roof job done, but you should pick the one best suited to your needs:
- Independent contractors: Typically, independent contractors can be good for smaller roofing repair jobs. Since it’s only one person, any repairs or replacements will probably take longer than a roofing company. Also, since they’re independent, it can be challenging to track down independent contractors for further assistance if you have warranty or job issues.
- Roofing companies: Since roofing companies are larger, they can easily handle bigger jobs like roof replacements. Additionally, they can offer roof repairs so you can get all your roofing needs in one place. Because you’re working with a company, you can usually get good deals, extended warranties and quick turnaround times. Quality roofing companies also tend to offer fast, reliable repair services and are easier to contact for roofing questions.
Ultimately, independent contractors can be great for small jobs and maintenance, but you’ll want to choose a residential roofing company for faster repairs and larger roofing jobs.
Finding a Reliable Roofing Company
When looking for roofing companies and home repairs, homeowners often rely only on price to help them find the best match. While you should always consider the price when choosing a service company, you should make sure a company ticks other boxes on your list, too — just because services align with your budget doesn’t mean they suit your situation in other ways.
Here are some tips to help you narrow down your search:
1. Make a List
To get started, hop on your computer and start searching for roofing companies. It’ll take you some time to compile a list of potential companies — read company websites, check out reviews and look at pictures of the company’s work if they’re available. Also, check their ratings with groups like the Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List and Home Advisor. These groups do a great job of vetting potential companies for customers.
2. Pick Your Top Three to Five
After you’ve done some research, narrow your list down to your top three to five companies. This step will give you a smaller list to vet and leaves you with options if you dig deeper and don’t like one of your first picks. Once you’ve assembled your top choices, it’s time to contact them.
3. Schedule a Quote Call
Set up a quote call with your top roofing choices. Many companies provide free estimates, so all you have to do is take time out of your day to meet with them at your home. Someone will typically examine the interior and exterior of your roof so they can provide you with an estimate for the job cost. An estimate gives you a ballpark idea of what the roof replacement cost will be and is the perfect way to see if you like the professionalism and services of a company.
4. Get Your Quote in Writing
Always ensure you receive a written copy of the estimate. A good roofing company will visit your home, evaluate the roof and get back to you within a week with a quote. The estimate you receive should be well-written, prompt and detailed. If the company won’t give you a quote in writing or takes too long to provide you with one, move on to the next roofer.
5. Choose Based on More Than Price
The estimates you receive should help you narrow your list down even further, but don’t only rely on price — higher estimates can also mean you’re getting a better, faster service and even extra perks like lifetime warranties. Overall, choose a company with exceptional customer service, good reviews, warranties and insurance that you can trust.
What to Look for in a Residential Roofing Company
There’s no question that a roof replacement is a serious investment. Therefore, you want to be sure you’re in capable, professional hands with the roofing company you pick to work on your home. Finding the best company for the job means looking into their background, reviewing their work and getting a summary of what the job entails.
Once you know the general search process, start gathering information on the roofing companies you’re interested in. Getting all the information you need will help you narrow your search so you can start obtaining quotes and asking essential questions. Some things to look for in a roofing company include:
1. Licensing and Insurance
Due to its hazardous nature, roofing requires safety equipment, specific tools and experience to get the job done safely and correctly. Good roofing companies will have all their licenses and permits to ensure the safety of their teams and the customer.
Additionally, reputable roofers have insurance in case one of their workers gets hurt on the job. This protects the company and its workers and keeps everything legal and covered. Avoid unlicensed and uninsured roofing companies — they’re riskier and don’t have the proper precautions in place for handling roof emergencies and work.
2. Company Age
While a company could be excellent at roofing after being in business for three months, businesses with a long operation history can be a safer bet for homeowners, especially when it comes to major roofing projects. If a company has been working on homes and roofs for over 20 years, you can usually know they’re a reliable roofer.
Specifically, company age is important after a local storm or natural disaster. If you’re looking to repair your roof after a tornado or hurricane affected your area, only look into the most well-known, established companies you can find. Unfortunately, some companies try to capitalize on weather-related circumstances, performing shoddy work for steep prices. Do your best to avoid buying into any scams.
3. Positive Reviews and Testimonials
While not every review for a company will be positive, reviews can be an excellent way to vet a company initially. Look for patterns in the reviews and testimonials listed online and on the company’s website. Are the complaints limited and mostly one-offs? Do the positive reviews say the work and customer service are good? Is there a similar complaint in the negative reviews?
Along with reading online reviews, call up the roofing company and ask them for some customer references — they should be happy and willing to give you that information. What did the contacts like about the company? Did they enjoy working with them? Is the roof good quality? These references can give you valuable one-on-one interaction with customers who have firsthand experience with the roofing company.
While DIY repairs leave you without a safety net if something goes wrong, professional work usually has a protection policy for customers. Both material and service warranties help you experience less stress if your roof is damaged after the job is completed. Lifetime warranties can cover certain repairs and replacements for your roof for the duration of its expected life span.
5. Post-Work Cleanup
Another thing to ask about when finding a roofing company is their post-work cleanup. Once you choose a company and get a job set up, you’ll receive a written contract that details the entire process, but knowing some of the operations ahead of time is especially helpful. A reputable company will handle the cleanup of the job themselves so you aren’t left with a mess on your hands.
Usually, roofing cleanup covers essential cleaning and material removal. The company will clean up debris and sawdust and use magnets to pick up any screws and nails. Ideally, they’ll perform a thorough cleaning job at the end of each day to keep your property safe. Getting a cleanup guarantee protects your property and family from damage and ensures your roof looks clean and brand new.
Whether you look more into timelines after getting an estimate or find a company’s estimated completion times on their website, knowing the length of the job can help you make a decision. Great roofing companies can often get a roofing job done in a few days or less, depending on the extent of it. The official timeline will be established when you select a company and draw up a contract, but you want to know initially that they’ll be professional and efficient.
7. Old Roof Removal
Check to make sure the company will remove your old roof before putting down new work. For a roof replacement, you want the entire roof to be removed and replaced to ensure it’s strong and has no hidden damages. While total replacement is more expensive, you’ll save money in the long run by not having to replace your roof in the near future.
8. Unplanned Repairs
Ask potential roofing companies how they handle unexpected repairs. Even with a visual roof inspection, a roofing company might not see the issue’s full extent until work has begun. Sometimes, water or moisture has damaged the decking or interior of a roof. See how they approach unplanned repairs and what they do to work through them.
9. Financing Transparency
Because replacing a roof is a considerable investment, many roofing businesses offer financing options for their customers. These payment plans allow people to pay for their new roofs over time. If you’re thinking about financing the roofing project, make sure the company you choose is transparent about their payment options throughout the entire experience.
Always get financing agreements in writing. If you have any questions or concerns about the agreement, you should be able to speak with an employee about them to get clarity. Never sign anything unless you’re fully confident in the terms and the company — a business worth partnering with will be fully transparent about all things financial throughout the process.
Questions to Ask a Roofing Company
Going through all of the research might be a lot to keep track of, especially when you’re already dealing with the stress of needing a roof replacement. To help you navigate the process and get all of the information you need, here are some questions you can ask to help you choose a roofing contractor:
Find out if a roofing company has the qualifications to perform the roofing job professionally and correctly.
- Is your company licensed and bonded?
- How long have you been in business?
- Is your company local?
- Can I see completed projects?
- Do you have reviews online?
- Do you have references I can call?
- What is the response time if I have any questions?
- What is your approval rating?
- How many jobs have you performed?
- Do you have comprehensive project audits?
Warranties and Safety
How will the company keep your property and their workers safe on the job?
- Are you insured?
- What level of insurance do you have?
- How do you protect your workers?
- How will you protect my house?
- How will you protect my driveway or surrounding property?
- How do you emphasize safety during the roofing process?
- What kinds of material and roofing warranties do you offer?
Get a ballpark estimate of costs and fees associated with the job.
- Do you perform free inspections and estimates?
- How do you handle payment?
- Does the cost include materials?
- How will you avoid going over the project budget?
- How will you handle unexpected damages?
- Do I need a building permit for the roofing job? When will you have the permit ready?
Learn what the roofing project will involve and how the company will approach unexpected costs and delays.
- How soon can you schedule my roofing project?
- What percentage of your jobs are started and completed on time?
- Will you inspect my roof before beginning the project?
- Will you update me on anything you need before starting the project?
- How will your roofers leave my property and the end of each day?
- Will you handle the cleanup? What does that involve?
- How long will my project take?
- What happens if the project goes over the time estimate?
Contact Coldstream Exteriors for Your Roofing Needs
If you want high-quality, professional roofing services you can depend on, choose Coldstream Exteriors for your next roofing project. With over 25 years of experience, we offer safe, efficient roof work to customers in the St. Louis, Tampa and Cincinnati areas. Whether you need general roof repairs or a complete replacement, you can trust our expert team to deliver the best possible roof work for your home.
We offer material and project warranties along with multiple financing options so you can get the best value for your budget. We also don’t ask for payment until the project is complete, ensuring you receive full services before paying for the job. Our customer service is exceptional — we’re A+ rated by the Better Business Bureau and a Home Advisor Elite Service company.
Don’t wait to get your roof inspected. Talk to our team about roof repairs or replacement today. If you need siding, windows or roof work, Coldstream Exteriors is the company to trust. To schedule your free inspection, contact us!