It’s important to vet your roofing contractor before hiring them. You should be able to rest easy knowing your roof replacement will be done properly if you made sure to vet your roofer. Failure to vet your roofer could leave you vulnerable to shoddy workmanship.
Here’s how some subpar roofers cut corners:
Ridiculously Low Roofing Bids
If a roofing bid seems too good to be true, then it probably is. It might be tempting to hire the roofer with the lowest bid, but this is a common tactic used by shady contractors to attract more customers. Some might offer you a low roofing bid only to raise the price of a roofing replacement later on due to “unforeseen” issues.
Of course, there’s a good chance you may encounter unforeseen roofing costs later on, regardless of how much planning is done for the roofing project. After all, you can never rule out market trends that could raise the price of roofing materials. However, there’s good reason to be suspicious if your roofer suddenly increases roofing costs after putting in a low roofing bid.
Using Substandard Roofing Materials
To maximize their profits, some roofers may use substandard or off-brand roofing materials, which won’t last long. As such, it’s important to ask about your roofer about the brand they’re using. In general, it’s best to stick to reputable brands such as GAF.
Not Using Enough Nails
Yes, some roofers will even skimp on the nails to increase their profits. Shingles that don’t have enough nails can be easily dislodged by strong winds.
One reason why some contractors are able to offer ridiculously low roofing bids is that they subcontract work. The problem with hiring subcontractors is that it’s almost impossible to guarantee the quality of their work. In many cases, the workmanship of subcontractors is substandard.
Other Red Flags to Keep An Eye Out For
Contractors with little regard for customer service and satisfaction deliberately make some of the aforementioned installation errors. However, less-than-qualified contractors are just as likely to make some of these installation errors even though they don’t always intend to.
Here are some of the other red flags you should keep an eye out for:
- Shoddy workmanship – Common signs of shoddy workmanship include dents and scratches on metal panels, exposed roof edges, loose flashing, gaps in the panel seams and too much or not enough sealant. Even seemingly minor installation errors like these can leave your roof vulnerable to moisture damage, which is why only qualified contractors should handle roof installations and emergency roof repair work.
- Irresponsible roofing practices – Any professional contractor should observe standard safety practices and follow the proper steps in installing a roof. Roofing replacements are methodical—steps need to be followed precisely to make sure your new roof’s performance isn’t compromised and accidents are avoided. What are some of the irresponsible roofing practices that are a cause for concern? Leaving the roof panels lying all over the yard (roofing materials left in the open are exposed to the elements), leaving the underlayer exposed for too long (certain types of can only be left exposed to the elements for a certain amount of time), and improper disposal of construction debris (professional contractors usually bring with them a dumpster where they can safely dispose of the debris).
- Difficulty communicating with the project supervisor – Roofing projects are essentially a collaboration between you and your residential and solar roofing contractor, which is why it’s important to hire a contractor you can easily get along with. The general contractor or project foreman supervising the project should give you periodic updates about the progress of your roof replacement. Remember: clear and constant communication is crucial to the success of any roofing project.
- Not following through on their commitments – To ensure your contractor honors their commitments, you should get everything in writing.
Don’t have a lot of time for vetting contractors? Here are some vetting tips:
- Check a contractor’s online reviews – Online reviews can give you a good idea of the level of customer service you can expect from a contractor. Keep in mind that a few negative reviews aren’t necessarily a red flag. After all, miscommunication can happen even in the best circumstances. What you should focus on is the company’s response to the bad review. Did they take the time to respond to customer complaints? And if they did, was it done in a professional manner? What if they don’t have a website? The lack of a website or online presence is a red flag in itself. In this day and age, there’s just no excuse for not having a website.
- Ask for references – Online reviews alone won’t be able to give you the full picture, which is why it’s be a good idea to ask your neighbors or friends if they’ve worked with a residential or solar roofing contractor before.
- Hire local – To narrow down your options, focus your search on contractors near your area. Hiring local contractors has its advantages. For one thing, since they’re more familiar with the local climate and building codes, they can make better recommendations. Also, it’s easier to ask for references and local contractors are known for their personalized service. After all, the success of a local business ultimately depends on its reputation within and support from the local community.
- Find out how long they’ve been working in the industry – The number of years a contractor has been working in the industry will give you a good idea of their level of expertise.
- Check their certifications – Certifications, which are usually given by manufacturers and independent non-profits, are proof a contractor has undergone additional training to expand their skillset.
Why Hire a GAF Master Elite® Contractor?
GAF, one of the most trusted names in the roofing industry, offers several levels of certifications, the highest of which is the Master Elite certification. What are the benefits of hiring a Master Elite contractor?
- Quality workmanship – All GAF Master Elite contractors are properly licensed, adequately insured, committed to ongoing professional training and have a solid reputation with previous customers. The requirements for a Master Elite certification are so stringent that only 2% of the roofing contractors in the country qualify for the certification. As such, if you’re working with a Master Elite contractor, you can rest easy knowing that your roof replacement will be installed properly. Master Elite contractors’ quality workmanship is one reason why an overwhelming majority of customers served by factory-certified contractors were satisfied with the level of service they received. In fact, according to a survey of more than 28,000 homeowners, 93% of the respondents would recommend Master Elite contractors to other homeowners.
- Exclusive warranties – It’s important to keep costs under control, but you shouldn’t get too preoccupied with the costs. What you should focus on instead is maximizing your ROI. One way of doing that is to take advantage of the exclusive warranty options offered by GAF. The Golden Pledge® Warranty is one of GAF’s strongest warranties, offering 50 and 20-year coverage on materials and workmanship, respectively. To learn more about these exclusive warranties, consult a GAF roofing contractor.
Looking for GAF-certified roofers near you? LePage and Sons Roofing LLC, a GAF Master Elite contractor with more than 15 decades of experience, offers a wide range of professional roofing services, including roofing installation and emergency roof repair services. To request a roofing consultation, call us at (508) 295-6483 or fill out this form.