In Arizona,the sun and wind can take a toll on your home’s roof, so it’s important to know how to handle any roof replacements you might have to undergo. Here are some general tips to know about replacing your roof, followed by some common warning signs that a roofer might not be totally legitimate.
Things You Should Know
- Trying to skimp and cut corners is not always a good idea. This concept applies to pretty much any investment you’ll encounter in your life, home renovation project or otherwise. Using top-quality products such as shingles with a 30- or 50-year guarantee will ensure that you won’t have to worry about replacing your roof anytime soon again. Using poor-quality products (and, by extension, hiring a cheap or shady roofer) is likely to result in more problems down the road. That being said, if the cost of materials and installation is a problem, be honest about it! Reputable roofers will try and come to a compromise and should do a good job presenting you with reliable options that are more able to fit your budget, even if they’re not necessarily luxury or professional-grade.
- New roofing materials are cranked out every decade or so (even more recently with technology on the upswing). Every manufacturer will hawk their product as the best, most weather-resistant, long-lasting roofing or shingle material on the market. Avoid the scams by hiring a local roofer who’s familiar with the Arizona sunshine and heat, which can cause certain shingle materials to split and dry up if exposed to the elements for too long. Chances are, if you’re from Arizona, you’ll need something durable.
- Ask about solar paneling. The Arizona sunshine provides a great opportunity to harness green energy, which is not only good for the environment but can help shave dollars off of your electricity bill. Chances are, not all roof-laying companies install solar panels, but you can ask about what type of roofing material is ideal for laying solar panels on top, if that’s a step you plan to take in the future.
- Roofing is an inconvenient project, and as the roofing employers are working on your home, you should expect it to be loud and crowded. A reputable roofer will try and keep the disturbance to a minimum, but the loud scraping and banging sounds as the roof is drilled and hammered in simply can’t be helped.
Additionally, materials such as shingles and installation tools may take up a lot of space in your garage or driveway, so be prepared. If you’re a parent to small children or have a lot of pets, it’s a good idea to ask what you can expect the roofing experience to be like before you agree to it.
Cautions and Warnings for Roof Replacement Rookies
Research the contractor or company. Look at the company’s history because a scamming roofing companies close down every few years and reopen the practice under a different name. This stunt is pulled by roofers who want to avoid liability after installation, because if a company goes out of business after installing a roof, any warranty or recourse that was in place is rendered void. Take the time to verify long a license-holding roofer has been a part of this business. If you know the license information and the owner’s name, you can pretty easily look up how many different licenses have been issued to a single holder, and how many companies they have opened.
- Many roofers across the country try to avoid pulling a permit if they can for two main reasons. One, the application and issuance fees can cost hundreds of dollars, so the roofer will save money; and two, no official permits means there are no official inspections or follow-ups, allowing the roofer to possibly get away with using cheaper materials or performing a mediocre job that will need replacement sooner. That’s why you want to make sure, before you sign anything, that you can see all permits necessary and that everything is up to the standards of an official inspector.
- Before you agree to work with a roofer, confirm that they’re fluent in recent code updates and have been cleared to use materials in a certain way by the manufacturer. As new supplies are put out and material specifications are updated, local ordinances and codes are subject to change. What passed as a safe, high-quality roof installation ten years ago is probably not up to code today. Sure, it will do the job of protecting you from the sun and wind, but it could cause potential issues with insurance down the line. Ask about code-based warranties to let your potential roofer know that you’re not trying to get into any trouble.
- Similar to code issues, another logistical problem that you could face is if a product or material is used for some purpose or as a component of a system that does not follow the manufacturer's specifications. This allows the manufacturer of that material or product to get hit with less liability, which unfortunately could end up on your hands. Make sure your potential roofer has been certified by the manufacturer to not only handle their supplies but to use each component in the appropriate way.
- Reading up on OSHA regulations could be a good idea, even if you don’t feel like doing any homework, and don’t be afraid to ask a potential roofer any questions you may have. OSHA guidelines are put in place to protect construction employees, since no company wants to be liable for an injured employee. Unfortunately, that blame could fall on you if you hire a roofer who doesn’t abide by OSHA regulations.
So there you have it, pretty much everything you need to know about what replacing a roof might entail. The bottom line is to ask questions and do your research before you hire one roofer over another. It might take some time and patience, but these tips should lead you to the roof of your dreams!