Q. What steps should be taken when I suspect damage to my roofing system?
1. Do not call your insurance company right away, you want to make sure there is damage on your property before you file an insurance claim.
2. Have a Roofing contractor do a free, no obligation damage inspection. Always ask for photo documentation and have the contractor explain to you the general condition of the roof and their findings to any hail damage.
3. If the roofer does find hail damage. You can either call your local agent and tell them you had a roofer look at your roof to verify hail damage and that you need to file a claim or you can call your insurance companies 800 catastrophe number.
However, your agent will be most familiar with your policy and we suggest you contact them to file your claim.
4. When a claim is filed the insurance company will assign your claim to an adjuster to verify damage and scope your property. We recommend having your roofing contractor meet the adjuster at the time the adjuster does their initial scope and assessment. This will ensure that the adjuster and the roofing contractor can agree on the proper roof scope, quicker cycle time on your claim, and no re inspections. This all ensures that you can have your roof put on sooner.
5. In most cases the contractor and insurance write different scopes, measurements and estimates. If all parties are present together this will ensure your claim is not needlessly delayed.
Q. What qualities and standards should I look for when choosing a roofing contractor?
Buying a new roof system is an important investment. Before spending your hard-earned money, spend some time learning how to evaluate the roofing contractor who may be doing the work. You should insist on working with a professional roofing contractor. The National Roofing Contractors Association wants to assist you in getting the kind of results you expect, a quality roof system.
All roofing contractors are not alike, and the NRCA recommends that you prequalify roofing contractors to get the job done right the first time. The following guidelines will help you in your decision making process:
Check for a permanent place of business, telephone number, tax I.D. number, and where required, a business license.
Insist on seeing copies of the contractor’s liability insurance coverage and workers’ compensation certificates; make sure the coverage’s are in effect through the duration of the job and the location of the job.
Check to see whether the contractor is properly licensed or bonded. Check your states licensing board for your state’s specific requirements.
Insist on a written proposal and examine it for complete descriptions of the work and specifications, including approximate starting and completion dates and payment procedures.
Call your local Better Business Bureau to check for any complaints that have been filed and if the company takes care of complaints.
Have the contractor explain his project supervision and quality control procedures. Request the name of the person who will be in charge, how many workers will be required and estimated to complete the job.
Carefully read and understand any roofing warranty offered and watch for provision that would void it. Keep a healthy skepticism about the lowest bid. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Remember, price is only one criterion for selecting a roofing contractor. Professionalism and quality workmanship also should weigh heavily on your decision.
Does the contractor provide a lien release upon completion and final payment?