10 Item Checklist – Does Your Roofer Check All The Boxes?
Old Felt on a Roof
1. Remove Existing Materials-
We want to make sure that the job is a brand-new job. If you are going to have a roof that will last 20 – 30 years, the last thing that you want to have is rotten wood decking underneath. Same as with carpet, you would never install new carpet over old carpet, right? Even if the old carpet is clean, you always remove the old carpet before placing down the new.
2. Full Inspection of Existing Decking-
A good roofing company will ALWAYS prepare for the replacement of decking if necessary. Good companies will give you DETAILS. There is always a slight chance that you will need some new wood on your roof deck.
3. Adequate Insulation-
Your Inspector should always go into the attic to check for proper insulation. If they choose not to talk about insulation, you should not consider them for your Roofer. If they do not know or care about the insulation, they DON’T care about the quality of your roof. In the North, if you do not have enough insulation, you are going to have Ice Dams and a lot of issues. In the South, in the summer, you will have excessive heat. You do not want to have moisture in your attic or for your shingles to be baking.
Ventilation is crucial! Your roofing system is like the engine in a car, and the ventilation is like the coolant. Good shingles are like a good engine, but without that coolant system to cool it down, you will be baking it and completely ruining that roof. That includes not only your shingles, but also your plywood, whether it be OSB or regular plywood. It will become soft and weak. Make sure your roofer knows the Codes and Requirements of Ventilation. They need to inspect intakes and outtakes. Most roofs fail prematurely due to improper insulation and ventilation. Also, your shingle warranty will be void if your roofer cuts corners when installing ventilation.
4. Brand Certification-
Your roofer should be brand certified with 1 or 2 major brands and have a good relationship with them. Roofers may tell you that all shingles are the same and that they can install all of them. BE CAREFUL – You cannot be a jack of all trades. You must specialize in one or two. If you were buying a car and I said that all cars are the same, would you believe me? Would you buy a car from me? NO…. More than likely, a salesperson would say that because they don’t care what product you get, they just want to sell you a car. Roofers who say this are doing the same thing; they just want to get the job. Roofers who believe in their product have relationships with the manufacturers. They know why some products are better than others and they will educate and show you why they choose the shingles that they install.
5. Replace All The Accessories-
A good roofing company will always replace major accessories and not try to save a dollar by keeping or recycling some old vents, drip edge, flashing, etc. Replace all if possible! Example: you have a car accident, and the insurance company says that they can rebuild your car, would you want the car to have old parts, or would you want new?
Un-reusable Metal Flashing
6. Good Roofing Systems Are Registered-
A good roof should come with a Warranty Registration. Some roofers do not like to do this because it requires extra steps. It requires spending $ money and much more paperwork. They may like to go the extra mile on the roof but not in the office. Find a roofer that will be diligent with the paperwork and who will register the warranty with the manufacturers. If you do not, the warranty that you have with the manufacturer will be very limited and only good for 10 years!! It’s going to be as if you put the roof on yourself. You want an Extended Warranty that can be transferred if you sell the home and that will protect your investment long term.
7. Quality Same-Brand Accessories-
Some roofers may use good shingles from the manufacturer but then cheat on the accessories and use cheap ice and water barrier, cheap ventilation items, etc. Usually, a shingle manufacturer requires 3 components of the roofing system to be their brand. Some manufacturers require 5 components, including Hip and Ridge Shingles, Underlayment, and Starting Shingles to be all be the same brand in order to have a valid manufacturer’s warranty.
Protecting Expensive Landscaping
8. Good Clean Up-
A good roofing job is a system, not an effort. Yes, you will see roofers working hard on the roof, but if they do not have a good system for cleaning up after the fact, you are going to have a lot of nails to clean up. You do not want yourself, a family member, animal, or your vehicle to pick up these nails. So make sure that your roofing contractor has a good system for cleaning up after your project is done. A good roofing company will invest in something like a Catch-All product to prevent excessive debris before the job even starts. They should also protect your landscaping and your yard. Reminder, though, no clean-up is perfect, so please, please be careful before, during and after!
9. Financial Stability-
Roofers receive thousands of dollars in checks. Are they spenders or savers? Are they showing up in brand new cars when they just started their business? If a roofing contractor is not able to manage money responsibly, liens will be filed, their workers will not get paid, and roofs will not be finished. Before starting a job, check out the company’s financial stability by going to Directorii.com. Never get scammed by a contractor again! There are a lot of companies that do not do it right!