A well-kept roof is essential to the value, function, and sustainability of your home. Loose shingles allow water and debris into your house, damaging the interior and lowering the value of the house. Roof damage can also prevent you from fully insulating your house, making it more expensive and less sustainable to heat your home during the winter and cool it during the summer. To prevent these risks and maintain the value of your home, it’s essential to inspect your roof regularly, fix any damages immediately, and replace the whole roof every 20 to 30 years.
Whether you’re looking to replace your entire roof, restore it from storm damage, or just make some minor repairs, selecting the right contractor in the Cincinnati area is the first step toward quality roof care. Roofing work is a great investment in the value of your home, but don’t trust just any local roofer to do the job. The more qualified and competent the roofer you choose, the better an investment the roofing work will be.
The following 10 questions will help you identify local contractors who can fix your roof honestly and competently:
1. Have you worked in my town or nearby before?
Ideally, you should look for a roofing company headquartered within 25 miles to do the work. Make sure you get their office address and website information to check on. Roofers in West Chester, Mason, Lebanon, Montgomery, or Madeira should have an office that you can easily visit or drive past to glean more insight into whom you’re doing business with. Be sure to look at their website for homes they’ve serviced near you!
Local contractors have more experience with local building styles, laws and regulations, environmental conditions, and building codes. Choosing a local roofer also makes it easier to find and question other homeowners who have worked with that contractor before.
2. Do you have a designation from a roofing manufacturer?
Roofing manufacturers often identify certain contractors as being uniquely qualified to install and repair their products. Usually, this involves setting certain requirements for safe, efficient installation and recommending contractors who meet or exceed these requirements. Some organizations are particularly strict about these designations. GAF, for example, only gives Master Elite® designations to roofing contractors who are in the top 2% of their local market. As every region has different roofing needs and regulations, GAF does not allow contractors who earn designations in one territory to transfer them to another. This means that if you pick a Master Elite® Contractor in Ohio, you know that contractor is highly qualified for roof repair work in Ohio specifically. Visit GAF for more information on finding Master Elite roofing services in Cincinnati.
3. What is your Better Business Bureau rating?
Steer clear of roofing contractors who can’t or won’t answer this question, especially if they offer you their services shortly after a storm. The Better Business Bureau‘s scoring system allows you to determine whether a contractor is serious about fixing your roof or just wants to exploit you in a time of need; contractors who don’t have BBB accounts are often completely fraudulent. Many manufacturers require good BBB scores before they offer designations. GAF, for example, only gives a roofing business Master Elite status if it maintains high ratings. It’s recommended that you choose a Cincinnati roofing company with a BBB rating above “B”. The BBB is also a great place to look at real customer reviews.
4. May I purchase a workmanship warranty?
Even the best West Chester, Delhi, Middletown, or Loveland roofing contractors are only human, and as such, they often make mistakes during roof repair jobs. Installation flaws and other roofing mistakes can be hard to notice and may not become apparent for years, by which point most insurance companies will no longer cover repairs. If the contractor who made the mistake is unwilling or unable to fix it, you’ll have to pay for the repairs out of pocket. Thus, the longer a warranty your roofers can offer you, the better you can trust them. The best companies will offer an independent roof exam in addition to a long workmanship warranty covering 5 to 30 years. GAF, for example, sends inspectors to examine the work of all of our Master Elite® Contractors and make sure all of the work was performed correctly. It then covers the contractor’s work with the Golden Pledge® Limited Warranty, one of the longest-lasting guarantees in the roofing industry.
5. What safety training have your workers received?
Roofers in Mason, South Lebanon, or anywhere in the greater Cincinnati area who have not been given the proper safety training are a liability. Stick with local Cincinnati roofing contractors who make their workers take detailed training classes! GAF’s Center for the Advancement of Roofing Excellence, or CARE, maintains a skilled training team that has certified over 125,000 roofing contractors. Master Elite Contractors with CARE training are thus your best bet for safe roofing service in West Chester.
6. Do you have the proper licensing and insurance?
All home improvement and building construction contractors who operate in the Cincinnati area must receive municipal registration, obtaining which requires them to show proof of liability insurance and workers’ compensation. Despite this law, however, many roofers operate without bothering to buy insurance or apply for a license, and if you hire them, you put your house at financial and physical risk. If your contractor is not adequately assured and one of its employees is injured while working on your roof, you may end up having to pay for that employee’s medical bills. You should thus never hire a contractor who does not at least meet the city’s licensing and insurance requirements. GAF Master Elite Contractors go above and beyond these requirements, purchasing no less than $1 million in liability insurance as well as the necessary amount of workers compensation. GAF also ensures that its designated contractors meet all other state and local requirements.
7. Do you include insurance deductibles in your cost estimate?
Never trust a contractor who tells you that you won’t have to pay your insurance deductible for repair work. Homeowners always have to pay insurance deductible, and contractors who tell you otherwise are fraudulently distorting the data to make the price of repairs look lower than it really is. Make sure that any cost estimates include insurance deductibles and all other out-of-pocket homeowner costs. If you order repairs without paying insurance costs, you could end up in serious legal trouble.
8. Are you willing to wait for damage estimates?
Never sign a roofing contract before your insurance company gives you a damage estimate. Even if the roofing contractor promises to accommodate whatever estimate your insurance company comes up with, you should still wait for the estimate. Once you receive the estimate, your contractor can read through it, assess the roof, and make sure the insurance agent didn’t overlook any defects or damages. Only once you are certain how much repairs will cost should you sign a contract and let your roofers start working.
9. Are your inspections, consultation, and estimates free of charge?
The answer had better be “YES”! Don’t trust any roofing company that bills for these services directly. These Roofers will more than likely nickel and dime you.
10. What will the build day(s) look like?
The roof size, roof pitch, weather, and unforeseen glitches make it hard to say how long a new roof will take to install. Timing is a big deal but what you want to hear are the following points:
- A project manager will be in touch to go over timing and answer any questions
- Your property will be secured (plants protected, windows covered, etc.)
- You neighbors will be notified of the build by us
- The build will work in a smooth symphony that has a low impact on your life
- The project manager will inspect the work and work with the crew to leave the rest of the property as they found it.
If you don’t know enough about roofing to make an informed decision, GAF offers an online gallery of shingles in a wide range of different colors, designs, and durability ratings. Other manufactures off some help here as well but none compare. For homeowners worried about storm damage, GAF offers Impact Resistant Shingles. The more you know about your roofing options, the easier it will be to keep your home clean, sustainable, and beautiful.
Looking for Cincinnati Roofing Contractors for a project?
Look no further – The Roofing Annex has the right answers to all of your questions. We are a local GAF Master Elite® Contractor with an A+ BBB rating and rave reviews anywhere else you look. We offer flexible financing to homeowners and businesses alike and are committed to promoting sustainable, durable housing. Roofing Annex provides its own workmanship warranty along with a lifetime warranty on GAF shingles. Fire away with your questions and concerns and you’ll find solid answers instead of smooth talking, sidestepping, or outlandish promises.