How to hire a reputable roofing company in Philadelphia?
A new roof is a significant investment that often costs thousands of dollars, whether you're thinking about slate with copper flashing or something a little more understated. A relatively minor amount of the bill is made up of materials. The majority of your money will be spent on the expert labor required. The best approach to safeguard your investment and guarantee a leak-free job is to hire a seasoned professional. Simple, yes? Unfortunately, starting a business in roofing is relatively simple and only takes a pickup, a ladder, and some basic supplies.
If you can't receive a referral from a neighbor, a friend, or someone in your neighborhood, consider searching for qualified roofers in Philadelphia, PA, online. Check at least three potential customers, and ensure each has been in operation for at least five years. Poor-quality roofers typically only last for a short time.
Start by looking at the prospective roofers' availability. If they are booked through the following year, there is no need to waste time. Obtain the names and addresses of references, and reject any roofing contractor in Philadelphia, PA, who refuses to provide you with the information.
Next, check their recent jobs to inspect them. As they alternate shingle rows, ensure the water gaps—the spaces between each shingle tab—line up straight. Make sure that shingles are trimmed in a clean line along the valleys where they overlap the valley flashing. Shingles on roof ends should also be adequately cut to line up with the border of the roof. Rough lines indicate shoddy construction. At the eaves and roof valleys, check for tidy, tar-free flashing.
If the checked roofers stand the test, ask references a few questions about their experience with the selected roofer:
- Would you employ this roofer once more? If yes, did the roofer arrive on time, treat you nicely, and did he bill you for any extra work?
- Have the costs for the job been met? If not, how much over budget did he go? Were the extra fees justified?
- Did the roofer leave any nails in the driveway, and did he harm any flowers or bushes? In the course of and following a roofing project, flat tires are a regular complaint. Competent Philadelphia roofers use sizable rolling magnets to pick up any dropped nails throughout the process.
- When the old roof was being torn off, and the new one was being put on, was a designated foreman there to answer your questions? If you have any queries or issues while working, you should have a contact person.
Take note of the roofer's appearance when he stops by to inspect your project and estimate the cost. Pride goes beyond the workplace. Do you want him working on your house if he isn't clean enough to sit at your breakfast table? Then describe all of your expectations in detail. Learn the name of the foreman and who will be performing the work. And make sure to document everything.
What to look for in roofers in Philadelphia, PA?
If you like what you see, it's time to ensure the roofer has workers' compensation and liability insurance worth at least $1 million. Obtain the name and contact information for his insurance certificates. Then request a quote, which ought to be free. As a short-term project, roofing, divide the total amount owed into two payments: one-third up front for materials and the remaining once the roofing and cleanup are completed to your satisfaction.
Demand a warranty that covers flashing failure, leaks, and other labor-related issues. The minimum warranty period should be one year, but two or three years are desirable. The roofing contractors in Philadelphia, PA, should give similar requirements and information about the kind of roof that will be used. Ask for the most durable, top-rated shingles you can afford.
Manufacturers of shingles typically offer a 20–30 year warranty on their products. Some warranties are nullified if new shingles are installed over old ones. Thus removing the old layer can be necessary and cost extra. Given that asphalt roofs typically last 13 years, a 20-year warranty should be adequate. Ensure you obtain the papers and purchasing documentation required to investigate potential issues.
Ensure your roofer in Philadelphia provides you with a quality roofing job
Replacing the valley and eaves flashing is the simplest and least expensive option when re-roofing. Replace roof jacks or pipe boots to steer water away from exposed pipes or gas vents. If the chimney flashing is in good condition, leave it alone; if not, have the roofer call a mason.
An excellent opportunity to check your attic ventilation is right now. Have a roofer or HVAC professional inspect it. A hot attic can reach 130°F in the summer due to poor airflow. Wintertime inside condensation from damp air can cause the sheathing's underside to deteriorate. Installing ridge and soffit vents could solve both issues by allowing cool air to flow into the attic.
If you believe that portion of the plywood decking that supports the shingles is rotting, include a modest allowance in the contract—say, $200—for its replacement. Make it abundantly clear that you must consent to any fees that exceed this sum and that you will receive your money back if the decking is in good shape.
Find out how the roofer plans to protect the plants and bushes (roofers usually use plywood). Define who is accountable for any damaged plants.
Learn how the trash will be removed and how the nails will be cleaned up. Ensure garbage trucks or dumpsters don't roll onto a freshly planted lawn or over an underground sprinkler system. The lawn or driveway should also be protected by thick plywood placed beneath dumpster or truck wheels. Paying more to have the old shingles carried to the curb by hand is an option.
Finally, trust your gut. Even at the contract stage, if a roofer rubs you the wrong way, don't hesitate to back out before signing and continuing your search. It is essential to take time with this significant expenditure unless the water is pouring in from above.