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Be Safe When Choosing a Roofing Contractor

By Dymon Brady

There is no such thing as being over protective when it comes to your home and your finances. There are plenty of roofing contractors out there that are willing to bend the rules to simplify things for themselves, resulting in problems for you and your roof. Even honest contractors make mistakes every once in a while. That’s why it’s important to know these 4 simple ways to protect yourself when choosing a roofing contractor.

Workers Compensation
Problem: You hire a roofing contractor to fix a leak on your roof. One of their employees decides not to use proper safety procedures and falls, breaking his leg. The employee holds you responsible to pay his medical expenses, because he was hurt on your property.

Solution: Roofers Compensation is a type of insurance covering roofing injuries. If a roofing contractor has workers compensation, any injured employees are entitled to recover expenses for hospital bills and being out of work. Be sure that your roofing contractor has workers compensation so that you are saved the trouble and expenses of paying those bills yourself.

Liability Insurance
Problem: Your roofing contractor leaves your roof uncovered after removing your shingles. That night there is an unexpected storm. Water seeps into your home and damages your sheet rock, carpet and some nice furniture. Your roofing contractor has liability insurance, but there are exclusions preventing coverage of the interior of your building. You end up paying to fix the damages yourself.

Solution: If damage occurs to your home or building that is the fault of a roofing contractor, you want to be sure they have good liability insurance. This will cover anything from broken windows to damaged interiors as mentioned in the situation above. Some contractors have liability insurance, but their insurance company offers so many exclusions that it is almost like there is no coverage at all. Look for coverage that doesn’t exclude water damage resulting from leaving a roof open.

Business License
Problem: You hire a new roofing company to work on your roof. A few months later you notice a leak. You try to contact the company, but can’t find their information. You try to look them up by their business license and you find that there was never a business license issued for that company. You are forced to pay for the repairs yourself.

Solution: Check ahead of time that your roofing contractor has a business license. If they don’t have a license, it could be a sign that they don’t know what they are doing. The company could easily disappear or go out of business.

In the state of Utah, your roofing company should have a shingle license and a general roofing license to install a pitched roof. A flat roof installation only requires a general roofing license.

A general contractor is legally able to install a roof without a roofing license if they have a general contractor license. However, there have been a lot of cases of general contractors branching out and installing roofs themselves when they lack the proper training. This causes problems for building owners as well as home owners. It is ideal for a general contractor to have a roofing license in addition to their general contractors license.

In Utah, the number for a general roofing licence is S280. The general contractors license is B100.

If your roofing contractor is in the middle of working on your roof and you find that they have given fraudulent business license information, (in Utah) you have the option to terminate their service right away. You are not required to pay anything to the contractor because they were operating illegally. You can then find a qualified contractor to fix your roof and finish the job.

Lien Waiver
Problem: Your roof has been completed and you pay the contractor. However, a few weeks later, the contractor’s supplier contacts you requesting a payment for the materials installed on your roof. You discover that your contractor did not pay his supplier and that you are now responsible for that payment. This has happened and can happen to you.

Solution: Be sure to request a lien waiver when the job is completed and before you pay. A lien waiver simply states that if the contractor fails to make his payments to a supplier or employees, you are not responsible to cover them. It is ultimately in place to protect the home or building owner from paying twice. If you receive the lien waiver before you pay, it is conditional upon your payment. However, once your payment has cleared, the lien waver becomes unconditional without any additional paperwork.

Protect Yourself
Though it may be uncomfortable, it is important to protect yourself from issues like these. Ask to see proof of your roofing contractor’s workers compensation, liability insurance and business license. Also, be sure they are willing to sign a lien waiver once your roof is completed.

Checklist Roofing Contractor Code of Ethics

If you choose a trusted, experienced contractor, most of these issues will not be a problem in the first place. Find reviews and testimonials for your contractor to see what some of their other customer’s experiences have been. Brady Roofing has a great reputation and has current roofers compensation, liability insurance and a business license. We always sign a lien waver when completing a roof. Contact us for more information or to request a free estimate today.

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Should I Hire a General Contractor to Perform a Roofing Job?

by Dymon Brady

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As we have journeyed through a recession, many business tactics and standards have changed. Consumers are often interested in quantity over quality, choosing less expensive products in order to save money. Unfortunately, our desire to be efficient and economical can often backfire, as we end up spending more in the long run replacing our cheap products. This logic applies to roofing as well. Homeowners may opt for a contractor offering a lower bid, despite the knowledge that the company is not as experienced or qualified. They may end up spending much more in expensive repairs.

An ongoing roofing dispute illustrates this concept first hand. A church in Illinois hired an inexperienced roofing contractor to add to the roof, allowing water to drain away from the door and stairs. The roofing company made the repairs necessary, charging more than they had initially bid. The building owner was very disappointed with the job itself. The roof does not have a proper drainage system, and allows water to fall from the roof in sheets, defeating the purpose of the original repair. Another company has estimated that there are about $10,400 of additional repairs needed after this project was completed.

Recently, I was able to observe a similar experience. A man called and asked for a bid. We gave him a bid and talked to him extensively, throughout consecutive visits, about his options. He decided to go with a cheaper bid. We felt like he was possibly using our knowledge to get to the bottom of what he wanted and needed, then asked another, less experienced company to do the same thing we had specified for him.

Because I’d never heard of this company before, I did some research and found out the background of this company that beat us out of a bid. The company has been around since 1985. But here’s the catch. They aren’t a roofing company. They are a General Contractor who ran out of home building opportunities, and as a result, has turned to roofing. This is a very common thing these days because the housing market is so dry still.

The general contractors often win subcontracting bids like the one we submitted. This is because they have workers compensation rates based on general construction, not roofing. These rates are much, much lower than the rates that face roofing contractors. Their Liability insurance isn’t geared toward roofing either, but is usually based on subcontractors having coverage for the project which lessens their rate significantly on this insurance as well. Their overhead is just cheaper, so they can present very competitive roofing prices. However, roofing is an art, and homes that may contain valleys or eves may be a challenge to one who has only a general base of roofing experience, and no knowledge of the specific details involved.

The homeowner that hired this company started looking at the work as it was performed on their home and didn’t feel it was up to industry standards. He called me and asked me to come inspect the roof after this company was done and before payment was made. This puts us in a difficult position because any critique we give as “the competition” could be construed as self-serving.

After looking at photos and realizing that there were, in fact, some issues, I suggested that he talk with a roofing consultant. There were a lot of details done wrong on this roof and it would have been a huge expense for this homeowner in years to come. The consultant detailed some repairs to be done to the roof which included removing over half of the shingles installed and replacing them after correcting ice shield underlayment issues. Also involved in the repairs are new flashings on side walls. There were many more items discussed.

Our original bid was about $3000 less than the cost to perform the repairs as outlined by the roof consultant. This is unfortunate for the homeowner, as well as the previous contractor who still has not gotten paid for the project, and likely will not see any payment from this project.

There are a couple of things we can do to avoid situations like the one this man found himself in. First of all, keep in mind that anyone can write up a contract and detail what needs to be done on a reroof. But the roof will only be as good as the employees who install it, and the materials that are used. The other thing is, when asking how long someone has been in business, make sure you ask how long they’ve been installing roofs full time. Be careful because they can say they’ve been installing roofs for 20 years, but this might mean they installed a roof system 20 years ago, and have just dabbled here and there a little before trying to get into it full time within the last year. Make sure they have full coverage on liability insurance and the appropriate policy on workers comp to save you from legal battles in the future.

Brady Roofing is among the most competitive roofing companies that meets all of these standards. We strive to provide, honest, high quality work for you and your home. To receive a free estimate, contact us today at 801-487-5151.

Read through some of our past articles to find the best contractor for you:

Roofing Horror Story #257
How to Understand Your Roofing Contract:  What to Look For
Be Safe When Choosing a Roofing Contractor

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Roofing Horror Story #257

by Stewart

I just gave an estimate to a man who had a brand new roof with a 40 year architectural shingle installed on it. Unfortunately, like many cases I have seen before, he hired a poor installer, which made the quality of the shingles completely useless. The roofer was inexperienced and high-nailed everything. In recent high winds, a third of his roof just ripped right off.

Roof blow off

This isn’t the first problem he has had with his roof, either. Earlier this year, he had a leak around the chimney. He called up the roofer, who simply told him that it wasn’t under warranty. This is an outrageous situation to be in for a roof that is less than a year old!

He is hoping that insurance will cover the disaster, and we hope they do, too! But more likely than not, the insurance company will refer him back to the poor installation of the roofer, and the roofing contractor has shown he is unwilling to act. This man may have to pocket the money and pay for a new roof.

It really is disappointing. There are a lot of roofers out there that will perform work that is less than desirable. It’s not the customers fault, they are simply trying to find the best deal on an expensive purchase. They see these bids from new contractors and they think “This is so cheap, it’s $2,000 less than any other bid!” And we truly do wish that those companies were reputable, it would save a lot of people frustration and wasted money.

However, this man spent $4,000 on his roof to install it the first time. Now he will probably be spending around $7,000 to get the roof fixed and installed the right way.

If you are already in this situation, I’m sorry to say, there is not a lot you can do. I have seen this happen too many times. In fact, some companies will go out of business because of situations like this, and then open a new company with a new name and a clean slate, only to repeat history on more unsuspecting customers.

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We understand how frustrating installing a roof can be, especially when money is tight. If you are receiving bids and you find a contractor that seems too good to be true, step away do a little research about the company. Ask the contractor for some referrals for where he may have gotten his roofing experience and training.

If you want a fail-safe way of choosing a roofing contractor, check out our Roofing Contractor Checklist below!

roofing contractor questionaire, checklist, requirementsAnd check out these other roofing horror stories:

Texas Bill Targets Crooked Roofers

Homeowner Horror Stories

Homeowner loses $4,000

State Capitol Offices Damaged in Roofing Project

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FAQ

 

Q- Repair or Replace my Roof?

 A– How old is your roof? If it’s over 20 years old, you may want to consider getting a new roof. Waiting too long can cause leaks and expensive water damage. Brady Roofing does free estimates and can tell you the lifespan of your roof and whether or not you should replace it. We are very honest, and won’t lead you to believe you need a new roof if it doesn’t need to be replaced.

 7 Signs You Need a New Roof 

Q- How much does a new roof cost?

A-There are several factors that could affect the price. It will depend on the size, shape, slope, and type of material you choose to install. Different roofing materials will provide different levels of protection. Don’t choose a roofing contractor on cost alone. Price matters but it isn’t the only thing you should consider.

 A subcontractor is a another form of substandard. Anybody with a few dollars could open a business and get into the BBB. (Better Business Bureau)  Do your homework on the people you want to do your roof. They may have just started roofing yesterday.

 Be Safe when Choosing a Roofing Contractor 

 Q- How long will it take to complete my roof?

 A– Replacing a roof is a labor intensive process. Depending on the type of roof and weather conditions it can take anywhere from 1-3 days for an average size roof and up to 2 weeks for a larger than average roof. That is something we would be able to determine more specifically by taking a look at the condition of the roof. One thing we don’t do is compromise quality by rushing the job.

 Q- How often should I clean my gutters?

A– Gutters should be cleaned twice a year to prolong their life and to minimize damage. Once in the beginning of Fall, when the leaves are still dry, and secondly in the late Spring. Usually, you can spot that the gutters are clogged by the water pouring over the top, or if they are constantly leaking when it’s not even raining outside. Sometimes, the signs aren’t always easy to spot, that’s why we recommend cleaning them twice a year. Sometimes, they may need to be cleaned more often if you have pine needles falling from surrounding trees.

 How to Clean Your Gutters

 Brady Roofing is among the most competitive roofing companies out there, and they have very high standards. We strive to provide honest, high quality work for you and your home. To receive a free estimate, contact us today at 801-487-5151.

 

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Commercial Article Archive

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How to Clean and Preserve Your Wood Shakes and Shingles

wood shakes

By Dymon Brady

The search for a shingle with high aesthetic value often ends with wood shakes and shingles. Installing wood on your home can bring a unique and beautiful look to your roof. Since wood grains naturally differ, no two wood shake roofs are the same. Though there have been imitation wood shake shingles made from asphalt shingles, these shingles will never successfully duplicate the smooth quality of natural wood shakes.

Wood shingles are also an environmentally conscious choice, as they are a renewable resource. Not only this, but the natural choice of the wood on your roof will be more energy efficient than asphalt shingles, because they help to keep your attic cooler.

However, there are also downsides to installing wood shakes on your roof. Wood is not as durable as asphalt shingles, yet they can cost around twice as much. Wood is susceptible to termite damage, rotting and scum. To install a wood shake roof means a commitment of regular, vigorous cleaning of both the roof, the gutters, and the surrounding areas such as trees and any source of debris.

In the end, the choice comes down to what is important to you as a home owner. If you do choose to install wood shakes on your roof or home, you should be aware of the maintenance and care process.

Wood Selection

First, be sure to select a wood that is high in durability. Redwood and cedar are both known for their weather-resistant qualities. These woods have a high level of natural oils that preserve the wood. If you choose to go with another wood choice, be sure that it has been factory treated with a preservative. These factory treatments force the preservative deep into the wood with high pressure. Wood that has been factory treated is usually under warranty.

Maintenance

Once you have your wood shakes installed, be sure to keep them clean. Trim any trees surrounding your home to prevent pine needles, leaves or twigs from piling up on your roof. Keeping your roof free of debris will lengthen it’s life. Also, be sure to clean your gutters and downspouts twice a year to avoid any buildup on your roof.

Many manufacturers recommend that your roof be power-washed at least once a year to open the pores in the wood before applying a preservative. However, it has been shown that inexperienced power-washing can actually cause damage to your roof. If you choose to power-wash your roof, carefully select a professional with a reputation for good customer satisfaction.

Never power-wash your roof without applying a topical treatment afterwards. When choosing a contractor to clean and treat your roof, choose one who offers topical treatments that are:

Water repellents
UV inhibitors
EPA registered wood preservative
Is labeled as an appropriate product for your type of wood shake.

You may find these details in a MSDS (material safety data sheet). Do not allow any contractor to apply a topical treatment to your roof that is:

A water sealant
Containing unfortified linseed oil
Containing diesel fuel
Containing crank case oil

Any of these ingredients can actually trap moisture inside of your roof, under the pretext of keeping moisture out. Water will run underneath the shingles or shakes and have no way to escape. This results in your shingles curling, then finally becoming brittle and cracking.

Applying the correct topical treatments, as well as keeping your roof clean and clear, will help lengthen the life of your wood shake roof. Consequently, just taking these few steps every year can save you a lot of money in re-roofing costs.

However, even if you successfully perform all of the maintenance required on your roof, do not expect it to last as long as asphalt shingles will. In the end, though wood shakes have a vast number of qualities, they are not as durable as other roofing materials. It is up to you whether a beautiful wood shake roof is worth the work for you and your home.

Brady Roofing offers wood shake shingles as well as a number of imitation wood shakes comprised of asphalt shingles. We can help you to choose a roofing material that is right for you and your home. Browse through our shingle options, or contact us today for a free estimate on your home.

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