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Who should... and should NOT... be on YOUR roof!

by Steve Ticknor, Executive VP at Sherriff-Goslin Roofing

As a homeowner, not only is it cost-efficient to be your own handyman around the home, but there is also a great sense of pride that comes when you can mark the job off your to-do list. But when it comes to having your roof repaired, climbing up on your roof should NOT be one of the chores on your list. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports, there are about 164,000 emergency room-treated injuries per year related to the use of ladders.

So instead of making the climb yourself, it's well worth the money to hire a professional roofing contractor to handle all of your roofing needs. Don't just let anyone climb onto your roof; here are five steps to ensure you have the right professional on your roof.

Licenses and Registration, please!

In order to weed out unqualified roofing contractors, the first thing you should know is whether or not the company is licensed to do business in your state. With a license in hand, you get a great deal of help with the vetting process. While it varies from state to state, in order for a roofing contractor to obtain a license the contractor must first have four years of actual roofing experience, pass an exam, have general liability insurance and submit to a background check by both the state and federal government.

Inquiring about a company's license is not only a necessary step because it let's you know the company you are employing is legally able to do the job, but it also shows that the company, at the very least, has met the basic requirements to be able to complete the job.

Insurance - Check

A lot can happen in between the time a company is required to have general liability to obtain their license(s) and the two years down the road where they have to renew their license(s). Making sure to verify your roofer is up-to-date with their general liability is key to ensuring your property is taken care of in the event something goes wrong. To that same notion, general liability is not enough. You also want to make sure they have workers compensation as well. This will help protect you should one of his employees get injured on the job. You don't want their lawyers knocking on your door in search of a big payday.

Plenty of Protection

Having insurance to protect your home is good but hiring a company that knows how to prevent these damages from occurring in the first place is better. Don't be afraid to ask the roofing contractor their steps to protect your home and lawn during the roofing process. They should have a plan in place to protect your windows and lawn from any potential damages, as well as the cleanup process that could cause untimely delays by way of stray nails and flat tires. If they don't have what seems to be a proper plan in place to protect your home, then they shouldn't be allowed on your roof to try and fix it in the first place.

Our Recommendations - perform your own "background check"

A background check is one of the most important steps in your crosschecking process. While successfully passing the previous steps shows a company's character, as a positive referral speaks to a company's actual craft. Are they actually good at what they do? While having a license, insurance, and a plan is nice, without the workmanship to do a quality job it is completely worthless.

Put It On Paper

Once you have selected a qualified roofing contractor who is capable to complete the job, it always pays to have your estimate down on paper BEFORE any actual work begins. Unexpected problems happen. Sometimes rotten wood is found and its replacement is unavoidable. A written estimate that outlines every scenario will protect you from the contractor adding unforeseen costs to increase their bottom line.

Your Roof. Your Rules.

When it comes to your new or re-roofing process it is important to ask the tough questions. Requests to actually see copies of the roofing contractor's license and registration are the key to protecting yourself so you should not feel shy to ask. If the roofing contractor is unwilling, then that is simply one more roofer that was not qualified to work on your roof. If all of these prerequisites are met, you should be at ease with a licensed and capable roofing contractor working on your home.

Thinking of doing your own roof repairs?  Read this first.