If you have had hail damage, take your time in hiring a roofing contractor. Learn the facts to get the best value for your money.
- There is NO CONTRACTOR LICENSING for roofing in the state of Texas.
- DO NOT sign a contract until after your insurance company sends an adjuster to inspect your home and has given you a claim summary. The scope of work must be defined, and you are ready for work to begin before it is recommended that a contract is signed. Many companies will attempt to have you sign a contract or some other document upon their first inspecting your home, and this only gives your rights away before your insurance company has even sent an adjuster to your home.
- DO NOT give a contractor the first payment until the work has begun on your home. Many contractors will ask for an upfront payment to go purchase materials before your job begins. This puts you at great risk as the homeowner. Any reputable company has the money to purchase your materials before the job begins, without your first payment in hand. It is good practice to give the payment to your contractor the morning the work actually begins to protect yourself.
- You should have a contractor of your choice present when the insurance company sends their adjuster to inspect your home. Your contractor SHOULD NOT argue or be confrontational with the adjuster. Instead, your contractor should simply be there to lend a helping hand and give a second set of eyes surveying the damages so that upon completion of the adjuster's inspection, all damages are accounted for.
- When re-roofing a home, ALL shingles and felt should be completely removed in the tear off, to the bare decking. The decking should then be inspected and any rotting pieces should be replaced. Insurance companies require all shingles and felt be removed when re-roofing a home, and your shingle manufacturer's warranty requires it as well.
- An ice/water barrier should be applied directly to the decking in all valleys, around chimneys, and in any leak-prone areas on your roof BEFORE the new felt is added to the roof.
- Real starter course shingles should be used around all corners/edges of your roof. Some companies turn regular shingles upside down and use a starter, which is incorrect. This moves the seal strip too far up the roof slope and doesn't allow the bottom row of shingles to seal down.
- Your contractor should use six nails per shingle to ensure maximum wind resistance for your roof. Some manufacturer's warranties also require six nails per shingle.
- Roof ventilation and pipe jacks should all be replaced when replacing the roof. Many contractors attempt to re-use vents and pipe jacks to save a few hundred dollars. Also, most roof ventilation is not designed to work with other ventilation systems.
- Once you sign a contract, you have three days to withdraw from the agreement.
- ALWAYS ask for references, and ALWAYS call at least 3 of them. This not only assures you have a local contractor but a reputable one as well. Many contractors pour into our area when a storm hits and create signs, and business cards and websites and phone numbers to all appear local when they are not. Protect yourself!
- ALWAYS ask for a copy of your contractor's insurance certification, and ALWAYS call the insurance company listed to verify the policy is active and current Many contractors will purchase a policy just to get the certificate, then drop the policy. Before your job begins, call your contractor's insurance company and be added as a certificate holder to their policy.