How to Find the Right Roofer

When you hire a roofer, it’s important to get it right

Your roof isn’t a small thing. In fact, it’s probably the most important part of your home from a safety and protection standpoint. So, when you’re in need of roofing services, you need to turn to a roofing company that you can rely on to get the job done right the first time.

Hiring a roofing contractor isn’t like hiring a carpet cleaner or a painter. If the job doesn’t get done correctly with one of these contractors, it’s frustrating and will probably look bad, but at the end of the day, no one is in danger or at risk.

But, that’s not the case with your roof. If a roofer makes a mistake, the consequences can be much, much bigger. That’s why you should never settle when it comes to hiring a roofing contractor.

Hiring the right roofer for the job takes a little more time and research than hiring almost any other contractor or local business. Top Rated Local® is here to help!

5 tips on finding the right roofer

#1. Work with a local roofing company

There are countless horror stories out there of homeowners who hired a roofer that offered a five-year warranty, only for that roofer to be nowhere to be found when they actually need them. Unfortunately, roofing is one of those industries where scams are common, but one of the best ways to avoid a roofing scam is to hire a company that has a long history of serving your community.

Another reason why hiring local is beneficial is that a local roofer will understand the unique issues that affect roofs in your area. Whether your roof is prone to algae growth, hail damage or wind damage, a local roofer will understand that, and they’ll be able to better prepare your roof for those kinds of common problems.

When I say to hire a local roofing contractor, that doesn’t mean hiring someone that just operates locally. You want to hire a local contractor that has an established reputation in your community.

#2. Double-check that they are licensed and insured

You want a roofer that has experience, knowledge and expertise, but equally as important, you want a roofer who is both licensed and insured to do the job. And, while you may have to take a roofing company’s word when it comes to their skill and knowledge, you don’t have to (and shouldn’t) take their word when it comes to licensing and insurance.

In order to become licensed, a roofer must go through training that teaches them how to do inspections and perform services safely and effectively. Maintaining that licensing also takes work, and any repairs or installations have to meet current building codes. Licensed roofers also follow safety standards, and many of them offer warranties and contracts that help to protect homeowners like you.

Roofing isn’t exactly the safest job, and accidents happen even with the best of roofing companies. If the contractor you’ve hired doesn’t have insurance, you could be the one financially liable for any injuries that occur on the job. Always make sure that any roofer you hire is insured!

#3. Don’t look at the cost alone

Roofing services aren’t exactly cheap, and when you’re in need of roof repairs or a replacement, you might be tempted to simply accept the lowest bid for the job without doing any further research. However, this could potentially be a huge mistake, and while it’s important to consider the cost, it’s certainly not the only thing you should consider.

If a roofing company offers much lower rates than what’s typical in your area, there’s probably a reason for it. Roofers that don’t have a lot of experience or don’t have a strong reputation in their community tend to low-ball when it comes to cost, but chances are, that cost-savings will result in the sacrifice of quality.

Where roofing is concerned, you get what you pay for. That’s not to say that you should automatically choose the highest bid, either, but if a bid is significantly lower than the rest, it’s a red flag.

#4. Find a roofer who shows instead of tells

Roofing services are a lot like automotive repairs in that roofers and auto mechanics know a lot more about the subject matter at hand than your average homeowner or driver. That means that you need to be able to trust the roofer you hire to work with integrity and honesty, and to help you make the right decisions regarding your roof.

Beware of any roofer that tries to sell you a solution without fully explaining the problem or all of the potential solutions to choose from. Any roofer you hire should help to inform you so that you can make the right decision, and that often means showing instead of telling. And, they definitely shouldn’t just make the decision for you.

#5. Read reviews

Every roofer you talk to and every roofing website you visit is going to tell you that they are the best in the business. They’re all going to claim to offer great service and to get the job done right the first time.

However, not every roofer can be the best, and not every roofing company will do what it claims on its website. The only way to know for sure what working with a roofer is really like is to learn what their past clients have said.

Reading reviews is a great rule of thumb to keep in mind when hiring any local business, but it’s especially important when there’s so much on the line. If the roofing contractor has a reputation for leaving jobs unfinished, making mistakes or leaving their clients high and dry when they need them, reading their reviews will help you avoid them.

Find a roofer near you with Top Rated Local®

When you look for a roofing contractor with Top Rated Local, you’ll be able to read each roofing company’s reviews from across the web and compare its overall reputation to the competition.

It’s the only place where you can learn about a roofing company’s online reputation overall without having to visit tons of review sites and directories. There’s a reason why it’s become the go-to local business directory and review site.

Find a local roofer near you today!

Originally published on 3/13/20

Your Guide to Roof Leak Prevention

The leaves are changing. The air is cool and crisp. And, best of all, we have access to pumpkin-flavored everything.

Ah, yes. There’s a lot to love about the fall. However, it can be a trying time for our roofs, particularly when it comes to roof leaks.

Roof leaks are the bane of any homeowner’s existence, particularly when they happen right before (or worse, during) the holiday craziness.

Want to avoid having to go through the rigmarole of submitting an insurance claim because of a roof leak in the midst of planning the holiday season during a pandemic? I don’t blame you. Here’s how.

How to prevent roof leaks

Clean your gutters

Your roof’s drainage system, which consists of gutters and downspouts, plays a key role in preventing roof leaks because it moves moisture off of your roof. When the drainage system is clogged up or otherwise ineffective, the moisture will start to seep inside the roof.

Cleaning out your gutters on a regular basis is one of the most basic steps you can to avoid roof leaks. The frequency at which your gutters will need to be cleaned depends on whether or not you have a nearby tree or not.

It’s smart to make it a point to keep an eye on your gutters and clean out any pine needles, leaves, twigs and other debris that has built up as needed.

Not only can clogged gutters cause roof leaks, but they are perfect hiding spots for all kinds of pests that can damage your roof and other parts of your home.

Keep ice dams at bay

Do you notice icicles coming off of your roof after it snows? If so, there’s a good chance that you also have ice dams.

Heat rises in your home into the attic, where it warms up your roof and melts any ice or snow that’s sitting on it. As it melts, it slides down to cooler parts of your roof, where it refreezes into a dam.

Ice dams typically form right above your gutters, which means that the moisture on your roof is blocked from leaving, and it can lead to roof leaks, as well as other roof damage.

The key to preventing ice dams — and the damage they cause — is to keep your entire roof a consistent temperature. That requires the right combination of insulation and ventilation.

Ensuring that your home is properly insulated will greatly reduce the amount of heat that gets into your attic. And, by properly ventilating your attic, any heat that does start to build up can be removed safely.

Get your roof inspected

As a general rule, you’ll want to make sure to get your roof inspected by a professional roofing contractor every six months or so. However, it’s also a good idea to have someone look at your roof after big storms as well, particularly if it has hailed.

You can also spot check your roof in between professional inspections to keep an eye out for any damage. Areas of interest include any and all roof penetrations, including the chimney, skylights and vents, as they are common entry points for moisture.

Keeping a close eye on your roof and getting professional roof inspections will help to catch small, easy-to-fix issues before they can lead to leaks and other serious problems. In many cases, roof inspections are also a requirement for warranties and insurance coverage.

Trim branches away from your roof

Trees are a great addition to any yard and can be beneficial when close to the home because they provide shade and privacy. However, there’s a real risk to your roof if branches from nearby trees start to grow over your roof.

If there are branches hanging over your roof, they could fall on your roof, causing leaks and other damage. This is especially risky in the winter, as the right combination of heavy snow and rain can cause even larger branches to fall.

Keep any branches of nearby trees trimmed away from your roof to prevent damage. But, never try to attempt the job yourself, as cutting tree limbs is an incredibly dangerous job, particularly if they’re high enough to potentially damage your roof.

As a bonus, trimming away any threatening limbs can help to prevent your gutters from getting clogged by leaves, pine needles, twigs and other debris.

Keep squirrels and other pests away from your roof

Pests are, unfortunately, one of the most common causes of roof leaks and other damage, and they can be especially problematic in the fall and winter months. That’s because pests, like people, are looking for warmth, and many will look for warmth in our homes.

Squirrels, in particular, can do a lot of damage to your roof and attic, and it’s important to take any necessary steps to keep them away from your home.

Trimming tree branches away can help to prevent squirrels from getting on your roof, and keeping your gutters clean helps, too. It’s also a good idea to install squirrel-guards on the bases of nearby trees to prevent squirrels from climbing them.

Whether you’re due for an inspection or in need of roof leak repair, make sure that you find the right roofing contractor for the job.

As a key part of your home, it’s important that you find a roofer you can trust to provide you with honest, reliable roofing services. A great place to start your roofing contractor search is Top Rated Local®.

With Top Rated Local, you’ll get a list of the best roofing contractors in your area that you can compare side by side to find the right option for your needs. You can also read roofer reviews from across the web, including Google, Angie’s List, Yelp, Facebook and more trusted review sites.

When it comes to finding roofing contractors and other local businesses, there’s no better option than Top Rated Local. Find a roofer near you today.