Michigan weather is one of extremes. Michigan roofs are exposed to the harshest weather that Mother Nature dishes out: searing sunshine, ice, snow, sleet, and high winds. A home’s roof is the first line of defense against the elements. When hiring a roofing contractor, you want a professional with proven expertise in more than just the curb appeal of a home’s roof. Follow these tips to find a qualified team of craftsmen.
#1. Well Established: Avoid getting scammed by a fly-by-night company. Check a contractor’s background. Years of experience and successful service indicate a company is committed to providing the best service to homeowners and businesses in their local community. Finding a roofing contractor with decades of experience in the industry means that their professional roots go deep. They will be there if you need them long after the job is finished.
#2. Protection: Licensing, insurance, and bonding matter. Request proof of registration with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. Also determine if the company is fully insured and bonded. These may be common terms everyone is familiar with. However, a homeowner may wonder just exactly what these terms mean. Here are some of the specifics about insurance and bonding expectations:
- Full protection with a Roofing General Liability policy that covers injury and property damage claims and protection from natural disasters.
- Workers Compensation insurance provides coverage for employees injured on the job.
- Surety bonds are a guarantee to customers that a contract will be fulfilled.
#3. Credentials: Certification by specific roofing product manufacturers ensures that product warranties will be secure. These materials have a long life-span. You don’t want a warranty invalidated. Determine what manufacturer and industry certifications a contractor holds. A superior credential is GAF certification. This indicates that a contractor is fully licensed by the state in which they operate. There are many rigorous courses that, once certified, indicate mastery in certain areas of expertise such as green roofing practices, steep slope practices, specialized architectural methods, maintenance methods, and inspection procedures. Contract with a GAF certified roofer and you will enjoy peace of mind knowing you are getting a highly qualified roofing professional.
#4. A Contract: One would think this would not need to be mentioned. However, if you meet with a roofing contractor who does not actually offer a written contract, this is not a roofer to place your trust in. A contract is a binding document that serves to protect both parties who enter into it. It is the primary document that will be used to settle any disagreement that might occur. A roofer who presents a valid, binding contract is a professional who intends to deliver what is promised on the job and is not afraid to back it up with a signed, official agreement.
#5. Brick & Mortar: Although many companies today maintain virtual office space only, it is important that your roofing company have a brick-and-mortar location as a central office. The most common roofing scam to plague Michigan, as well as other states, are the door-to-door salesmen, driving through neighborhoods, offering discounted services with materials they claim are left-overs from a previous job. These are con-artists out to rip you off. They will ask for a down payment on the job and perform the illusion of getting started. Often they leave a homeowner worse off than before they arrived, leaving behind shoddy work and oftentimes have even caused more damage to a roof than what originally existed. Sometimes damage may not have even existed to begin with. These scammers arrive offering their services at a discount and request permission to inspect your roof. They may then inflict damage upon an otherwise sound roof. Never engage with anyone offering discount roofing services who solicit you first and have no physical headquarters through which you can locate a company should you need to file a complaint.
Follow these 5 tips and you can find a roofing contractor in the Southgate Michigan area with integrity and worthy of your trust. Only place your home’s first line of defense against the weather in the hands of skilled professionals who have proven their commitment to service in your community.