Hiring Roofing Contractors

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By Robb Hicken, BBB’s chief storyteller

Weeks of high temperatures may impact homes throughout the Treasure Valley come fall rains and winter snows. Heat tends to help roofing professionals find potential problems, or areas that need repair, says Mike LaPointe, Point Roofing & Construction, in Boise, Idaho.

“Putting a roof on your home is something that most of us only have to do once or twice in a lifetime,” he says. “But, homeowners need to get in the habit of looking at their roof.” Over time, a roof takes a lot of stress … stress that goes unrecognized, he says. Each storm, winter freeze or summer heat wave, affects the materials that make up a roof. “Homeowners can do a simple inspection,” LaPointe says. “Look for shingles that may have curled, or that look loose. Look for entire sections that may have lifted or seem to be loose. Those are first signs you may need an inspection.”

BBB warns residents to inspect their roofs and be aware not all roofing and construction companies are the same. Every year, homeowners research the trustworthiness of roofing contractors with BBB more than 2 million times — more than any other industry. Unfortunately, last year alone, BBB received more than 7,600 complaints about roofers from unsatisfied customers.

“Too many people don’t understand the importance of keeping a roof in shape,” says LaPointe, a 12-year roofing specialist. “It’s what keeps everything else in the house safe.” He says most companies will offer a free inspection and estimate when they are called. LaPointe suggests that when an inspection is conducted that the homeowner’s insurance agent be present when possible. Many times damages to the roof may be covered under the policy.

Ask roofing contractors about the employees whether they are certified. Most manufactures offer training on the proper installation of their materials. Check with the state licensing board. “It’s as simple as reading materials and answering questions,” LaPointe says, “but in the long run it can make the difference between a quality job and a botched job.”

BBB recommends homeowners make certain the contractor has pulled all building permits before beginning work.