If you do a quick search on the Internet for “Seattle roofing company,” the results are overwhelming. Finding the right company for the roofing job is similar to hiring the right person for an open role within any company—there’s an interview process, background check, and reference check.
After all, your roof is vital to protecting the interior of your home from the weather. So there’s no doubt that you’ll want to find a company that’s reliable, qualified, and knows what they’re doing. Here are our top tips for picking a Seattle roofing company.
Confirm they have the essential credentials and license
First and foremost, you’ll want to make sure that your Seattle roofing company has the necessary credentials to both protect your home and their company. These are the three credentials to inquire about.
Hiring a licensed contractor gives you the upper hand because a licensed contractor has their license to protect. They dish out hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars to keep their license. But if a job isn’t completed to standards, you have the ability to report the contractor, and the contractor runs the risk of losing their license.
And Washington state requires that all roofing contractors are registered with the Department of Labor and Industries. You can verify if a company is legally registered in Washington State with an up-to-date license by using the Department of Labor and Industry’s online verify tool.
2. General liability insurance
There’s really no predicting what could go wrong during any type of home repair, even with the best and most reputable contractor. General liability insurance covers your property so that if a contractor accidentally dents your gutter while repairing your roof then the company will be responsible for paying that damage. Ultimately, this means that you won’t have to pay out of your own pocket if a contractor makes any damages during their roofing job.
Now one thing to note is that when you ask this question, don’t simply take the contractor’s word for it. Make sure to ask them the exact amount they’re covered for, and also ask them to send you a copy of their liability policy so that you have proof if anything goes wrong.
3. Workers’ comp coverage
Lastly, make sure that company has workers’ comp coverage. Unlike general liability insurance that covers your property, workers’ comp coverage covers the company’s employees. Say, for example, an employee injures their foot on the job. Without workers’ comp coverage, you may be liable for covering the employee’s medical costs.
One thing to note is that some companies will skip or skimp on workers’ comp coverage. If they’re willing to take their chances on their employees, imagine the chances they’ll take on your roofing job.
Ask them the right questions
Next is asking job-related questions to ensure the company you’re researching will take all the precautions to keep your property protected.
1. Gutter protection
There aren’t very many options when it comes to getting on top of a roof other than using ladders. But when a company is doing a roofing job, they simply can’t lay heavy ladders against gutters—that extra weight will result in dents and damages. Make sure the company uses stabilizers or other similar types of mechanisms that will protect your gutters from any damage.
Now that you know your gutters are protected, it’s time to talk landscape. Ask very specific questions about the procedures the company will take to protect your landscaping. Here are some example questions:
- Where will you store heavy equipment such as ladders?
- Where will old shingles and refuse go?
- What will you do if an employee damages the landscaping such as trees or flower bed?
- Will the deck and patio be covered during the job?
- Will you bring a container for refuse?
Answers you’ll want to hear is that your landscaping, deck, and patio will indeed be covered as needed. Any refuse will be placed on a tarp then deposited in a container dump truck or they will go straight into the container dump truck from the roof. Companies should also bring their own container so that you won’t be responsible for hauling it off yourself.
3. Weather protection
It’s Seattle. It rains a lot here. And when it comes to wet weather, you’ll want to make sure the interior of your home is protected during the job.
So ask the company what their plan is if they’re hit with bad weather mid-job. A responsible company will let you know that they’ll cover your roof with tarp or underlayment. An irresponsible company will just use plastic sheeting.
And don’t forget that rain can last for days on end in Seattle, making a two-day job become a two-week job. So don’t forget to ask the company what their plan is if there’s extensive rain. Here are some sample questions to ask:
- Will the company send someone by every few days to make sure the covering is still protecting the home?
- Will someone come by to further secure the covering if a windstorm is approaching?
- Do you have a 24-hour emergency line in case the covering becomes loose?
- Will the underlayment be 100% water-tight?
Request references and examples of previous work
Just like anyone you’d hire for a job, you also want to make sure a company has put in quality work in the past. Ask the roofing company for a list of references of past clients that you can contact. It doesn’t have to be an extensive list—two to three references should be enough to gauge whether the clients were satisfied with the company’s job. If it’s not possible to get a list of past references, you can also research the company on the Better Business Bureau.
Another thing to ask for is examples of their past work. An experienced roofing company should have a portfolio that highlights the jobs they’ve created—whether it’s a hard copy or on their website.
How quick did the company return your call … or did they even return it at all? And what about documents that you asked them to send you?
If your answer is no to any of these then you may want to steer clear of the company. Communication is key to running a successful business, and if the company is unresponsive or doesn’t follow through during your initial meeting then that may be a precursor to how they approach the job. You’ll want a company that is responsive and communicative, especially if you commit to working with them.
Ask for a detailed write-up of the job
The last thing to look for, especially when you’re about to close the deal, is a detailed estimate of the job. Make sure the write-up includes all the activities that will be performed, the cost of removing the old roof, installation of the new roof, material of the new roof, and any other details such as material that needs to be replaced. Having all of this written down doesn’t allow roofing companies to sign you up for costs or jobs that you didn’t mutually agree upon.
Finding a Seattle roofing company requires a lot of due diligence. Making sure a roofing company is licensed, takes precautions to protect your property, and has a track record of satisfactory work are your top priority when doing your research. Without any of these, you’re putting your home along with the employees on the job at risk.
If you’re looking for a Seattle roofing company, give us a call at (360) 205-3100 or fill out our contact form.