10 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Commercial Roofer

Written by Heins Contracting

On September 7, 2020

Commercial roofing needs are very different from residential ones in the sense that commercial roofing centers on functionality and utility with just a hint of visual appeal. While homeowners are out for aesthetics and curb appeal, business owners want roofing that’s cost-effective, durable, and long-lasting.

You’d be correct if you said commercial roofs are built for business, but that doesn’t mean they last forever. You sooner or later have to replace your commercial roof, and that’s where a commercial roofer comes in.

The longevity, durability, and overall quality of your commercial roof are only as good as your commercial roofing contractor. As such, it’s super important to be keen on the commercial roofing contractor you settle on to get your money’s worth.

With the commercial roofing market crowded with subpar roofing contractors, finding a good commercial roofer is easier said than done. However, asking the right questions can help you sidestep incompetent roofing contractors to find the best commercial roofer for the job.

If you’re in the market for a commercial roofing contractor, here are a few questions you should ask to know who you’re working with.

1. Do You Have Proper Certification?

The first indicator of a professional commercial roofer is proper certification. You most certainly don’t want to leave your roofing in the hands of a company without licenses or the right certificates. Proper certification proves that the company is well-versed with state roofing codes and roofing techniques.

Don’t expect much from a company without certification, except, of course, poor service and a heap of problems in the future.

2. How Long Have You Been in Business?

Never overlook the experience of a roofing contractor because it mostly goes hand-in-hand with their quality of service. A roofing contractor must be doing a good job to survive in the industry for a long period.

Find out how long the roofing contractor has been in operation to get a picture of their experience in the field. Not to say that you should disregard new roofing contractors in the game, especially those with positive ratings. It’s just a good idea to go with roofing contractors with lots of experience for the best results.

3. What Clients Have You Worked for Before?

The experience of the roofing contractor is just part of the equation. You also have to consider the roofing contractor’s references and reviews. Ask if the commercial roofer can provide you with a few referrals to know the type of company you’re dealing with.

You can never go wrong with a company that has an extensive portfolio. Top-rated commercial roofers are proud of their previous work and would gladly show them to you. It is even better if they can give you a list of referrals.

You can contact these referrals and learn about the quality of the contractor’s services from the horse’s mouth. Lastly, you shouldn’t trust online reviews too much; instead, look for testimonials to learn more about that specific roofing company.

4. What Roofing Materials and Designs Do You Offer?

Commercial roofing contractors should offer a wide range of materials and roofing designs to be worth your time. Although you don’t need sophisticated designs or materials for your commercial roofs, you need confidence in the company you settle for.

A company that offers a wide range of roofing solutions, including designs and materials, really know their stuff. Such companies also don’t restrict your choice of design and material to just a few basic choices. Instead, you have a lot to choose from, and your roof can reflect your company’s image, for instance, your company colors.

Also, even if you don’t care about aesthetics that much, it’s okay for your roof to have some or a lot of visual appeal. So always settle for a commercial roofer that offers a wide range of materials and designs at your disposal.

5. How Long Will You Take?

The term “time is money” is more emphatic in business, and that’s why you should always ask how long the roof installation will take. Typically, it should take anywhere from a couple of days to a few weeks depending on the size of the job. However, a good roofing contractor will get everything done in the shortest time possible.

It’s only natural for roofing contractors to be overly optimistic about how long they’ll take to complete the work. If you know better, you’ll understand that roofing is a labor-intensive and time-consuming job that could take longer than anticipated. As such, you should expect the roof installation to take a bit longer than what the roofing contractors estimate.

Be cautious of roofers that promise to deliver your roof within a very short time. It means they’re either lying or cutting corners to complete the work in such a short time. Of course, they could just be extremely professional with superhuman workers, but that’s highly unlikely.

6. Will You First Remove My Old Roof?

Unknown to most people, it’s illegal to cover old shingles with new ones instead of replacing them. In some states, reroofing is against the law because they only allow one layer of shingles on the roof. If you’re in one of these states, then you need to know whether the roofing contractor will tear down your old roof first.

You’d be surprised at how many companies don’t offer roof removal services, especially the inexperienced ones. It’s a good idea to steer clear from such contractors and find one that does complete roof replacement.

Adding a second layer of shingles to your current roof could void your roof warranty. It also adds to the weight of your roof, and don’t be surprised when it comes tumbling down, especially after heavy rains. So it’s best to find a roofer that can remove your current roof before installing a new one.

7. Do I Get a Roofing Warranty?

Sooner or later, you’ll have to address the elephant in the room, and that’s the roofing warranty. It’s no secret; the best commercial roofers have warranties for their services because they are confident in their work quality.

However, you shouldn’t mix up the manufacturer warranty and the workmanship warranty. The former deals with the roofing materials and elements, including shingles, gutters, and the likes. A workmanship warranty, on the other hand, centers on the quality of service of the contractor.

Issues with roofing materials are rarely covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.  However, improper installation can lead to a host of problems that end up being very costly in the long run. So make sure the roofing company you settle for offers a comprehensive and straight forward warranty for their services.

8. Does Your Company Have Insurances?

Certification aside, you need to find a roofing contractor with proper license and insurance for your peace of mind.  At the very least, the company should have general liability insurance, so you don’t have to incur any extra costs in case anything goes wrong.

Your roofing contractor should also have workers’ compensation before you sign any paper. This could save you a heap of costly legal trouble should any worker get injured while working on your roof.

A commercial roofer without proper insurance is a definite no-go-zone for any serious business owner. You should also look for a commercial roofer that’s bonded.

9. What Materials Would You Recommend for My Establishments?

This question lets you know the competence of the roofing company and whether they can offer solid suggestions. The contractor should be able to give you a clear answer and logical reasons why that specific material is better than other roofing materials.

Top-tier commercial roofing contractors will give you side-by-side comparisons of different roofing materials. That way, you can see for yourself that material A is better than material B.

However, you should be cautious when asking this question because some contractors will simply recommend the most expensive material. To avoid this trap, you should ask other roofing contractors the same question to find out whether your contractor is duping you.

10. Will I Constantly Be Getting Project Updates?

If you’re serious about the quality of your roof, then you’d naturally want to be more involved in the project. However, some contractors would rather keep you in the dark if their motives are ulterior. There’s no good reason why a commercial roofer wouldn’t want to update their clients on the progress of the roofing.

So if the contractor is hesitant about updating you on the progress of the roofing, then that’s a clear red flag. Go with a commercial roofer that sees you as a business partner and not just someone they can get money from.

The Best Commercial Roofer Is Only 10 Questions Away

You don’t have to spend your hard-earned cash on subpar roofing contractors. With these ten questions, you can now find a commercial roofer that’s worth your time and money.

You should also be wary of roofing contractors that charge unreasonably low prices for their services. It means there’s something they’re skimping on to still make a profit with such a low service cost.

For professional, expedient, and world-class commercial roofing services, contact us today, and we’ll sort you out.

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