TIP#1: Do not sign any contractor’s paper before getting a detailed quote.
Avoid contractors who try to convince you to sign a paper before they give you an estimate. They do this so they can go directly to your insurance company without giving you a written quote. This locks you in to only using their company. It is crucial that you get a detailed estimate stating the scope of work and the shingle manufacturer the contractor is going to install on your home. Also, getting 2 or 3 quotes from quality local companies helps you compare work scope.
Note: If you do get locked into this contractor tactic, contact your insurance company. They may help you get out of the situation without paying the $500 cancel fee which is common with these companies.
TIP#2: Do your research and screen roofing contractors.
A successful project starts with a quality driven contractor. Look for companies who have been in business for at least 5 years (most businesses fail within first 3 years). Search them on the internet for reviews on Angie’s List or the BBB. Many roofing companies were thrown together to “work” the hail storm. Do your homework!
TIP#3: Beware of stormchaser companies. Use a local established contractor.
Hail storms attract roofing companies from across the country into our area. These companies come in and take large amounts of work from the local companies (and local economy) before moving on to the next big storm. If a roof issue comes up 2 or 3 years after installation, the likelihood of these companies honoring their workmanship by traveling back to our area to service your roof is slim.
TIP#4: Consider upgrading you shingle.
A roof can be as much as 50% of your home’s appearance. You can make dramatic changes to your home by carefully selecting the right color and style of shingle. A dimensional shingle adds great curb appeal and a higher wind resistance than the traditional style shingle. It’s great bang for your buck.
TIP#5: Watch out for off brand shingles.
Some contractors use off brand, low quality shingles to maximize their profit. They purchase low quality shingles at a discounted rate, and then use the savings to undercut legitimate companies who are putting on quality shingles. This is how they can also “throw in” the deductible. Ask local building suppliers and lumber yards the names of the top 2 or 3 shingle manufacturers. If they are not familiar with the shingle manufacturer be cautious.
TIP#6: Selling your home with hail damage.
If you ignore the hail damage now and decide to sell your home in a few years, a house inspector may flag your roof for hail damage. This could leadto you having to replace your roof in order to sell your home. Most insurance companies give you up to a year to file a claim from the date of the storm. If the damage gets flagged after a year, you may have to pay for the roof out of your own pocket. Get peace of mind with our free inspection!
TIP#7: Request Workmanship Warranties, Credentials and References.
Good contractors are usually eager to give out references in your area and a copy of their installation certifications. Also, ask to see a written certificate of their workmanship warranty, insurance and workers’ comp.
TIP#8: Look for other damage to your home from the hail storm.
Inspect your home. Insurance covers more than just roof hail damage. Damage from hail can also be found on vinyl/aluminum siding, gutters & downspouts, screens, window glass, shutters, wood/metal entry doors and garage doors, exterior light fixtures, decks and wood fencing, A/C units, wood trim boards, etc…