I have come across this problem much too often: "The mistake of hiring the wrong roofing contractor"
About 6 months ago I went to do a roof estimate for a homeowner that had a 30 year roofing system installed about 7 years prior. Needless to say, she had plenty of leaks everywhere around the house. The damage was so severe in some areas that the sheetrock and insulation were coming down on them from the ceiling. The "roofer" that they had hired to install the last roof was now out of business so there was no way to find him and make him pay for the damages or repair them. They even had leaks from the first storm after he installed the roof. One thing I have noticed in this area is that some roofing contractors get to a point where they have so many installation warranty claims filed or huge debts with suppliers and subcontractors. They decide to go start a new company with a new name and start from scratch (we'll talk about this later) , going back to our frustrated homeowner and her leaky roof. She told me she wasn't able to afford a new roof for a while since it was a big one (about 4,000 square feet). So they just had to pay other companies to do temporary repairs every year or every time there was a big storm coming. I could really understand her frustration.
After I inspected the roof I went and talked to the homeowners and informed them that the prior installation was wrong in every possible way and the only thing we could do to stop the leaks and offer a warranty was to completely replace their roof. They pretty much expected that so I gave them the estimate and told them to get other estimates from reputable roofing companies. And to do some research on their own and what roofing system was best for them. After I told them this they said that they had plenty of other estimates already and would want our company to replace their roof. They said I was the only person that brought up most of the problems with the prior installation and solutions on how to fix them with detail (I love educating homeowners by the way). We were completely booked for almost 2 weeks so I made a few calls to some of the clients that had no leaks and asked them if we could move their installation date back, one of them very graciously agreed. We scheduled the installation within a day or two and started the tear off process. This particular roof was very tricky because it had many valleys, hips, pitch transitions, skylights, chimneys and all kind of roof penetrations. The damage in some areas was more severe than we had anticipated. Some areas had so much damage that part of the structure of the roof was damaged. It took hours and hours of extra work for our men to fix about 20 rafters, about 60 sheets of plywood, install all the flashing properly (this is the metal that goes around the roof penetrations) and install the membrane underlayment and roofing system according to manufactures specifications and city codes.
At the end we were able to make their roof look beautiful and free from the elements, the homeowner was really happy and we were able to offer an extended warranty on top of our regular warranty since we are certified factory installers. I mentioned that even if we go out of business the manufacturer will back up our warranty. Once we finished the job I told her that we truly enjoyed meeting her and her husband and enjoyed working with them and to call me if they needed anything else in the future or had any problems with the roof. They haven't called since.
By all means, always do your research and beware of those roofing contractors that love to rip off customers left and right. Some of them love to pressure you into signing a contract without even sleeping on it. They tell you how honest they are and how everybody else isn't and they say that they never had any leaks on prior jobs (even the best guys make mistakes, we for sure have some). They say how inefficient everybody else is and that your life would be so much better if you decide to go with them because they offer the best services and all types of magic products. Many of these guys usually have PO Box addresses or fake ones. They don't like to look into your eyes usually because they only care about making a sale and not installing the best product available for the customer.
There are many ways to find out information now days, the internet is a huge tool. Always ask for referrals and even go to one of their job-sites prior to your installation. Ask for license and insurance and look at the dates. Ask for any certifications or accreditations and a portfolio of their work, etc.
Choosing a roofer should not be a hard thing to do, and if you choose right it might be the last roof you buy since most homeowners would have only one roof installation in their lifetime.
If you are in search of a new roof or are looking for a reputable roofing company in the Virginia Beach area or Hampton Roads, please give us a call and we will be glad to help you out and inform you of some of the new roofing systems that are available.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.
Residential and Commercial Roofing Services. Hampton Roads Va.