If your home needs a roof replacement, you may feel out of your wheelhouse. Most homeowners only replace their roofs once or twice during their lifetimes, making the process unfamiliar and daunting to many.
However, choosing the right roofing contractor can ease your worries significantly. The best roofing contractors are trustworthy, knowledgeable, and professional, making your roof replacement a breeze.
Before you replace your roof, you should spend time learning about your roofing company to ensure that it can provide the best roofing services for your home improvement needs. Here are five questions to ask a roofing contractor before hiring them for a roof replacement in Fairfax, VA.
1. How Much Will the Job Cost?
One of your biggest concerns about your roof replacement is probably the cost. If you’re like many homeowners, you’d probably like to know precisely how much the roof replacement will cost before you hire a contractor. That way, you can compare prices and find the most budget-friendly company to work with.
Most roofing companies provide a free estimate in which they come to your property, assess your existing roof, and present the costs of a replacement. However, these estimates are sometimes not comprehensive.
Be sure to ask your roofing contractor whether the estimate they give you is an actual reflection of your total, final costs. Then, ask the contractor to break down how they came up with that figure, and be sure to receive the estimate in writing. Doing so will prevent you from experiencing any surprise charges at the end of the installation.
2. What Services Does the Roof Replacement Include?
Some roofing companies attempt to replace roofs in as few steps as possible by simply attaching the new roofing shingles to the old ones. They may also offer discounted costs because of this shortcut method.
While you may be tempted to allow your roofer to cover the old shingles with the new ones, this method could prevent your new roof from providing adequate durability and longevity. Shingles are much more secure when attached directly to the roof deck rather than existing shingles.
Additionally, removing your old roof allows your contractor to inspect the roof deck. If your contractor notices any issues or signs of damage, they can repair the deck before applying the new shingles, creating a stronger foundation for your new roof.
Some companies also cut corners in other ways during roof replacement jobs. Before you hire a company, be sure to ask the following questions about the services it will provide:
- Will you repair any damaged areas in the roof deck?
- Will you dispose of my old roofing materials and other debris?
- Will you install edging or flashing?
Make sure you understand whether the above services are included in the estimate the roofer gave you or if they could add them for an additional fee.
3. What Materials Will You Use?
Some roofing contractors automatically assume that you want to replace your old roof with the same materials. However, the best contractors spend time informing you about the different materials they offer and the pros and cons of each.
Most homeowners in Virginia have low-cost asphalt roofs, and your existing roof is probably this material as well. While asphalt is relatively affordable, it only lasts an average of 20 years on most homes. If you’re planning to stay in your home long-term or want to increase your property value, considering a longer-lasting material may be wise.
Specifically, you may want to look into replacing your roof with any of the following materials:
- Galvanized steel
If you decide to stick with asphalt, you should ask your contractor about the durability of the asphalt shingles they use. Paying a bit more for a higher-quality asphalt roof could prevent you from needing to replace your roof again during your homeownership.
4. How Will You Protect My Home?
Replacing a roof is a big job, and if your contractor makes any wrong moves, they may put your home at risk of experiencing expensive damage. That’s why the best roofing companies have liability insurance to ensure that they can pay for any damage or other expenses during the roof installation.
You can ask a roofing contractor outright about the insurance policies its company holds. If a contractor does not have liability insurance, we recommend searching for a different option. Working with an uninsured company could be expensive if any damage occurs during the installation.
Along with ensuring that the company you choose has insurance, you should also review what measures it takes to prevent damage from happening in the first place. You can ask the company directly how it plans to protect your property throughout the project. Will it cover landscaping surrounding your house? Will it protect your roof if bad weather occurs?
Finally, you should be sure to review a company’s licenses before hiring it. Roofing contractors in Fairfax need specific licenses to install roofs in Virginia. If a company cannot show you its licenses, you may want to look for a different option.
5. How Long Will the New Roof Last?
The last question you should make sure to clarify before a roof installation is: how long will the new roof last?
Because replacing your roof is such a sizable and costly task, you probably want to make sure the new roof will last a long time. Even the lowest-quality roofing materials typically last at least 20 years, but your roofing contractor can take a few measures to ensure that your new roof lasts as long as possible.
For example, your roofer may offer a yearly roofing repair and maintenance plan that can help your roof stay in the best condition. With this plan, your roofer may inspect your roof once per year and repair any roof damage.
Additionally, your roofer may offer a warranty or guarantee that protects your roofing system during the first few years of its lifespan.
Asking the right questions before your roof replacement can help you feel confident that your roofer will take the necessary measures to optimize your experience. If you’re looking for a roofing company you can trust, our Nova Exteriors team is ready to assist you. Contact us today at 703-386-7949 to schedule your free in-home estimate.
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