Hiring an Atlanta Roofing Contractor

While many roofing problems are caused by natural wear or accidental damage, some result from improper installation by roofers who simply do not know what they are doing. Knowing what to look for in an Atlanta roofing contractor and what to ask for once you find one can go a long way towards making sure you the best finished product.

Waiting for the right company. Your first impulse after finding a leak will be to get it fixed as soon as possible. Remember, good roofing companies are often very busy right after a big rain. If you find an Atlanta roofing company that isn't busy, there might be a reason for that. Be patient and wait until a good company can fit you in. Many homeowners have paid twice for their roofs: once to have it done by a less-reputable contractor, and a second time to have it redone correctly by a reputable one.

Door-to-door sales. Most reputable Atlanta roofers do not go door to door looking for sales leads. Do your homework and compare estimates from several Atlanta roofing contractors before making a decision. Once you get written quotes from several Atlanta roofers, remember that sometimes a straight price comparison is insufficient. For example, if one company is offering a 20-year shingle while another company is offering a 40-year shingle, you must do a few calculations to perform the comparison. Additionally, many homeowners have found that quotes that seem too good to be true usually are too good to be true. Some less-reputable companies may offer an incredibly low price by taking questionable shortcuts.

Toe boards. Some roofing contractors will cut costs by doing things such as not re-nailing loose decking. Instead, these companies simply hammer down the nails that pop up during tear-off. Another way some roofing companies cut costs is by nailing their toe boards into your roof. Toe boards are temporary wood strips the roofer stands upon while working on steep pitch roofs. Some less-professional roofers nail these boards through the face of the shingles, thus creating holes in them. This practice weakens the roof and can create leak problems, either immediately or a few years down the road. Unfortunately, when problems emerge, the roofer who caused them is often difficult to locate. Good roofers have specially designed brackets that attach the toe boards under the shingles.

Types of roofs. Most Atlanta roofs are traditional composite shingle or textured shingle roofs. However, other specialty roofs such as slate, tile, cedar shake, and metal are also common. If you have or want to have a specialty roof, choose an Atlanta roofing contractor with experience with that specialty.

Insurance. Make sure the Atlanta roofing company you choose carries both workers' compensation and liability insurance. Because of the dangers inherent in working on a roof, workers' compensation and liability insurance are a significant cost to a roofing company. Since the cost of the insurance is high, some companies do not carry it. This practice is a shortcut some companies take to underbid the competition.

Once you select an Atlanta roofing company, there are several things you should be sure the company does before the work is complete.

Before you start. First, make sure your roofing contractor removes or blocks old roof vents, turbine vents and gable end vents when they install a ridge vent. If not, the vents will disrupt air flow.  Before your Atlanta roofer replaces any decking, insist he or she sets aside the damaged decking so you can be sure it is actually damaged. Make sure your roofer nails all loose decking to the rafters with new cement-coated sinkers, or the equivalent, prior to new installation.

Cleanup. Cleanup is one area where you may need to be especially clear with your Atlanta roofing contractor on expectations. Levels of cleanup deemed acceptable by roofers vary greatly, anywhere from a yard full of debris and nails to a yard that looks the way it did before the roofing job. Make sure your roofing company walks over your entire yard with a large magnet on wheels to pick up any stray nails.

Rain damage. If your Atlanta roofing job involves tearing off your old roof, make sure at the end of the day your roof is covered in case it rains. If a heavy rain occurs while the house has no roof, severe damage can result. Some roofers will take chances by tearing off the entire roof at once. Insist your roofer either tears off and replaces a section at a time or uses large tarps to cover the work area.

Now that you know what questions to ask and what to insist on, browse the Atlanta roofing contractors who made the Home Reports Best Pick™ list.