Every year homeowners go through the arduous task of having to choose a roofing contractor.

Many times it is because of severe weather and the tremendous damage that follows in its wake. Millions of dollars in damage happens each year due to high winds, hail, tornadoes and hurricanes. Usually these severe storms come unexpected and leave home owners scurrying to secure their homes until they can get help from first responders. We don’t always think of roofers as being first responders but they are and after a devastating hail storm they are happy for their services.

Often homeowners feel pressure to move quickly after a storm to get their roofs repaired. This can lead to letting roofers, often who are not local and who are unscrupulous, take advantage of homeowners that may unwittingly use them. The best advice to a homeowner who has just experienced a damaging hail storm is… don’t rush to choose a roofing contractor. If the homeowner is experiencing water getting into their home they can get temporary emergency tarping. This allows the homeowner to take their time in choosing the right roofing contractor.

In choosing the right roofing contractor, the homeowner should first look for a local roofing company with a proven track record. Out-of-town contractors often talk a good story and even install a good roof, but you want to make sure your contractor will be there in the future just in case you have a warranty problem. Ask friends, neighbors, relatives or roofing supply companies for referrals. Find out from them what kind of job the company did and if they were satisfied.

Find out if the company was timely, if they kept their contract agreement, if they started and completed the job as agreed. Find out how long the company has been in business. Make sure your contractor is familiar with local codes and ordinances. Another good question to ask is how well the company handles their complaints. If a problem does arise you want a company that will respond quickly to your complaint.

Ask the roofing contractor for proof of insurance. Not all states require roofing contractors to be licensed but in states where they are be sure to ask if they are licensed. Check with your local Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed against the contractor. Ask the contractor for an estimate before signing a contract. Look the contractor’s contract over very carefully making sure it covers everything both of you have agreed to, including added extras and clean-up and haul off.

Another important item to explore is the contractor’s workmanship warranty. Usually workmanship warranties are for one year or longer. Also find out as much as you can about the manufacturer’s warranty just in case there is a problem with their product down the road.

If you do your research in looking for the right roofing contractor your relationship could last for years.