Roofing companies are a “dime a dozen,” and no more so than during storm seasons. Companies from outside the market like Charlotte and Atlanta descend on the Upstate after storms. These roofers are referred to in the industry as “storm-chasers”. They race to the most damaged neighborhoods in a storm and offer roofing repair with multiple crews. However, what is often left out of the quote or discussion is any type of labor warranty.
If you are receiving a new roof there are certain things you need to consider before engaging and contracting a roofing contractor. One of those is a labor warranty. Many firms only offer warranties on shingles and other roofing materials, but not their work.
Pay attention to the fine print in your contract with any roofer, local or regional. Roofers like auto mechanics can make mistakes. It happens and it’s part of the business. While the goal is to be mistake-free from time to time conscientious and reputable roofing contractors make mistakes. Like automobiles, your roof is made up of parts that can be affected by weather events, storms, wind, hail, and other weather-related damage. However, sometimes laborers and roofing professionals make mistakes. Any company worth its reputation will offer a labor warranty for a certain period.
If your roofer is not willing to offer a labor and materials-only warranty walk away. There are plenty of local, family-owned businesses that are highly rated by the Better Business Bureau willing to offer a limited labor warranty. Roofs are like the moving parts of a vehicle. Things break down over time and companies worth their salt stand behind their labor and will help you fight for material warranties if it’s not their fault.
This is why it’s so important to do your homework when selecting or vetting roofing companies. A locally-owned firm is far more likely to return to the job and make things right in writing than a storm-chasing crew simply going from job to job in and out of state. Local firms are accessible after the work and you don’t have to chase them down for information or follow up, like out of state storm chasing crews.
Start with reputable, local referrals. Talk to your neighbors, co-workers, or family members who have had a good experience with a roofing company. Go check out their work. Keep in mind each job is different, but it will give you an idea of the quality of work. A local contractor will understand local/state building codes, permitting, and other regulations. They will also have relationships with inspectors, city/county offices and subcontractors should anything beyond roofing issues surface in their inspection, or during their scope of work.
After you have the name of several companies do your homework. Go online and research your company list and add any others that may pop up. Read the Google and other search engine reviews, but be mindful that some reviews can be influenced, or padded. When doing online searches beware of company ads that pop up on the search page It doesn’t mean they are not a solid company, but it is a paid ad that puts them on the first page. Go to the Better Business Bureau to check out their business rating (look for an A+) and to see if any complaints have been filed. You can also use sites like Home Advisor and Angie’s List to find out about local companies.
Make sure your contractor is licensed, bonded, and insured. Remember, roofing materials like shingles carry their own warranty and you are specifically asking about roofing labor. There is a big difference and companies that offer any type of roofing labor warranty are stand-up companies and will be your advocate.
Gilstrap Roofing has been a family-owned and operated business serving the Upstate and Midlands of South Carolina since 1935. We welcome your questions, and scrutiny in searching for a roofing contractor. We are a full-service roofing contractor with an A+ BBB rating.
Brian Gilstrap, President
Greenville, SC 29611