Out-of-Town Roofing Contractors

Roofing Bloomington, IL

Many homeowners in Central Illinois were devastatingly impacted by the storm that arrived last fall- home repairs continue to ensue 6 months later.  As a local contractor, it is our responsibility and duty to both inform and educate the Bloomington/Normal area in regards to the risks of out of town contractors, commonly known as “storm chasers”.

The exterior construction business is a rather large portion of all remodeling that takes place on homes; it continues to have national, year over year growth.  As the demand for exterior construction needs rises, the population of “storm chasers” has proportionately grown. These contractors will follow storm activity nationally, never staying too long in one place. It is commonplace for “storm chasers” to ascend upon a storm ravaged area with a sales staff exceeding twenty sales people.  These sales people will go door-to-door knocking and asking for permission to inspect the damaged roof, siding, gutters, and/or air conditioner. Upon completion of the inspection, the sales staff may ask to contact your insurance company directly; they may even ask for a signature seeking permission. Be cautious and hesitant of what you sign- read all contracts and legal documents carefully; many of these permission slips and documents have a clause requiring the homeowner to employ said contractor upon an insurance settlement.

Feel free to contact your insurance company for contractor recommendations.  For example, Country Companies’ adjusters have a policy in place where they can recommend three contractors. State Farm has a preferred vendor list.  However, most insurance companies have additional policies in place to attempt to mitigate their liability to the homeowner in the event of the contractor not completing the work in a professional manner.  This is the exact moment where it becomes the homeowners responsibility to perform their due diligence.  The majority of insurance companies nationally place a one-year timeframe upon the initiation of a claim from a storm.  This being said, unless there is imminent damage, most homeowners have time to initiate an insurance claim.

The following are a list of bullet points on ways to perform said diligence:

-Run “construction storm chasers” through whatever Internet Search Engine you use.

-If a salesman comes to your door, do not sign anything.  Please take time to review the estimate and the contractor.

-Inquire as to where the company is physically located and the length of time in that location.

-If it is an out of town contractor, inquire what type of service after the sale will you get.  Is the contractor willing to drive, in some cases, hundreds of miles to return for service?  Please get this portion in writing.

-Please demand copies of both Liability and Workmen’s Compensation Insurance.

-Ask to see required state permits and licenses. Both contractors and insurance adjusters have to be licensed by state agencies.

-Inquire if the company has employees performing the work or will it be subcontracted out.  If it is subcontracted out, demand copies of the Subcontractors Insurance as well.  Ask to meet the Subcontractor that will be working on your home prior to work being started.

Please utilize the above questions.  There are many other tools available for a homeowner to use.  Such as, Internet reviews, local business associations and reviews, BBB, and referrals.  We urge you to use these resources to determine the caliber of your potential contractor.

First Roof Of The Season

Our guys have been anxious to get back to roofing after this long, hard winter.  When your house is having the roof replaced make sure your contractors don’t skip on the safety of themselves and your property! All workers should be wearing a harness and for certain grades of steepness toe bars should be installed. Windows in the concentrated area of working should be covered with boards to prevent and scratches or broken windows.  For added assurance, have your contractor list you as an additional insured. Before and after pictures soon to come!

Protect windows with boards
Protect windows with boardsIMG_2992

A tarp makes the majority of clean-up easier
A tarp makes the majority of clean-up easier

It’s that time of year…

As we all anxiously anticipate Spring, ideas for home improvement and thoughts on home repairs come rolling through our head. A good place to start knowing what and who is available to you is at your local home show.

Our booth at the Bloomington Normal Area Home Show
Our booth at the Bloomington Normal Area Home Show

If your roof showed it’s age this winter with all the ice and snow, a new roof is probably first on your list of home repairs. A new roof is a considerable investment to any home and if installed correctly will improve its value. Many contractors try to cut corners on roofs and will tell you things that what’s skipped is not a necessity. Caleb Gee, Roofing Project Manager of Carlson Exteriors Inc., built a great demo to inform homeowners what is essential to your roof.

Roof Anatomy
Roof Anatomy- Click to Enlarge

When you begin roofing, it’s important to lay down Ice and Water at all valleys and at the rake of the roof (like pictured here). Ice and Water is a thermoplastic, which means as it gets warm it will seal around any nail holes or protrusions; preventing melting ice dams from leaking down to the roof deck. It’s good practice to lay this under the metal Drip Edge on the slant edges of the roof but on top of the Drip Edge at the eaves- in case a strong wind would push rain under the shingles exposing the Drip Edge, the roof deck will still be protected by the Ice and Water.  Once the Ice and water has been laid down, roll out the Synthetic Felt over the rest of the exposed roof deck with a 6 inch overlap with the Ice and Water. After the Drip Edge has been nailed in, lay Starter Strip not only on the base of the roof but along the whole perimeter of the roof.  Starter Strip has a line of tar to seal with the shingles that are laid on top of it. Using Starter Strip on the sides will seal the shingles down on the edge,the most prevalent spot for wind to pull up the shingle tabs. Now it’s time for the shingles! Work your way up all the way across the bottom and then upwards. When starting the next row of shingles, make sure the shingle edges from the first row are a full tab separate from the next row. This is important to control water flow by preventing it from getting under shingles to the deck.

Air shoots in attic
Air shoots in attic

It’s important not to skip on air shoots in the attic to ensure proper air flow from the intake vents at the soffit up to the exhaust at the ridge vent. Ridge vents are a popular choice when it comes to roof ventilation but make sure enough of it is installed for you net free area within your attic space, or, explore other venting options (read our previous post about proper roof ventilation to learn more)