How to Find the Roofing Contractor That's Right For You

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The biggest obstacle homeowners face when looking to fix or replace their roof is choosing the right person to do the job. After a damaging storm, they need to quickly get back to normal and perform the necessary roofing repairs. But that doesn’t mean they should just choose the first contractor who knocks on their door! Finding a contractor who is trustworthy, honest, and professional may sound difficult, but follow these tips to determine if your contractor is reputable and can be trusted to protect your home!  

  1. Get local referrals.

    There is less chance of potential issues or scams when you choose a contractor from your community. They are more familiar with local rules and code regulations and have a relationship with area crews and suppliers. They also have most likely did work for someone you know, so you will be able to get an honest evaluation of  their work quality and skills. 
  2. Look for manufacturer designations

    Manufacturer designations are considered a badge of honor because the contractor must pass certain minimum requirements to be factory-certified (although, some manufacturers have more stringent requirements than others). For example, GAF strictly enforces their top designation by only allowing 2% of roofing contractors per market to be recognized as Master Elite® Contractors. CertainTeed, Tamko, and other manufacturers also have high designations that can aide in the decision making process.

  3. Look at Google Reviews. 

    Reputable roofing contractors will have numerous positive reviews on Google, and a high star rating. These reviews can be extremely helpful in determining the quality of customer service provided, however, don't let this be your sole determining factor. One negative review from a disgruntled customer doesn't always accurately represent the company. 
  4. Get an extensive warranty. 

    Not all contractors can offer manufacturer warranties that include coverage of the contractor’s workmanship. If a contractor installs the roof incorrectly, it may take months or years for the damage to show up—and insurance won’t pay for it. If the contractor won’t fix it (or worse, has gone out of business), your only recourse is to pay for their mistake yourself. For example, A GAF Master Elite® Contractor can offer one of the longest workmanship warranties on the market—the Golden Pledge®Warranty.
  5. Research Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings. 

    Some contractors blow in right after a storm looking for work, so it’s important to look them up on the BBB website and make sure they have a good score. Stay away from contractors who do not exist on BBB.org.
  6.  Be concerned about safety.

    A contractor without a training or safety program may not be the best person for your job. There are certain standards laid out by OSHA that roofing contractors must follow in order to stay in business and avoid hefty fines. If your contractor doesn't follow these safety rules, they may not be completely qualified for the job. 
  7. Check for proper licensing and insurance. 

    The contractor should have insurance for all employees and subcontractors and be able to provide a copy of their insurance certificate for validation. Not having adequate insurance could potentially lead to litigation between a contractor and homeowner if a roofing employee sustains an injury at the home. Most states require licensing for contractors, but that does not stop unlicensed contractors from attempting to do the roofing work. In states where licenses are required, make sure your contractor provides you with a copy of their license and confirm their status online. 
  8. Know your material choices. 

    A contractor who does not offer you different shingle options is not looking out for your best interest. The style and color of the shingles you install can affect the resale value of your home. If the insurance company is paying for a new roof, it may be the perfect time to make a change and upgrade to a more unique style that suits your taste.
http://blog.gaf.com/10-tips-to-help-homeowners-choose-the-right-roofing-contractor/

GAF Master Elite™ Certification - What does it mean?

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Who is GAF?

GAF is a roofing manufacturing company that was founded in 1886 in Parsippany, New Jersey. They have become North America's largest manufacturer of residential and commercial roofing materials, with sales approaching $3 billion. GAF's standard line of lifetime shingles, Timberline HD, is the #1 selling line in America. Because of their high standards and reputation in the industry, GAF is able to offer the highest level of roofing certifications and warranties.

What is Master Elite™?

A Master Elite™ Certification from GAF is the highest level of roofing certifications available in the roofing industry. To gain this certification, contractors need to

  • Be properly licensed
  • Adequately Insured
  • Have a proven reputation
  • Be committed to ongoing professional training

Only 2% of all roofing companies qualify as Master Elite™. This means that out of the 2,000 roofing companies in Georgia, only 40 are able to meet GAF's high quality standards. In order to uphold these standards, GAF randomly inspects a large number the roofs that each company puts on each year.

In some states, including Georgia, roofing companies are not required to hold a specific roofing license. This makes holding a Master Elite™ Certification one of the few ways to determine if your chosen contractor is actually qualified to perform work on your roof.

What does this mean?

J&M Roofing, Inc is qualified as a Master Elite™ contractor, which means we are able to provide our customers with the most inclusive warranties in the roofing business. These warranties give our customers the piece of mind to know that no matter what happens, their roof will be taken care of. Even if customers choose not to purchase these warranties, they know that quality materials are being put on their roof and that they will receive the highest quality workmanship in the business.

Warranties

GAF offers three levels of worry-free warranties.

The Golden Pledge Warranty is the most inclusive warranty available. It covers 100% of all manufacturer defects for the entire lifetime of the shingle. Golden Pledge also covers workmanship defects for 25 years. This includes tear-off costs, as well as disposal costs. Any repairs needed because of manufacturer defects or poor workmanship will be made by a GAF Master Elite™ Roofing Contractor, ensuring that you will get the highest quality work possible. Golden Pledge is a one-time transferable warranty.

The Silver Pledge Warranty is the mid-level warranty that is offered by GAF. This covers 100% of all manufacturer defects for the entire lifetime of the shingle. The workmanship coverage for Silver Pledge is 10 years. This includes tear-off costs, as well as disposal costs. It is also a one-time transferable warranty

The Systems Plus Warranty is the lowest level warranty that GAF offers. It also covers 100% of all manufacturer defects for  the entire lifetime of the shingle, but it only has a 2 year Workmanship Coverage. Systems Plus covers tear-off costs, but it does not cover the cost of disposal. It is a one-time transferable warranty.

Frequently Asked Roofing Questions

   

When searching for a roofing company, there are many questions that need to be answered. Sometimes it is difficult to find the answers to these questions without hours and hours of research. Below we have compiled answers to a few of the most frequently asked roofing questions we hear to make your roofing company search a little easier! 

1) Q: HOW DO I KNOW IF I NEED A NEW ROOF?

A: The most easily noticed sign that you need a new roof is a leak in the ceiling. As you can imagine, it isn't always that simple. There are a variety of other factors that could indicate you may need a replacement as opposed to a patch up. The first is to think about the age of your roof. If it is over 15 years old, it may be time to consider getting a professional opinion. This is around the time when your roof gets more and more expensive due to having to repair more often. In the long run, replacing your roof could save you hundreds of dollars. Other things to look out for are missing, cracked, torn, or bald shingles, a large amount of shingle granules in the gutters, and a large amount of moss growing on the roof surface.

*Please do not climb on a roof yourself. It is best to inspect a roof from the ground or on a ladder, and call a professional if you see any warning signs of damage.*

2) Q: What is Drip Edge?

A: Drip edge is a strip of metal that is placed on the edge of the roof near the gutters, as well as on the eves and rakes of the roof. This is crucial in protecting the roof in a few different ways. First off, drip edge helps protect vulnerable areas from insects getting between the roof deck and the fascia boards. The drip edge also protects against the movement between these two components. Secondly, drip edge improves the roof's water shedding capabilities by pushing water away from the building, and towards the gutters. This protects the underlying wood from water damage. Installing drip edge on your roof is definitely important in prolonging it's life, as well as giving the roof a nice finished look.

3) Q: How long does it take to replace a roof?

A: The amount of time it takes to replace a roof depends on a few different factors including how large the roof is, how many crew members will be conducting the replacement, and how experienced these crews are. On an average sized home, it should only take 1-2 days to get fully replaced, and the surrounding area to get cleaned up.

4) Q: How much will it cost to get my roof replaced?

A: This is another question that varies heavily depending on a number of different factors including roof size, shingle type and color, extra warranties, and upgrades added to the project. Many of our customers have their roof replacement covered by their insurance company. This leaves the customer responsible for simply their deductible, and any extra features they wish to add that wouldn't be covered by the insurance company. For customers who pay out of pocket for their replacement as opposed to through insurance, there are financing options available. To get a more accurate estimate of the potential cost, contact a professional for a full inspection.

5) Q: I've gotten my roof replacement approved by my insurance company, what happens now?

A: Once the insurance adjuster approves the roof, you will be placed on our installation schedule and the process will begin. You will work closely with your J&M Roofing representative to choose the shingle type, style, and color that will be the best combination for your home's design. Your insurance company will release a check, or ACV, with a portion of the cost on the scope of work. This check, as well as your deductible, are paid upon installation. J&M will then work directly with your insurance company, notify them upon completion of work, and submit a supplement request for costs incurred during installation that were not included in the original estimate, such as siding, gutters, windows, and any other additional improvements. Then, the second check with the remaining approved, or depreciation, as well as an approved supplement payment will be released directly to J&M.
 

How Storms Affect Your Roof

When it comes to your home, your roof is the first line of defense against undesirable weather. Many people don't realize how badly regular storms can affect the structure of their roofs over time, especially if they are not regularly inspected. This leads to serious problems when EXTREME weather systems roll through the area. We will outline the two most common types of roof damage below.

HAIL DAMAGE

Hail leaves “bruises” or soft impacts on asphalt shingles. This loosens granules and compromises the integrity, water-shedding capability, and lifespan of the shingle. Over time, sun, wind, rain, sleet, snow, and other factors wash away the loosened granules, exposing the asphalt layer of the shingle to the sun. This leads to quicker deterioration of the shingle, which leaves the roof exposed to the elements. Hail also leaves bruises on metal roof accessories such as chimney flashings, flue caps, valley metal, and box vents as shown below. These bruises are easy to spot, and can be detrimental to the life of the roof.

Hail can also damage gutters and siding. There will be dents in the belly, on the rim, and in the downspouts of the gutters. It may also cause holes in gutter screens. In vinyl siding, hail breaks holes, and can put dents in fascia metal, window wraps, and window casements.

Wind Damage

Wind damage can tear shingles off entirely or simply break the seal. It can also lift shingles rows at a time. Wind damaged shingles that were not completely torn off will leave a tell-tale crease along the top, as shown below. When a shingle is missing, or the seal is broken, it leaves the roof exposed to the elements. This can cause damage inside and outside of the home that will be costly to fix.

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU

These are only two of the many different types of damage that can happen to your roof. The easiest way to avoid having to pay thousands of dollars to fix damage in and around your home caused by a largely deteriorated roof is to have that roof regularly inspected by professional roofing contractors. These roofing experts will be able to determine what is damage versus what is not, suggest repairs that should be made, and provide knowledge on how you can keep your roof regularly maintained on your own.

Signs of a Roof Leak

Leaking Roofs in Cumming, GA

Living in Cumming means our roofs are exposed to extreme weather conditions. Leaky roofs can cause a lot of damage and cost a lot of money. There are several ways for homeowners to catch the leaks before they cause too much damage. Finding a leak early can really save a homeowner money if he/she knows what to look for.

The most noticeable signs of a roof leak for a homeowner can be water stains on ceilings or running down walls. If you see these stains, then you probably have a leak. Other signs include mold,rotten insulation, and rotten framing. If you have an attic, you should go up there and look for signs of a leak.This would include water stains and mold. You can also start by looking at places on the roof where objects are protruding (around a chimney for example). One easy way to find a leak is to run a water hose over isolated areas on the roof until you find the location of the leak.

Some leaks can be trickier to find. The location where the water is coming in and where it is leaking at may be different. If you find rotting insulation, you should move the insulation around it and track any possible signs of water for several feet on either side of the damaged insulation. You should always check the surrounding areas around the water damage since the water may be coming in at a different location than where it is leaking or causing damage.

Look for any and all foreign objects in your roof. Random nails can even cause a leak. These signs should be more obvious to find. Climb up on your roof and check for anything that may be penetrating a shingle or something similar.

If all else fails, and you cannot track down the leak, contact a professional. If you aren’t comfortable being on your roof, or your leak seems to be a little tougher than replacing one shingle, still call a professional roofing contractor. Leaks can get out of hand quick and hiring a contractor can actually save you money compared to the cost of a leak that wasn’t repaired properly.

If you're in need of professional roof repair call J&M Roofing Today!