Friday, March 29th, 2019
Excerpts from Florida Today:
Not only is it tough to find enough quality roofing crews but there are reports of difficulty in finding supplies. And to top it off — apologies for the pun — notices just went out that prices for roofing supplies are rising about 5 percent.
Records from Brevard County show the number of permits issued for re-roofing jobs nearly doubled from Sept. 1, 2017 to March 1 compared to the same six-month period a year earlier: That’s 5,218 residential re-roof permits issued vs. 2,792.
Brevard is hardly alone as licensed roofers across the Sunshine State found they were a hot commodity following Hurricane Irma.
Most of the initial work focused on the Florida Keys, where the damage appeared most devastating. The roofing work since the storm has followed Irma’s path, a buzzsaw of a path that started in southwest Florida through the middle of the state to Georgia.
“It certainly impacted our industry,” said Mike Silver, director of technical services for the Florida Roofing and Sheet Metal Contractors Association. “We’re still a supply-and-demand industry and there has been a lot of demand for roofers and supplies.”
Silver noted roofers and contractors prior to Irma were in high demand because of a vigorous construction market in Florida. That has kept roofers busy and prices for supplies robust.
The roofing situation also has been an opportunity for some not-so-reputable roofers to take advantage of unsuspecting property owners who have insurance checks and want repairs completed before the spring and summer rains.
FLORIDA TODAY talked with several roofing companies and builders and came up with a roofing tip sheet.
- Ask for references and verify them. If it’s a well-established roofer, they should have plenty of customers that will attest to their work and professionalism. And check with the Better Business Bureau to see how many, and what kind, of complaints may have been filed against them.
That’s not always a panacea. Some dissatisfied customers might file complaints with the BBB but at least you can read them and come to your own conclusion.
- Get credentials
After Hurricane Irma, it was well known throughout the United States there was considerable property damage in Florida and that coaxed out-of-state roofers to venture to the Sunshine State.
Always ask if they’re licensed to do work in Florida and if they’re covered by worker’s comp insurance. Demand to see their documentation and then call and verify the documents’ legitimacy before letting anyone start work on your roof.
- Make sure they have the right permits
Require that the contractor obtain the building permit and that it be posted on the property before work begins. Never apply for a permit for the contractor.
- Make sure supplies going to your roof are paid for
Dave Armstrong of Armstrong Custom Homes in Melbourne said a roofer might be paid up front by the homeowner and then purchase supplies on credit. The roofer them might leave them on a job site and then skip town without completing the job or paying for the supplies.
Guess who must pay for the materials? The unsuspecting homeowner.
“It happens all the time,” said Armstrong, a longtime home builder in Brevard. “And what then happens is that the property owner ends up paying twice.”
Armstrong said to find out where the roofing company purchased the supplies, view the receipt and call the business where the materials were purchased and ensure they’re paid for upfront.
- Stay in contact with your insurance company
Let’s say you’re in early talks with a roofer and you provided them the information for your home insurance. Then the roofing company gets back to you and says they have contacted your insurance company and they’re covering all the damage costs.
That’s probably too good to be true.
An insurance company almost always requires a deductible. Call your insurer to verify they’ve talked to the roofer. And don’t pay the roofer any upfront money with the promise by the latter that an insurance check will be soon arriving in the mail to cover that down payment. We can help you with this as an Insurance restoration roofer we work with your insurance company to maximize the capacity of your claim.