Without your roof, your house wouldn't be much of a home at all. Your roof must face the ravages of a searing hot sun, the endless battering of wind and rain, and the incredible weight of heavy snowfalls. While modern residential roofs are carefully engineered and constructed, these trials will take their toll eventually. The typical shingle roof has a lifespan of about twenty years, with some roofing materials lasting closer to thirty. In many cases, inclement weather and other hazards may cause damage that will necessitate repairs before a complete replacement is necessary.

Regardless of whether you are looking for a replacement or just some repair work, you will need the services of a professional roofing contractor. Because roofing repairs can be delicate and difficult work, it helps to take the hiring process seriously.

Treat This as a Job Interview

The most important part of hiring any contractor is understanding that you are interviewing candidates for a job. When speaking with contractors, you need to be sure that they have what it takes to be deserving of your business. This means that you shouldn't be afraid to speak with multiple contractors and receive multiple estimates. It's always okay to move on to the next company if something doesn't feel right. Professional, experienced contractors understand what it takes to earn the trust of their clients and they will be more than happy to accommodate you.

Don't Neglect Licensing Questions

Many homeowners assume that all contractors hold the proper licensing for their area, but this is sadly not always the case. Before you begin your roofing project, do some research to determine the types of licensing that roofers in your area should hold. When speaking to contractors, always ask about their licensing status. Generally speaking, roofer licensing is issued on a state-by-state basis, so be sure that your contractor is licensed in your state.

Ask About Insurance

When dealing with roofers (or contractors in general), there are two types of insurance that they should hold: worker's compensation and general liability. Workers' compensation protects the roofing company's employees in the event of an injury, and it protects you from being liable if someone should be injured on your property. General liability insurance, on the other hand, protects your property against incidental damage that may be caused by the roofers. It is important that any contractors you work with carry both types of insurance.

Make Sure the Work Is Warrantied

The roofing materials that are being installed in your home should carry a manufacturer's warranty. These warranties vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but they should cover you for at least 15-20 years. Not all roofers offer a warranty on their own work, however, so it is important to understand exactly what your roof's warranty will cover. In some cases, the work may only be warrantied if other contractors have no also performed work on your roof. While these terms are fine, it is still important that you understand the exact details of any warranty covering your home.

Roof replacements and repairs are major investments that should last for decades. Be sure that you take the proper care in selecting a residential roofing contractor to perform them so that your roof can last you for many more trouble free years.