Times change, situations change, but sometimes history repeats itself. COVID-19 turned out to be a global pandemic that managed to cripple the world economy and bring many countries to a complete standstill.
Every time a pandemic strikes (local or global), the first preventive (and effective) measure taken is practicing social distancing and constant hand washing. To prevent the pathogen from spreading, only essential businesses are allowed to operate, provided they are following all the safety protocols and adhering to hygiene best practices.
Since the need for roof repairs can happen anytime throughout the year, roofing contractors and roofing companies are considered an essential service. But, what things should you look for while hiring a roofing contractor during a pandemic? Would a focus on safety qualify someone for repairing your roof?
This article guides on how to hire a roofing contractor in times of pandemic.
1) Conduct Online Research
Post-COVID, roofing contractors have implemented new standards and adopted new safety guidelines for no-contact servicing. To show that they are following all the protocols for safe repairing, contractors need to have a ‘No-Contact service’ badge included in their business listing. Those with possession of the badges are certified to work remotely for some or all regions. Additionally, look for reviews from recent customers who get their roofs repaired during the pandemic to learn about the contractors’ safety measures. Preferably, look at photos of the repair to help you decide.
2) Opt for Virtual Appointment
Most roofing repair projects require manual inspection, but this means coming in contact with your house frequently. This becomes a hassle when it comes to sanitizing the areas where the contractor may touch. Thankfully, the issue can be tackled by booking a virtual appointment. Under the virtual appointment, the contractor does a virtual tour of your roof through the means of video conferencing. Additionally, using innovative technologies, the contractor can take your roof measurements digitally to provide an estimate.
3) Converse everything digitally
Once a virtual tour is made, and the estimation is provided, any further correspondence can be done through emails, IM, or call. If the contractor can’t make a virtual tour, you can also provide photographs or videos of the affected areas from a ground view or from a window. For safety, never do a direct roof inspection by yourself. On approval of the estimate, ask the contractor to email you all the paperwork, project scheduling, and payment details for further process.
Recommended: Hiring a Roofing Contractor During a Pandemic
Changes made by roofing contractors to show compliance with safety guidelines.
With the stigma of a contagion involved with any pandemic, roofing contractors are slowly making great changes to reduce physical contact. Some of the changes made are:
Move towards Paperless Transactions: Whether it is for sending an estimation in the preliminary stage or a contract before project initiation, contractors are adopting a paperless approach. This is also a positive step towards environmental conservation as you significantly ‘cut down’ the amount of paper used.
Practice Physical Social Distancing: Any repairs on the roof or gutter area can be achieved from the house exterior. So, the contractor or the crew doesn’t need to step inside (and run the risk of contamination).
Compliance to CDC Guidelines: While undertaking a roof repair, the customer may be worried about their family’s health and safety. On the other hand, contractors may be worried about their crew’s health and safety. By following the protocols by CDC or any local health monitoring authority, this risk can be laid to rest.
Strict guidelines such as any sick employee must stay at home and perform routine cleaning & disinfection of tools, work attire, gear, and other equipment, which means the company is practicing safe working practices and compliant with CDC guidelines.
Investing in additional safety gear: Purchasing additional stocks of protective gears such as PPE kits, masks, shoe covers is a sign that the roofing company is serious about working safely during the pandemic.
Questions to ask your roofing contractor
Sometimes scouring the internet helps you shortlist some reputed roofing contractors, yet you may not be convinced about whom to choose as the right roofing contractor. Here are some questions that you should ask your contractor in the first meet:
Does the contractor have adequate insurance coverage?
Working on a roof (sloped or flat) runs the risk of accidents. So the contractors need to have general liability insurance that covers them from accidental damages. Ask whether your contractor has the right insurance coverage for their crew.
Are you offered any additional warranty and workmanship coverage?
When repairing roofs, you may be concerned about how long they will hold. Ask your roofing contractor if they can provide a limited warranty as well as the workmanship coverage
Which roofing materials will be used on my roof?
Most contractors have a referral association with certain roofing material manufacturers. They get a commission for referring specific brands of roofing material. There is nothing wrong with such an association as long as it doesn’t affect the end-user. In fact, by becoming a brand certified roofing contractor, they are bound to adhere to their installation guide to be worthy of warranty. Ask about the roofing materials that a contractor shall use and do background research accordingly.
Will all local building codes be complied with?
Local building codes are intended as minimum design and construction guidelines. These guidelines are drafted to assure life safety, property protection, and safety to firefighters and emergency responders at the time of need. Sometimes, contractors tend to disregard these local building codes, attracting hefty fines and demolition to the house owner.
Could a list of references be shared?
Customer testimonials are vital for a business to bring in new customers. Once you are nearing your shortlisting process. It is a good practice to ask for references for whom the contractor has worked earlier. This way, you can directly contact them and get details about the work done.
Will the estimate include any additional unseen repairs?
Roof repairs, even after thorough inspection, can bring out any hidden or underlying problems. A good roofing contractor always considers such hidden repairs while providing an estimation. But it never hurts to confirm it beforehand.