We get it. Your roof and gutters are the last thing you want to think about right now. You've got tenants to keep happy, units to fill, and your own life to manage. All of that takes time AND money.
But skimping on your choice of roofer is not the way to fix any of that.
I know we aren't your BFF, but just like a good friend wouldn't want you dating a trash man, we don't want you working with a trash roofer.
It'll cost you more time and money in the long-run... and here's why.
5 Ways Your Budget Roofer is Costing You MORE Money
1. They're masking symptoms, not fixing the issue.
Any handyman knows that caulk, tar, and duct tape can go a REALLY long way for temporary repairs. Heck, I can't think of many things you CAN'T fix with one of them. (Except maybe a few of our co-workers' Monday Morning attitude-problem... Apply coffee and back away SLOWLY.)
BUT, roof and gutter issues should not be one of them.
Temporary repairs are often used by inexperienced handymen or lazy roofers. There's not a nice way to say it. There's a time and a place for these tools and major deficiencies are not one of them.
What to look for: Look for a roofer who will hunt for the CAUSE, not cover the symptoms. They need to be willing to go as far as stripping shingles to find a leak, or completely replacing gutters to fix an overflow issue.
I know that a thicker repair bill, in the moment, is not always what works for you, but NOT getting the job done right the first time can set you up for much larger issues in the future. It's better to foot the bill now and know that it's been taken care of, not pushed off.
2. They're damaging your property during gutter cleanings.
For some of you, using water during gutter cleanings is "normal". For others, take our company for example, water-LESS gutter cleanings are the only way to go.
Water is a precious resource, and it can also be destructive in large quantities. During gutter cleanings where water is used to remove debris, hundreds of gallons of water are dumped through the system. The resulting downpour can remove sediment from landscaping and flush roof debris and trash onto the ground. Plus, it's less effective and messy. 4/10 stars, would not recommend.
What to look for: Look for a company that will blow and hand-scoop your gutters.
This saves water, decreases the chances of damage to landscaping, is more effective at removing clogs in downspouts, and leaves your property a lot cleaner than a traditional water gutter cleaning. Get it? Leaves? Ahahaha.
3. They're ignoring small repairs for a re-roof.
Don't you just love it when we get hail or high winds in our area, and then all of the sudden there is a roofer on every corner? We don't.
These "stormer" roofers, and some local roofers in the area, have no desire to salvage what they can from your roof. They make their money on a complete replacement, compliments of your life-savings or your property insurance. Repair roofers focus on extending the life of what you already have first, and then will resort to a replacement if the damage is too extensive.
What to look for: Look for a company that will be honest with you about what you are really needing.
Roofers with integrity and transparency will not sell you something you don't need. Honest people are hard to come across these days, but you can find them if you are looking in the right places. Find someone who wants to work with your budget, not against it.
4. They're carrying the bare-minimum insurance.
Here's a seven-sentence horror story.
You hire a contractor. They come on-site. There's an issue. Someone or something gets damaged. They're under-insured. You're responsible. Here comes an even bigger bill than you had budgeted for.
What to look for: Pre-qual your roofers by asking what level of insurance they carry.
If they carry bare-minimum, run. Run far. Prioritizing insurance is something a roofing company has to do in order to properly serve multi-unit properties. We know we all want to be as safe as possible all the time, but stuff happens. Don't settle for an under-insured roofer just because they are cheaper. They may not be in the long-run.
5. They're not finding out what is really going on on your property.
"Ignorance is bliss" is a double-edged sword. If you don't know what is really going on with your units, you save money, right? But what happens when you have no choice but to find out what's been going on?
Just like the caulk and tar guys, there are roofers that will blindly "fix" an area and hope it sticks. Leaks can be hard to identify properly the first time, but there are steps contractors can take to increase the odds of doing it correctly.
What to look for: Look for a roofer that will take the time to inspect the area before starting and completing a repair, AND will extend the repair area outside of the immediate problem (if it is obvious).
Leaks can occur several feet from a penetration because of the surface tension of the water, path of least resistance, etc. This can mean that only "fixing" a small area right above the water damage could do nothing to resolve the deficiency. You know this first-hand if your EPDM/TPO roof has ever had a pin-head sized hole no-one could find.
Thorough roofers will do what they can to repair the damage, and decrease the chance of returning issues in one fell-swoop. It's better to be safe than sorry when it comes to things that can cause major damage to a property.
In conclusion, vet your vendors in general. We know that a world-wide pandemic is less than helpful for budgets, BUT save yourself (and your property) money in the long run and hire the guys that will look out for your best interest.
(And if you are on the Front Range and really want a company that meets all five of the criteria above, give us a call!)
Your roofing BFFs, The Roof and Gutter Guys