If you’re soon getting a new roof, you need to prepare for your install. These top 10 roofing tips for homeowners can make your experience as smooth as possible and set reasonable expectations for what can and cannot be done. The more you plan and prepare, the more likely you will be to have a great experience.
So what can you, the homeowner, do to reduce problems and improve your roofing experience.
- Scalp your lawn. Yes, cutting your lawn very short might not be the best for the short-term health of the lawn, but if the cleanup crew goes around with a big magnetic nail sweeper, by having your grass cut short, nails that fall into the grass can much easier be pulled up into the magnet and discarded.
- Remove and set aside any lawn ornaments, bird baths or hanging decorations. Maybe that wind chime or that big tin star just helps to define your home. Well, if 50 pounds of shingle debris came crashing down and hit it will you be mad at yourself or the roofers? Best to avoid problems before they happen.
- Be Courteous. Yes, you hired someone to put on a new roof. They’ll be tired and need to refuel and rehydrate at lunch time. If you happen to come out at that time, thank them. Some customers might provide a cooler of gatorade to keep the workers hydrated or maybe a snack at lunch time. You may not think of it, but they appreciate it and because of a simple act of kindness, may spend a little bit more time on a detail for that nice customer who went above and beyond.
- Choose your season to match your needs. Love your garden and landscaping? Get a crew out as soon as the snow melts but before the plants come up. Book your roof in the winter to guarantee an early spring install.
- Common sense with plants and grass. I’ve had customers plant tender annuals or new grass the week before an install. Workers will have to walk over many of these areas to dispose of materials. Think of it this way. If a man has carried thirty 70 pound bundles up a ladder, he’s going to be tired and exhausted. Follow the Golden Rule and be considerate of the people working hard to give you an exceptional experience. Hold off on planting those petunias until after the last worker has pulled off the job site.
- Drop Zone Safety. This is the wrong time to be coming and going from your home. If a bundle slides off and 70+ pounds falls off of the roof on top of you, the healing time alone could take a long time.
- Discuss debris “fall through” with your roofer. Do you have gaps between the boards in your roof? Your roofer should be able to give you a sense for what is a realistic amount of debris. If there’s a small amount of nails or roofing granules that fall onto your attic insulation, it’s not going to be a problems. I’ve been people store boxes and bike parts in attics. The weight of granules is not going to create a structural challenge for your home. If it is a concern for you, tarp off those areas. Most roofing companies have a policy of not going inside of your home.
- Trim your trees away from the roof. Safety should be paramount in the industry but sometimes we go to a job site and a homeowner still has tree branches that are touching the roof. This can cause a work hazard for the installers and be dangerous including distracting them which can lead to falls or even slipping on leaves. Consider having a professional tree trimming company trim the tree away so it does not touch the roof.
- Be Honest. Have a conversation and tell them what your expectations are and ask what you can expect.
- Remember who gave you what information. This misunderstanding is more common when customers get more than a few estimates, or if they’ve met with salesmen instead of people who have actually done the work, now or in the past. There are times when a company has made promises that are simply impossible to get the job. I once had a customer insist that I promised that I could bend a curved piece of aluminum trim coil for an arched entryway. I was put in the awkward position of explaining that I would have never promised something that wasn’t possible to fabricate. She was insistent that I was the one person of the 5 people she got an estimate from who made that impossible promise.
By taking advantage of these quick tips, you’ll be more likely to have a great roofing experience.