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When Hiring A Roofer – What Does Bonding Mean?

When hiring a roofer to handle a roofing replacement or other roof services, it is essential that home and building owners thoroughly screen the local contractors available to do the work.

All roofers considered should be fully insured, but bonding is also important.

A detail that many consumers do not understand, bonding can provide important protection to the home or building owner in case their roofing services go awry. 

What Is Bonding?

Bonding is a type of insurance that protects not the roofing business or its employees, but rather its customers.

It is a contract taken out with a bonding company that provides coverage to the home or building owner that their roof services will be done according to the contract signed between them and the contractor.

In the event that the customer is not satisfied with the work being performed, they have the right to contact the bonding company directly and ask them to intervene. 

When Is Bonding Useful?

Bonding comes in handy in a number of instances where a home or building owner might otherwise be left with a poor or unfinished job that does not live up to what they paid for.

The surety bond signed between the roofer and the bonding company can be activated to cover the completion of work that the customer finds to be unsatisfactory partway through or to complete work that is abandoned by a contractor even if the customer has already paid for it.

A contractor who does not pay for their roofing permits, subcontractors, or suppliers is also a reason why someone might contact the bonding company seeking compensation. 

How Is Bonding Determined?

Not every roof service is bonded.

This is partly because it is an added business expense that the roofer must pay along with their business insurance, but also because not every contractor can get bonded.

To successfully sign a bonding contract, the roofer must submit an application that includes details such as their business plan and financial statements as well as proof of a favorable reputation in their community and in the industry. 

Who Needs Bonding?

In other words, bonding companies only cover roofers who might end up in a position where the bonding contract must be exercised.

They instead sign contracts with reputable roof services that are simply seeking protection against unavoidable events that could cause them to not finish a customer’s job, or fail to pay their costs related to it. 

In Summary

Considering this, a roofer who is successfully bonded is a sign to the customer that the contractor is trustworthy and has adequate protection for their customers in case of a problem that ends up out of their control.

When screening for roofing replacement or repair contractors, home and commercial building owners should always ask about bonding and insurance to make sure their chosen contractor is well-insured in all ways possible!

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Repair or Replace – How Is This Roofing Decision Made?

When a roof sustains damage, roofers may suggest replacing it, as opposed to just doing repairs.

While it is normal that a homeowner might want to pay roof companies only to make repairs, there are many instances when the cost of those repairs just does not make sense.

Where is the magic line between roofing companies recommending a replacement over doing repairs?

It depends on a few important factors when assessing the amount of damage present.

  • What Type of Damage Is Present? - First, roof companies will assess the type of damage, as some problems are definitely worse than others in terms of making repairs or having to do an entire replacement. A few leaks here or there could be repaired, but something like protrusion through the roof or shingles blown off or damaged by hail represent something else entirely. Structural damage present almost always means a replacement is necessary, as the roof has to be removed to repair the support structure.    
  • How Widespread Is The Damage? - Next, roofers will assess whether the problem is located in only a few small areas or if it encompasses most of the roof. A few random missing shingles after a storm can easily be replaced. If shingles are missing all over the roofing system, the time it would take to replace them individually could be much longer than simply tearing off the old roof and doing a new installation. Widespread damage like hail damage, curling and blistering from heat damage, and cracked and broken shingles due to dry rot would also require a replacement, as opposed to just being repaired.  
  • What Is The Age of the Roofing System? - The older a roof is, the more likely it is that roofing companies will recommend replacing it versus doing repairs. Older roofs are more likely to develop problems as time goes on, so if replacement time is already close, skipping the repairs and opting for a new roofing system makes more sense. 
  • Which Option Is More Cost-Effective? - After considering the previous three points, roofers will then assess which opinion is more cost-effective and therefore makes more sense.

Since no roofing system is the same and there are countless ways in which roofing damage can be assessed, roof companies should always be called in to do an in-person inspection before any decisions on replacement or repairs should be made.

When roofers can make repairs, they will.

If the damage is such that the scope or cost of repairs would be better handled with a new roof system, most roofing companies will make that suggestion as well.

Sometimes, even if the cost is more than expected, spending a little more on a new roof is more cost-effective than paying only for repairs.