Did you know there are near 300 roofing contractors in the Greater Edmonton region alone? Many of whom go out of business or change their name every few years. Your roof system is one of, if not the most important part of your building envelope system. Its the first line of defense in protecting your home and keeping it dry from the often harsh Canadian climate. Here is a simple checklist of credentials to ensure you are dealing with a company that will perform the job correctly and be there for you down the road if needed. I have not numbered these in a list of importance as I believe them to be equally important:
Are they a member of their provincial roofing association?
The Alberta Roofing Contractors Association has been in operation since 1961. Its professional members are held to strict guidelines of business practice, and are strongly vetted over a 2 year period before being accepted. Each member company must provide a $100,00 financial security bond. ARCA member companies are the most vetted and regulated roofing companies in Alberta. This can give you peace of mind knowing you are dealing with tried and tested professionals. Many non ARCA companies will say that its not necessary to be a member. This may be due to their inability to meet the professional requirements, or lack the experience necessary to become a member.
Do they have certified tradesmen?
Does the company have Red Seal Journeymen Roofers on staff? There are many hard working roof installers with good intentions in the industry. But, good intentions don’t ensure quality workmanship. A journeyman roofer undertakes 4 years of trades education, in every aspect of the roofing trade. Hiring years of experience combined with a certified education will give you the peace of mind of a job well done.
Many companies will say “roofing isn’t rocket science, journeyman status doesn’t prove anything, its not needed.” Well, your home or commercial building may be the the biggest financial investment of your life, with the roof being its first line of defense from the elements. Don’t put your investment in the hands an unqualified individual. If given the choice, its only logical to go with a company with certified installers over those with no certification. There are those who try to make their living from the roofing trade, then there are Professionals.
Is the company C.O.R. certified?
Roofing installers are typically working at great heights making it a potentially dangerous occupation. COR certification ensures the company follows government legislated safety regulations. Workers have been trained in the proper use safety equipment and will maintain a safe work site. A good company will be COR certified. If they can not follow government legislation and make their worker’s safety a priority, how can they be trusted to follow proper roofing installation practices?
It is a MUST that a contractor has Liability Insurance and WCB (Workers Compensation Coverage). Before entering the property to perform an estimate, have the contractor provide proof of both. The industry standard is now moving from five, to $10 Million liability insurance requirement. If the company does not have insurance (Liabilty or WCB), the home/building owner can be sued for any injuries incurred on site. You can also be left with the cost of any unexpected damages caused by the contractor. In today’s legal climate, it is commonplace for victims of injuries to sue for great sums of money. Don’t take the risk!
Well, there you have it. The four most important qualities to look for in a roofing company. Many other topics could have been discussed such as: length of time in business, workmanship warranty, competitive pricing, membership in good standing with the Better Business Bureau, manufacturer certifications, customer referrals, industry recognition and so on. Many if not all of those qualities will be sufficiently met if the company has attained the four main criteria laid out in this article.
Have a great day, all the best in choosing your preferred roofing contractor.
Sloped Roofing Mgr
Knights Roofing Ltd.
About the Author.
Allen Shaw is a certified journeyman and business owner involved in the Alberta roofing industry for 30 years. Mr Shaw has been recognized nationally as an accredited and trusted roofing professional by industry peers and media. He has also been called upon upon by provincial government to aid in industry related Occupational Health & Safety Regulation revision.