Probably the best advice I can give is to do your research now…when you’re not in desperation mode. Ferret out some of the local roofing contractors in your area. Give them a call and set up an appointment. Most will offer free roofing inspections which isn’t a bad way for you to evaluate the professionalism of the contractor you want to deal with.
If you do find yourself in panic mode…the first thing you need to do is don’t panic : ) I know, easier said than done. But being desperate makes you a target and when the storms hit, the number of contractors in your area can more than triple! They’re not all bad guys but you certainly can reduce your long-term risk if you are dealing with a local contractor. Consider what happens when the contractor leaves town. Will you be covered if that contractor didn’t do good work? Is the contractor insured and bonded. Yeah…he’s got a great price but at what risk. It is not a good idea to price buy when you’re in a hurry.
There are some red flags that you can look for. Are the contractors vehicle tags from out-of-state? Does he have all the necessary paperwork showing that he’s licensed and bonded in Ohio? Is he insured? Is there a website you can visit? Can you find testimonials, a BBB listing and other third party indicators that you’re dealing with a reputable company? If you don’t feel comfortable with your contractor, walk away!
I can’t stress enough the first point. Get to know the people and the local roofing contractors in your community. When you’re comfortable that you’re dealing with a choice contractor, who is local and reputable, add their number to your list of emergency contacts. Then you’ll know exactly who to call when everyone else is in panic mode!