What to Consider When Choosing Whether to Wait for a Licensed Roofing Contractor or to Use a General Contractor After Hurricane Irma
At Collis Roofing, we care deeply about the communities we live in and serve. We are family owned and operated, so we understand that while Hurricane Irma left different types of damage in different places, we also know every family is different in their needs and situation.
We provided this overview to help alleviate the stress of another Hurricane Irma decision you may have to make, by giving you as much information as possible regarding the most recent Hurricane Irma Emergency Orders that have been created so you and your loved ones in your household can make the most educated decision possible that you will be pleased with in the years to come. Your decision will not only have an immediate impact, but also may have short term impacts 1-2 years from now as well as 10-15 years from now on your home and finances.
This decision is a personal decision that you should take time to consider carefully as it will most likely have long term impacts on your home and finances. Talk to your spouse/partner/significant other, family, friends, neighbors and mentors. It is a stressful time and big decision. Make sure you and your household are comfortable with your decision. We want you to feel educated enough to make your decision process easier so that you can eliminate the stress of making a poorly informed decision, and instead leave you confident and comfortable in your home regardless of what direction you choose. Please know at Collis Roofing, we care and will respect and uphold a household's decision whether it is to wait for Collis Roofing or choose a general contractor. Many of our Collis Roofing family have also had their own homes, friends, neighbors and loved ones experiencing what you are now experiencing and are working to navigate this time as well the best we all can as we are all in this together to rebuild Florida.
On September 15th, Governor Rick Scott, in an effort to alleviate the extensive need for rebuilding roofs in Florida, issued an Executive Emergency Order, allowing general and residential contractors to install and replace roofs of all types without a license or to subcontract the work to a licensed roofer, provided they have workers’ compensation, public liability and property damage insurance. We sincerely appreciate Gov. Scott’s deep desire to rebuild Florida and find solutions to the qualified labor shortage who hold the legal right to work in the US during this time after such incredible wide spread damage. The solution he put forth is to address the reality of the situation – many homeowners and businesses will not be able to get help for repairs or roof replacements for a long time due to the excessive demand and some may not be able to wait.
While the requirement for workers’ compensation, public liability and property damage insurance can help property owners alleviate unnecessary legal issues, liability and lawsuits that may occur from their employees being injured, or most commonly, becoming deceased, after falling off a roof or damage that may occur to your home or others during the construction process, it may be a viable option for those in the immediate time, but not be in your best interest in the short run or long run.
Lisa Pate, Former President and Current Executive Director for the FRSA, has this to say, “This emergency rule also allows (does not require) building departments to accept county competency-based roofing licenses from outside their jurisdiction to perform re-roofing for the duration of the governor’s emergency order or until the emergency rule is rescinded. Division I contractors are not tested or required to have continuing education in roofing to the specific degree needed to ensure that their work meets the Florida Building Code, especially wind mitigation requirements.”
What this means to you the homeowner or business owner, is that your roof may be “repaired” or “replaced”, but there is no level of competence required. Should you roof repair or replacement that is now covered by insurance not meet the stringent levels of workmanship and Florida code, a small tropical storm, might have your roof needing another roof replacement, repair and even cause water damage inside your home. This time, insurance will not cover it due to the fact that it will be a workmanship issue, not storm damage. Instead of paying for your hurricane deductible, you may find yourself holding the bill for the repair or replacement.
Marcus Williams, a highly respected Sales Manager from Owens Corning, also pointed out how this may impact you from a warranty standpoint in the long run. “Roofs need to be replaced for only 3 reasons: the age of the roof, the workmanship or a manufacturing defect.” A manufacturing defect only makes up for a fractional percent of those needing to be replaced, while workmanship is often the biggest culprit both shortening the lifespan of the roof and its reliability when our Florida storms come.
The highest level warranties include workmanship, but these are only available to qualified, licensed roofing contractors who have been manufacturer trained, pass a specific number of inspections with perfect scores and a number of other requirements. Those with Owens Corning who hold a Platinum Preferred Contractor standing can offer a Lifetime Workmanship Warranty because they know they are using the right system to install a quality roof that has the materials and workmanship by the contractor that will last. A preferred contractor usually has some workmanship included in the warranty, often 10 years.
So what happens when a contractor, other than a licensed roofer, installs a roof with your warranty? If the local municipality signs off on the completion of the roof, you may have a warranty for 5 – 10 years on the materials, but only if the contractor installs their entire roof to the manufacturer specs precisely. If any step is skipped from the number of nails, placement of nails, any decking or previous roofing material was left such as underlayment or even the previous shingles, (also known as a roof over when shingle is nailed over previous existing shingle), the placement of all shingles, and many more items are not met, there is zero protection even if you believe you may have a viable manufacturer defect from any manufacturer of roofing materials. No manufacturer can back up a warranty claim on something that was not installed correctly the first time, including licensed roofing contractors.
What is also unknown is how using a non-roofing contractor will impact your homeowners insurance. Many insurance companies will alert homeowners that they feel their roof is old and must be replaced within a specific period of time usually a few months to a year, and those that do not will be dropped from coverage. How will this impact rates? Currently, many who get a new roof by a licensed roofing contractor with architectural shingles and wind mitigation may see up to a 30% decrease in homeowner’s insurance rates. No one knows how using a non-roofing contractor will impact your rates upon your insurance term’s renewal time, but we do know your insurance will keep track of the companies they issue claim checks to.
When You May Want to Consider Using a General or Residential Contractor Instead of Waiting for a Licensed Roofing Contractor
1. You feel you literally cannot wait for a roof repair or replacement because of the extent of the damage.
2. A tarp is not a viable solution until a repair or replacement can be made.
3. You have a significantly small repair such as a few shingles that are bent back due to wind and a repair would not require extensive work.
4. Your repair would not require higher level roofing skills and you feel you would not be susceptible to additional damage or leaks by an contractor who has not been trained and licensed in roofing.
5. You can afford, either through cash or financing, to pay for the roof repair or replacement, plus any additional damage incurred, wind mitigation, etc. due to improper roofing techniques for installation again, potentially as soon as 2 years.
6. You are aware of the benefits and not concerned with having the additional protection from a manufacturer’s warranty for a roof replacement.
7. You are aware that this may impact your insurance rates and “lifespan” your insurance company assigns to your roof.
When You May Want to Wait for a Licensed Roofing Contractor Versus Using a General or Residential Contractor
1. You feel you can wait for a roof repair or replacement based on the extent of the damage, no major leaks or water damage inside your home or business.
2. A tarp is a viable solution until a repair or replacement can be made.
3. You have a significant repair such as leaks causing interior water damage , at least 10 shingles missing or have at least 25% of your roof damaged and will need a roof replacement.
4. Your repair would require higher level roofing skills and you do not want to be susceptible to additional damage or leaks by an contractor who has not been trained and licensed in roofing.
5. You cannot afford, either through cash or financing, to pay for the roof repair or replacement, plus any additional damage incurred, wind mitigation, etc. due to improper roofing techniques for installation, potentially as soon as 2 years.
6. You are aware of the benefits and want the comfort of having the additional protection from a manufacturer’s warranty for a roof replacement.
7. You want to have the best chance to not have a major negative impact on your insurance rates, coverage and “lifespan” your insurance company assigns to your roof.
If you have decided to opt for using a General or Residential Contractor while this Emergency Order is still in place, then please contact your roofing company to make them aware at your earliest convenience. This allows all of us in the roofing industry to more quickly address those that need and choose to wait for a licensed roofing contractor.
For those of you who have been waiting or will soon be waiting for help from Collis Roofing, please know we are working as quickly as possible to deploy estimators, technicians and crews as quickly as possible to areas with the most extensive damage first, have their information correctly in their local property appraiser so we can legally pull permits to begin work and have had their insurance claim approved. This allows us during a time with unprecedented need and demand to assist as many people in the communities we live in and serve as quickly as possible. Collis Roofing cares about our entire community and we appreciate your patience during this difficult time as we work diligently to serve everyone that we can.
The national average wait time, before Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, was 4-6 weeks to have a roof replaced due to quality labor shortages by those with the legal right to work in the US. Now with the extreme increase in demand due to the widespread damage during Hurricane Irma, no matter where you go, there will unfortunately be a long wait for estimate and for work. It may also be a few business days before we can call and let you know when an estimator can be in your area.
At Collis Roofing, even though there will be a long wait, we are currently using multiple different methods for estimators to be deployed to you, to install tarps, repair damage and replace roofs that will help shorten the wait time you will have as much as possible.
We have created a page full of resources to protect you, your home and loved ones, provide financial assistance, and help you avoid things that you may not have thought of that might slow down your time to get your home or business repaired or have a roof replaced. Click here for 15 tips and resources you should be aware of while you are waiting for help from Collis Roofing.
Thank you again for your continued patience as we work diligently to help all the families in the communities that we live in and serve in, and please remember Collis Roofing Cares!!!!