There’s probably not a lot you need to do in and around the roof itself, but there is a lot you can do to make your house and roof more accessible by the roofing crew when they arrive. And there’s also the neighbors to think about. Here is what will make it easy for everyone:
Plan ahead. Don't wait until the roof is broken to call a roofer
Most people are blissfully unaware of what’s going on in and on their roof. Life goes on under it, no water comes in, so nobody worries. Then one day, you spot a small leak on the ceiling of your kitchen. By the time you see this, there’s a real possibility that serious damage has been done.
Getting regular roof inspections
If you haven’t had a roof inspection in years, get one now. Even if the house is only three years old, that first post-installation inspection is the most important one, you could say, because any installation problems that went unnoticed could be obvious now that a couple winters have come and gone. What’s more, many roofing companies will offer a free inspection, or at least, if they find something that needs repairing, they often offer any original inspection fee as a deduction to any work you pay them to do. Others do the inspection for free, and if you call the original roofer who did the job in the first place, they will often be eager to take care of their original customer.
Let your neighbors know your roofing project will be underway
Roofing companies need street space, and they need to be able to get their trucks and other equipment to the job site. If the street is blocked with badly parked vehicles, they may have to delay the start of the project, or may have to charge you for extra work. Letting your neighbors know there will be work vehicles coming will help them take that into consideration.
Use street signs, if you have them, to block off parking space
Being able to park outside your house will make it easier for the roofers and anything that makes it easier for them will be good for you. The morning they arrive, they will be off to a good start, and they’ll be more likely to finish on time.
Clear your driveway and park your car(s) away from the house
Your driveway will likely be the main point of access to your house for the roofers. They will need plenty of space to put their dumpster to dispose of all the old roofing materials, and having that extra space around the house will mean they don’t have to worry about dropping a tile on your brand new Lincoln Z.
Keep people, especially children, away from the outside of the house
Ideally, you choose a time to replace the roof on your house when you are on vacation or basically anywhere else. Even if you promise that your kids will be indoors for the duration of the roofing project, roofers cannot know for sure that someone doesn’t sneak outside. They need to be sure that anything they throw – or falls – from the roof is not going to hit someone. Best if they know no one is there in the first place.
The same goes for pets. Your goldfish obviously can stay, but cats and dogs can be challenged by the noise that clearly is going to rattle their nerves. Dogs will get defensive, and might spend the day barking at imaginary enemies, so it might be a great time to drop the dog off at that dog minder for the day. He’ll have plenty of things to sniff when he comes home! But mostly, it’s for everyone’s safety. An otherwise passive dog might attack someone trying to get onto the roof of your house. If you’ve got one of those dogs that are fine once they’ve been “introduced” to people, that might also work. Just remember to make it as easy and uncomplicated for the roofers as possible.
Support the roofers with bathroom access, water and snacks
In many cases, workers show up without adequate water to drink, or access to a bathroom. Be that good customer and make sure everyone has plenty of water to drink. I learned this tip years ago, so I got bottled water ahead of the game, and left it in a cooler outside the house. They could help themselves as the days progressed, and I topped it up on day 2 and day 3, as the project progressed. I also gave them a way into the house to the second bathroom. I also put down newspapers so they could walk across the carpeted floor without worrying. All this makes it easier and more comfortable for everyone, and keeps the workers in good health and happy to do the work. You don’t want someone working on your house to feel faint from dehydration. Nor do you want anyone to feel fatigued and less able to focus on doing a great job!
Write a review when the new roof is all in place
Word of mouth is important in almost every business imaginable, but today, online reviews have become very powerful and useful to home service companies. It doesn’t cost you anything to tell the world via Yelp, Google and so on, about the great job your roofing company did for you, and it will instill a great deal of loyalty and good will back towards you. Take some before / after photos and post them to the review. This is very easy and will help you roofer enormously. I encourage readers to become regular reviewers of services you’ve paid for, restaurants you’ve visited and products you’ve purchased. It’s the time we live in!
More next week!