Welcome to Part Two of our blog series on the important topic of cleaning your roof. Last month, we covered how to do it yourself. This month, we look at how to hire a reputable professional roof cleaning contractor. For as much as we admire those hardy, resourceful do-it-yourselfers who populate TV cable remodeling shows, not everyone has the physical capacity to safely climb a ladder and walk along a roof with the sure footing of a mountain goat – while carrying equipment at the same time!
Let’s reverse the order, and first discuss how not to hire a roof cleaner. Never hire anyone who rings your doorbell (or leaves a flyer) offering to perform maintenance or home improvement services. While it may seem convenient, many of these people have criminal intent. They – or their partner – may try to gain entrance into your home to steal money, credit cards and other valuables. Typically, they quote a low fee, then demand considerably more upon completion – in a threatening manner. However, the work isn’t finished, or competently performed. Many victims of such scams even report property damage because of improper materials and shoddy workmanship.
Florida is a popular target because of its relatively mild winters, which attracts scam artists from Northern states, and its high population of retirees. This is the prime season in the Sunshine State for these illegal operations, so homeowners beware!
So how do you find a reputable professional? Follow these guidelines!
Do your homework – Google is your friend! Enter a simple search, such as “roof cleaners near me” or a similar search, and take it from there. Visit company websites and look for the following:
- Length of time in business
- Licensed and insured
- Has the appropriate equipment and protective clothing for the job
- Scope of work – make sure the company cleans your type of roof – for example, tile roofing
- Physical location or permanent address
- Reliable means of contact
- Better Business Bureau membership – preferably with an Accredited Business A or A+ rating.
Read reviews – but read between the lines – A company website may include reviews and testimonials. Also read the company’s Google My Business reviews, as well as those on their Facebook business page, Yelp, Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor. Just keep in mind that all reviews are not necessarily genuine. Company owners can and have asked relatives, friends and employees to post reviews, so proceed with caution. Read all reviews to determine a pattern, such as a spate of highly positive reviews posted within a short amount of time after predominantly negative reviews. If possible, contact reviewers directly to confirm that they were satisfied with the contractor’s work.
Have your roof assessed and get quotes – After doing your due diligence and making a short list of prospective companies, call two or three to visit your house to assess your roof and provide a quote for the work. Contractors should look at the type of roof (asphalt shingle or tile being the most common in Florida), age of the roof and condition. A roof heavily covered in algae or moss will require more intensive cleaning than one lightly stained, and expect to pay more for a two-story home.
The contractor should also easily answer your questions about the cleaning method to be used, and how nearby plants will be protected from detergent water run-off.
Check the warranty – Work should be covered for a certain length of time. According to industry experts, algae and mold can take up to a year to reestablish growth on shingles.
Despite today’s culture of conducting business online, the pros you trust to maintain and repair your home should be people you’ve spoken with and met in person. When you talk with a company owner, you can get a good idea of that person’s commitment to doing quality work, their integrity and their commitment to the community they live in. If everything adds up, you’ve found a contractor you can count on today and in the future.
As always, The Paint Manager is ready to help! Our team has years of experience in cleaning every type of roofing material for both residential and commercial properties to provide the best possible results. You can also contact us for innovative ideas on painting and repainting your home’s interiors and exteriors – as well as providing a wide range of other services. We offer free estimates on all projects, and will be happy to help you take your home improvement plans to reality!