Roofing Credentials That Matter
In the same way that shingle, tile and metal roofing vary in quality, composition and price, roofing contractors that sell them also deliver services that vary in terms of quality. Roofers are expected to provide good workmanship, materials and value, but don’t expect a good roofer to just fall into your lap; it still falls on you to choose and hire a contractor who actually can deliver on his promises. What defines a good contractorarehis credentials and the reputation he’s built up over the years.
Solid credentials often come in the form of awards, as well as certifications issued or given by product manufacturers exclusively to contractors who’ve undergone the necessary training to make them experts in a certain product. These certifications aren’t given out randomly – they’re reserved for those who have proven themselves to be qualified for the job, from expertly guiding homeowners through the consultation process, to skillfully installing each type of material and component. These certifications are issued by trusted names in the roofing industry, which is why property owners can use them to make good roofing choices, and why contractors can build their businesses based on an ability to meet the strict building standards of those issuing such certifications.
For the uninitiated, here are three of the top certifications in the home improvement industry that you’ll want your contractor to have.
GAF Master Elite® Certification
GAF Materials Corporation was founded in 1886 and has since grown to be one of the largest roofing manufacturers in the U.S. – and definitely one of the most well-known as well. Only 3% of the nation’s roofers have qualified as GAFMaster Elite® factory-certified contractors. A quick look at the stringent standards and qualifications GAF Master Elite contractors have to meet in order to be certified will tell you why. GAF verifies each of the following before granting a company certification.
Properly licensed: Licensed by their state (or province) to perform roofing work, with good workmanship record, clean banking record and distributor reference.
Adequately insured: For your protection, Master Elite contractors are expected to have $1 million in general liability coverage plus proper and valid workers compensation.
A proven reputation: This means having a 99% customer satisfaction rating, based on their own independent surveys, a satisfactory rating with the Better Business Bureau over the minimum 7-year requirement of being in business, and face-to-face verification of previous jobs and clients.
Committed to ongoing professional training: Along with a 1-year stint in the certified program, Master Elite® roofing contractors need to be up-to-date on the education and training of their workers.
CertainTeed SELECT ShingleMaster™Certification
CertainTeed Corporation was founded in 1904 as the General Roofing Company. In 1988, it was acquired by top worldwide industrial company Saint-Gobain. With 65 facilities throughout the United States and Canada in addition to their Pennsylvania headquarters, they continue to deliver high-quality, sustainable roofing and building products and hassle-free customer experience to an even broader market. CertainTeed’s SELECT program is designed for professional roofing contractors to provide workforce standards, produce high-quality jobs, and ensure warranty compliance in their business. Here’s what you can expect from a contractor who’s a CertainTeed SELECT ShingleMaster™:
Has been in business for at least 5 years, or has been a ShingleMaster™ for at least 1 year. All job supervisors, as well as 50% of the installation crew, are MSA-qualified.
A Shingle Quality Specialist™ must be included in their workforce.
The company owner must have passed the Business Fiscal Responsibility™ exam.
The company must have the legally required compensation insurance for workers, and liability insurance covering their roofing.
Ludowici Crown Roofer
The Ludowici Roof Tile Company’s roots go back as far as the 1600s, when the Ludovisi family first started building their reputation as quality tile artisans in Rome. After moving to Germany where they began working under the name of Ludowici, the business moved to Chicago in the 1800s, and has since made its mark in America with skillful craftsmanship. Their Crown Roofer training program requires partner roofing contractors to learn the company’s wide selection of roofing tiles, trim fittings, underlayment and fasteners, and train in how to work and detail each one. This detailed hands-on training includes measuring, layout, cutting, notching and roof tile replacement. It’s a process that ensures that the high-quality Ludowici clay roof tiles are installed according to the highest standards. Equipped with time-tested know-how, factory-trained Crown Roofers are roofing contractors who use the best roofing components and materials available.
A quality roof system is no accident. It takes quality products and expert installation to protect your property against the elements for years. Make sure to check your local roofing professional’s credentials before you decide to hire.
Bob Dresback is professional roofer based in Minneapolis and the owner of Garlock-French Corporation. He is very passionate about what he does and loves to share his experiences with other people. Read more about him by liking his Facebook page.