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Roofing Tips, Tricks and Ideas

Looking for a Commercial Roofer? Ask These 4 Questions

Published by Pickard Roofing at

For many business owners, looking for a commercial roofer can be stressful. Knowing the right questions to ask can make the search process simpler and more productive. The following questions can help business owners sort through contractors and ensure they pick the right commercial roofer for their project.


1 - Are you licensed with workman's comp insurance and general liability insurance?

In the state of North Carolina, contractors are required to be licensed for projects over $30,000. Even on smaller projects, working with a licensed roofing contractor helps ensure a level of professionalism and an understanding of the trade. In addition, workman's comp insurance and general liability insurance can help ensure that workers are protected when performing services on your building, and that you will not be held responsible for accidents that may take place on your property.

What to look for:

You should always work with contractors who are licensed and insured. Contractor licensing protects consumers, as does workman's comp and general liability insurance.

Find out the details. Who is insured: the owner and admin assistant, or the crew on the roof? Ask the commercial roofing contractor to request a COI (Certificate of Insurance) for both liability and workers compensation from their carrier to be sent directly to you. Request a copy of the contractor’s license and verify the contractor’s license with the North Carolina Licensing board for General Contractors.

2 - Do you have a safety program?

Safety is key in the construction industry, especially for commercial roofers. Using the right personal protective equipment (PPE) and following OSHA rules can help prevent accidents on the job. An effective safety program also helps ensure that contractor employees know what to do in the event of an accident.

What to look for:

Your contractor should be able to cite specific trainings also talk about safety meetings with employees and managers. Find out how often employees hold safety meetings and what managers do to support employee safety.

3 - How will you protect my landscaping during this project?


Your business's landscaping is important to your reputation in your community. Many businesses spend hundreds or thousands of dollars maintaining their landscaping. Unfortunately, roof work can be very messy and disruptive. Landscaping is vulnerable to damage if not properly protected.

What to look for:

The roofer you hire should have a specific plan in place to protect your landscaping. A professional contractor should be able to cite specific tools and procedures that can prevent your landscaping from sustaining damage throughout the roofing process. Your roofer should also be able to tell you what will be done if your landscaping is damaged during your roofing project. Be wary of contractors who seem not to have grappled with these questions in the past.

4 - Are you experienced and qualified to repair or install this type of roof? Are you a certified installer for this type of building material?

Not all roofs are the same, and not all contractors have experience installing or repairing every type of roof. Without expertise regarding your specific type of roof, your contractor could make mistakes that lead to leaks and other problems. Sometimes it's hard to tell which contractor has experience installing which type of roof.  Modern flat roofs are a popular choice in North Carolina. But installation of flat roofing requires a completely different skillset from a more traditional shingle roof.

What to look for:

Your contractor should be able to speak to you knowledgeably about the materials used to make your roof, advantages and disadvantages of that roofing type, procedures used to keep that type of roof water tight and what needs to be done to prolong your roof's service life.

Since this knowledge should come from experience, your roofer should be able to tell you about other roofs of the same type that he or she has worked on in the past. The roofer you choose should have pictures of similar projects as well as phone numbers for references. Check references! Talking to previously satisfied customers, especially if the customer has needed work done on a similar type of roof, can help you get a sense for whether or not this contractor is right for you.

Your roofer may also be a certified installer for the type of roofing material that will be installed on your roof. This is an added level of security that means your roofer is qualified to install or repair your roof.


Get a Roofing Evaluation

At Pickard Roofing, we think Design. Craft. Renew. We are experienced in all types of roofing systems- and provide the right roofing design and selective craftsmanship for renewing our customer’s assets. We invite sustainable building customers to give us a call for your free evaluation. For over 90 years Pickard Roofing Company has installed countless metal, tile, slate, TPO, EPDM, and all types of shingle roofing in the Triangle. Our services including residential, commercial, custom architectural metal fabrication, and historical renovation.