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Roofing red flags: Know the warning signs

Recognizing roofing red flags is incredibly important when searching for a roofing contractor. Certain red flags appear no matter if it’s a residential or commercial roof repair or replacement of shingles, tile, metal or flat roofing.

Across Florida, there are many reliable, trustworthy roofing contractors. Not every roofing company earns five-star reviews, though. Roofing red flags are warning signs that give property owners and property managers a cause for concern. It gives them an inkling that something is not quite right, or a gut feeling.

Most individuals, even the most dedicated property managers, do not work with roofing contractors on a regular basis. That’s why our team completed the guide below. Here is what to look out for – and look for – when considering a roofing contractor.

Roofing Red Flags

Multiple roofing companies operate within every community across Florida. In metropolitan areas, there can be 100 or more roofing contractors that do business in the area. When searching, consider these roofing red flags:

  • Location: Do they have an office, warehouse or supply yard in the community? Some companies claim to “serve” a community, but don’t have a physical presence there – just a P.O. box or a newly leased executive office space
  • Experience: Are you able to find out when the company was founded or received its business license in this state? Newer companies aren’t necessarily substandard, but experience counts.
  • Equipment: Do they have their own machinery, tools and vehicles? Are the employees of the company driving their own vehicles, or are the company branded with local numbers?
  • Website: Does their website seem sparse? Anyone can create a basic website just to establish an online presence. The lack of information, though, can indicate a company doesn’t have much content or insight to share.
  • Employees: Do they use subcontractors and day laborers? Some “companies” are actually just one or two people behind the scenes who rely on unskilled workers to complete jobs.
  • Estimates: Will they provide a written estimate? Roofing contractors should not give ballpark estimates or price ranges. They should know exactly what a project will cost.
  • Sales strategies: Do they pressure customers to sign contracts on the spot to lock in contract terms? Contractors should never use high-pressure sales tactics to get customers to sign agreements.
  • Online reviews: Are customers leaving reviews online constantly and are they recent? Companies with no or few reviews means they either don’t do much business or don’t want customers to leave feedback.
  • Word of mouth: If you ask friends for recommendations, what companies do they mention? If no one has heard of the company you are considering, it might be a sign to move on.
  • Responsiveness: When you call or email, how quickly do they respond? If a company is too busy to take your call, they might be too busy to take your job.

Roofing Green Flags

On the opposite side, there are things you should look for when hiring a roofing contractor:

  • Location: Have you driven by a company’s office or supply yard? Real estate requires an investment, and it’s best to do business with companies invested in your community.
  • Experience: Has the company been in business at least five years? Companies come and go, but good companies are in it for the long haul.
  • Equipment: Can you spot the company’s equipment or vehicles? Established companies invest in capital expenditures like trucks, lifts and cranes, and are proud to display their logo on the side.
  • Website: Can you spend at least five minutes combing through content on their website? Top companies break down their core services, business philosophy and service areas, and should have blogs or news pages to establish credibility.
  • Employees: Do they have full-time, benefits-earning employees? If so, it’s more likely those individuals will have better training, more experience and adhere to the company’s standards of professionalism and workmanship.
  • Estimates: Is the written estimate detailed? An estimate should contain the total price, of course, but also inspection findings with photos and an itemized list of repairs, materials and supplies needed to complete the job.
  • Sales strategies: Does the estimator seem honest? Customers should be able to ask questions and take time before signing a contract.
  • Online reviews: Are online reviews overwhelmingly positive? It’s common for contractors to have a couple subpar reviews, but a history of satisfied customers is a good indication that you’re dealing with a solid company.
  • Word of mouth: What adjective do you hear when people talk about a company? Honest, fair, professional and diligent are great words to hear.
  • Responsiveness: Did the company return your call or email within 24 hours? Not every roof repair is an emergency, but you want a roofing company to treat it like one.

Finally, make sure a roofing contractor is licensed. It’s easy to check. Just visit to see if a company is a Registered Roofing Contractor.

Paying attention to roofing red flags, as well as roofing green flags, will help property owners and property managers choose the right roofing contractor for their next job.

READ MORE: How to find reputable roofers after hurricanes and tropical storms

Ready to work with a roofing contractor that’s waving a green flag?


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