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Basic questions to ask a roof plumber during a roof inspection

Roof plumbers are armed with essential know-how and can diagnose the cause of your roof leaks better than anyone else.

However, as a consumer, you should always arm yourself with stock knowledge as it’ll prove vital down the line and prevent you from getting ripped off by dodgy tradesmen.

Here’s some questions you should ask a roof plumber when they come over to inspect your roof:

Ask the roof plumber to show and demonstrate why the work needs to be carried out

Nobody should take ones word for it especially if you haven’t visually seen why first-hand.

The roof certainly isn’t a place where anyone can take a look and see what’s wrong (which is why you’ve probably called out a roof plumber in the first place!) but get the roofer to take some pictures or a video or two showing the troubled areas and get a solid explanation as to why the necessary work is needed.

Chances are he’ll be right about what he’s saying, but it’s always good to see it first-hand.

Ask the roof plumber why your roof needs repairs, a restoration or a replacement

Not all roofs are made the same and not all roofs have undergone equal wear and tear over the years.

This is why your roof may need a full replacement but you’re only being suggested some patch repair jobs (for their benefit).

There are also circumstances where your roof only has minor damages here and there but a roof plumber may be pressuring you to get a roof restoration or replacement.

We understand that, of course, a roof restoration or roof replacement will solve all your roofing problems, but it doesn’t come cheap and if the roof is in condition to have only repairs carried out then so be it.

Now, the difference between a roof restoration and a roof replacement could be fairly small.

roof plumber

A roof replacement is the daddy of roofing services but not everyone can afford it therefore a roof restoration maybe the wiser option – especially for those gorgeous Victorian or Edwardian homes with elegant tiled roofs.

But at the end of the day it’s a case to case basis and ultimately once you have all the pros and cons, you’ll be in a better position to make the right decision.

Ask the roof plumber about their workmanship guarantees and material manufacturer warranties

The last thing you want is for some fly-by roofer or roofing company to do the job for you, then a few months or years later they’re turning a blind eye or worse, they’re no longer in business!

You can have this sussed before the roof plumber turns up – checkout his/their website, online reviews, social media and even give them a good old fashioned phone call and ask them directly.

If you want to ask them directly you can ask how long is a roof restoration guarantee last for and does it cover any flaking or peeling of any membrane systems?

What exactly covers the workmanship guarantee – re-bedding? re-pointing? valleys? removal/replacement of chipped tiles? paint? installation?

Here at Harley & Sons, we have a workmanship guarantee of at least 6-years and material manufacturer warranties can go as high as 50-years, depending on the roofing material. We’ll take care of you years after installation date so that you’ll have the peace of mind you deserve.

Ask the roof plumber about his/the company’s licenses, insurance and registration

This should also be standard stuff for most roof plumbers/roof companies out there, but there’s no harm quizzing them about their Victorian Building Authority (VBA) license(s) and what their insurance coverage covers.

It’s worth noting that, roof plumbers should have the  VBA Roofing (stormwater) license as that pretty much covers most of the typical roof plumbing work which includes, but isn’t limited to:

  • installing eaves gutters
  • fabricating and installing downpipes
  • installing box gutters, outlets, overflows, rain heads and sumps
  • installing drains above ground and downpipes for the roof drainage system
  • installing flashings such as soaker, step, apron, valley, ridge, pressure and side flashings
  • installing flash penetrations to fixtures such as vent pipes, skylights, air conditioning units, flues and exhaust fans
  • installing rainwater tanks to collect drinking water
  • laying and securing metal roof sheeting safely.

Ask the roof plumber about his/their involvement with sub-contractors

This is always an important on and should be known pretty early on in the negotiation phase.

Some roofing companies use sub-contractors, some declare it and some don’t (need to).

It gets tricky in terms of red tape – liability, insurance and everything else so it’s essential to find out what their working structure is.

Ask the roofer about the job completion timeframe and what precautions they’ll take with regards to neighbours/surroundings

If you’re working to a particular deadline then you should definitely ask how long the job will take. Once there’s a commitment on both sides, then that date should be set in stone (depending of course on anything that changes during the process).

If your home is is terraced or just generally within close proximity to things which could affect safety or damage, then it’s always a good idea to ask how the roof plumber will approach the job at hand.

Safety should always be the number one priority and any experienced roofer should have a plan set out before they start any job.

Coordination with the necessary agencies or property owners is a must for any borderline situations and therefore the roof plumber needs to play a big part in ensuring everything will go smoothly before, during and after the job.

Wrap Up

There’s definitely more questions to ask any roof plumber or roofing company – you could definitely get technical about some of the aspects but the questions above are some basic ones to ask before putting pen to paper and signing any contract.

If you’re looking to get any roofing work done, you don’t need to worry about any of the above as our roof plumbers here at Harley & Sons have ample experience with roofing and have carried out hundreds of jobs in and around Melbourne.

Contact us now for a free roof inspection and we’ll be ready to answer your roofing questions.

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