If you’re a business owner and there’s a problem with your roof, there are a number of issues you should be aware of when hiring a roofer. Roofing is a highly specialized skill and a trained roofer will have the proper insurance and knowledge of current health and safety guidelines. Roofing can be a dangerous trade and falls from working at height make up the majority of injuries in the construction industry.
Check Your Roofer’s Credentials Stack Up
Businesses hiring a roofer should take extra care to ensure they hire an experienced roofer. Background checks, references and double-checking membership to reputable trade bodies is a must as getting a competent, professional roofer can save you from trouble in the long-run as falling debris can cause a hazard to employees and shoddy workmanship can pose a serious risk to your workplace and impede the productivity of your staff.
If an accident were to occur on your property, to the roofer or someone occupying the premises such as an employee, and the roofing firm was not covered by an insurance policy then the responsibility could well lie with you or your business. For your own peace of mind, checking paperwork may feel like a waste of time but it can save you from a headache if anything were to go wrong.
Make the usual checks on references to find out what previous customers say about the work you roofer has undertaken. Try to find someone who has had similar work carried out. If you don’t know anyone, ask the roofer – they should be willing to point you in the direction of a past customer who’s happy with their work.
A Clear Understanding Between You and the Roofer
It’s a good idea to have a contract drawn up between the roofer and yourself, which outlines exactly what work is required, how payment will be paid and when, and how long the work is expected to take. It’s good to have something to refer to if the job takes longer than expected and your business is faced with rising bills through lost earnings because you can’t use the property.
A good roofer will take you through the work that’s needed and tell you about any potential hazards. Reputable roofers will work closely with you to understand your requirements and agree how the work is to be undertaken, for example, whether the work will be carried out during business hours or whether they can work around your business. Many commercial roofing firms will be flexible so that there’s as little disruption to your business as possible. The roofer you hire should be willing to give you estimates up front and a breakdown of costs so that you know what you’re paying for.
Interview your roofer – informally, of course – to find out how knowledgeable they are about their trade. You should feel confident that your commercial roofer will be able to undertake the work required competently and safely. Quiz them on safety points such as the equipment they will be using and make sure that they’re up to date with current building regulations. Find out how the roofer will access to the roof and what methods they will use, such as scaffolding that could potentially harm the outside of your building if not constructed by a professional, or impede your own entry to the building and spill out onto public areas.
Find out who will be undertaking the work itself. You may be speaking to an experienced gaffer but if an apprentice turns up to undertake the roofing work then you could end up with inferior workmanship when the job is completed.
Play it Safe
Other questions you should bear in mind are how well established is the roofing company? What is their safety record like and have they had any accidents recently? Will they undertake a risk assessment?
Once you’re satisfied that you’ve found a commercial roofer that can carry out the work to your requirements, within the budget that you specify, then you can relax and let them get on with the job. Your roofer should be courteous, reliable and professional at all times.
For more information about the standards of work you should expect from your commercial roofer, visit the website of the Health and Safety Executive. They can also offer you health and safety advice if you have any concerns.
For professional commercial roofing work by a team of trained roofers, contact G&A Roofing and Building. G&A have been in the roofing trade for over 25 years. We are a reputable roofing firm that deals with all aspects of roofing work at reasonable prices. Call us for emergency repairs, replacement roofs, abseiling and many more services. Contact G&A for a local roofer today on 0800 626430.