How to Find a Roofer: 7 Tips from a Seattle Based Roofer
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We are a full service residential roofing company serving Seattle home owners with an emphasis on quality and communication.
When a roofing company has its own roofer install crews (not sub-contractors) they have more time to complete the roofing project correctly. We work on roofs in sections during the rainy months, making sure that every section of the roof is covered and protected from the rain. We do not tear off roofs in the rain, but roofers can roof in the rain.
In addition to reading online reviews available at Yelp, Google, Angie’s List, etc., getting a referral from a friend you trust is a great way to find a reputable contractor. Look for a roofing company from your community. It is less likely that you will have problems down the road if someone you who know had a positive experience with that roofer.
To learn more about choosing a roofer, read our comprehensive guide to finding the best roofer in your area.
It is always a good idea to ask your roofing company whether their estimates are free when you are scheduling your initial appointment.
Then, they show you material samples, explain our "customer first" values and how our fulltime, certified, insured, licensed and bonded professional roofers work, and when we’re done with the estimate, you will have a written estimate in your hand at no cost to you!
Three Tree Roofing is not the biggest roofing company in the USA, however, we consider ourselves the best in Seattle serving the Puget Sound area. We always put our customers and safety first. We do a thorough and complete job ensuring that all of our work is top-notch on every job. This level of customer service and quality workmanship starts with training and certification from our roofing suppliers, continues with attention to detail and a reliable process, outstanding communication, and ends with you having warranties and protections on your new roof.
A few very important first steps are learning about a company's qualifications.
You should also make sure that the roofer you select has experience with jobs similar to yours.
In the portfolio section of our website, you can see high-quality photos of residential roofing projects and commercial roofing projects built with composite shingles, standing seam metal, TPO, PVC, cedar shake shingles, and more.
To learn more about choosing a roofer, read our comprehensive guide to finding the best roofer in your area.
Before hiring a roofer, you should read the company’s online reviews and view their Better Business Bureau rating.
Also, you should ask about their roofing manufacturer certifications. In order to earn these certifications, the roofer must meet requirements set by the roofing material manufacturers. This means that the roofing supply companies and people who make your roofing material have seen the contractor’s work and recommend them as an installer of their product. So much so, that the roofing supply companies are willing to warranty the roofer's workmanship. Contractors with manufacturer certifications have proven themselves to be quality installers and can pass on these warranties to you and provide you long term protection backed by the roofer and the roofing supply companies.
To learn more about finding the right roofer for you, read our comprehensive guide to finding the best roofer in your area.
While putting a quality roofing system on your home is a great investment in your property, the cost is not insignificant. That does not mean, the cheapest contractor cannot do a good job or that the most expensive contractor is the best.
After receiving a few bids, compare the scope of the work that they propose along with prices, and keep in mind the importance of hiring someone you can trust. Once you’ve selected a contractor for roofing services, ask if they have financing options. For example, in the Seattle area, we offer financing options for new roofs through Hearth Financial.
We actually get quite a few calls for Seattle roofing services to go look at failing roofs that aren't that old but that are leaking due to damage from cleanings, especially pressure washing and scraping. Below are the do's and don'ts of cleaning your roof. First, we'll go over the don'ts.
There is a strip of sealant at the front edge of asphalt shingles that seals down the shingle to resist wind uplift. If you damage this seal on a shingle that is more than a few months old if may not re-seal properly and you can have shingles blow off.
The granules on a shingle roof are there for UV protection. The asphalt that makes up the body of the shingle is very sensitive to UV. If left exposed it will crack and wear quickly. Pressure washing many times blows off the granules and can even cut or damage the underlying fiberglass mat and asphalt.
People often ask about "zinc strips" for their roofs as a way to ward off moss growth. We don't use zinc strips anymore. The amount of zinc you get washing down the roof isn't enough to really affect the moss and algae growth for most North West applications. You do however end up with extra holes in your roof from the nails used to secure the strips and that is something we work very hard to prevent when installing a roof. Basically, the risk of the extra exposed nails isn't worth the negligible moss and algae protection.
Now that we have covered the Don'ts we will move on to the Do's.
The best way to clean your roof is to use a zinc oxide-based powder or cleaning solution. This kills the moss and algae on the roof, it may take some time for the moss to slough off but it will work. You can accelerate the process with a broom but only sweep from the ridgeline down, with the "grain" of the shingles.
How often should you treat your roof? Most roofs require a cleaning product to be applied every 2-3 years. However, this being the beautiful PNW some of us have quite a bit of tree overhangs resulting in pollen, needles, leaves, etc collecting on our roofs. If you start to see moss or algae growth go ahead and treat and sweep the roof. You can get Moss-B-Gone or many other similar zinc oxide-based treatments at almost any hardware store.
If you don't feel comfortable treating your own roof there are many cleaning specialists out there. Do your research and get someone that specializes in cleanings and treatments and has good reviews. We typically recommend AA Window and Gutter Cleaning for roof cleanings they have good reviews and specialize in cleanings rather than being a roofer that "also does cleanings".
If anyone has questions regarding roofing, gutters, attic ventilation, etc. please see our Comprehensive Guide: Maintaining Your Composite Shingle Roof. If you have any questions or suspect you need a roof replacement, feel free to contact us or call us at 206-312-7663 (ROOF)
There are differences in material types and furthermore, some of them have neat features to cut down on maintenance. However, no matter what type of materials you select (composite shingles, PVC/TPO, cedar shake shingles, synthetic/rubber shingles, or metal roofing) quality materials and competence of your installer are what really count. If you select a quality manufacturer to supply the roofing material, and a competent installer, you can expect about 30 years of useful lifespan.
There has been a bit of an arms race in warranties over the last 20 years and most manufacturers claim a "lifetime" warranty. Gone are the days of 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 year warranties and the accompanying jump in price from benchmark to benchmark. Lifetime equates usually to 50 years if you read the fine print, however, if you aim for 30 years and reasonably maintain it you shouldn't have too much worry about your roof.
So what are the differences between different types of roofs? First, the most important thing is to establish what type of materials are compatible with you roof type. Second, pick what you like. Below are a few notes on the different types of materials we commonly work with.
Composite Shingles are your "standard" roof for a pitched application. There are a lot of brands and a lot of minor differences. We typically recommend Certainteed brand or Malarkey brand shingles. Both are manufactured in the NW for our area and offer strong warranties. Weight is not as important as it used to be but things like algae and moss inhibitors are. Both of these brands use copper coated granules in the shingles to inhibit algae growth and slow moss. Nothing will stop moss completely but this gives you a nice leg up on your roof maintenance. Both brands offer different styles and profiles, again pick what you like the look of and what fits your budget.
If you love the quintessential Northwest look of cedar shake shingles and it fits your budget, go for it. Just make sure you get quality shakes and have a qualified roofer install them to best industry standards. We recommend minimum 5/8" shakes but 3/4" or 7/8" should be the target, they are more resistant to cupping and curling over time. Get CCA (pressure treated) shakes and ask questions. Ask for photos of your contractors work. Where do their shakes come from? Do they visually inspect them or just buy off of the label? This is a natural wood product and a good shake contractor should be proud of the quality of their shakes, they should want to tell you their story.
If you love the modern look of metal roofing, go for it. Just make sure you see close up examples of your contractors work. With metal roofing, the devil is in the details. Everything is hand bent and hand cut and finished on site. The craftsmanship of your contractor effects the final product even more so than your "typical" roof types. Make sure you opt for the thicker gauge metal (24ga or 26ga) and always get the Kynar paint. Metal roofing is only as good as its paint, if the paint fails the metal rusts. Don't buy a lesser finish quality metal roofing. Metal roofing all comes from the same mills regardless of the end manufacturer. They all take the same rolls and finishes and then run them through their benders and presses to create the panels and flashing that get delivered. We recommend Taylor metals and Nu-Ray metals locally as manufacturers but the contractor is THE most important decision here.
TPO/PVC: This is the direct replacement for torchdown/hot tar/cold tar low slope roofing. The days of tar based flat roofing are all but gone. PVC/TPO flat roofing lasts longer, needs less maintenance (no coatings,) and is more energy efficient. These materials are thermoplastics, they make everything from car parts to construction materials from them and it is a proven commodity. Make sure your contractor can clearly explain their systems and processes here. They should be an open book. Look at photos. Make sure they use a vapor barrier AND what is called fan-fold, make sure the membrane is vented properly and the attic, if there is one, is also vented. How the roof deck is prepared is crucial with this material and experienced installers make all the difference. Ask if your contractor carries "recognized installer" status for the materials they offer. Many low slope material manufacturers require the installing contractor to be certified with them and provide examples of their work before the will honor any warranties on the materials installed.
The average homeowner buys a roof twice in their lifetime and the purchase can be a bit intimidating. We recommend 3-4 estimates. Any more than 4 estimates and we find that the homeowner can become a bit confused and may end up losing the points that are important to them in all the noise from too many people in the mix. This can lead to some homeowners selecting a contractor more out of a wish to end the selection process than finding the contractor that is truly the best fit for them and their project.
That being said, vetting the contractors you choose to estimate on the project is one of the most important steps you can take.
When you contact the contractors you are interested in having estimate your project they should make you feel comfortable, use your judgement here. If you have reservations, ask questions. A good contractor should be an open book.
Remember that roofing, like most contracting, is a service, not a product. You are selecting the PEOPLE you trust to protect your home from our wonderful northwest weather more than the products they are installing.
To learn more, read our comprehensive guide to finding the best roofer in your area.
Serving Seattle and the Puget Sound
Turned Out PerfectGreat job. Roof looks really good! Brand new gutters and a rebuilt chimney turned out perfect!Catherine – Kent, WAtestimonial-68 ★★★★★ 5 15 1Anonymous
Worked Around WeatherThey were great and super helpful and they worked around weather!Ellie – Bellevue, WAtestimonial-69 ★★★★★ 5 15 1Anonymous
Employees Were FriendlyThey performed the work efficiently. The employees were friendly and answered the questions we had.Richard – Seattle, WAtestimonial-290 ★★★★★ 5 15 1Anonymous
Great Quality, on Schedule and on BudgetThree Tree Roofing replaced my traditional shingles as well as replaced my torch down flat roof with TPO. I solicited three bids and Three Tree was the most comprehensive and also the best value for this complex project. Their work was great quality, on schedule and on budget. I couldn't be more pleased and I recommend that you contact them for your roofing needs!Chuck – Seattle, WAtestimonial-291 ★★★★★ 5 15 1Anonymous
I Had No WorriesThe foreman, Jose, and his crew were fast, efficient, always keeping me informed of their progress and what they were doing which was very good as I work from home. The noise, of course, was expectable, the mess was considerable but they cleaned up every day. Just after finishing, the roof got the test in some very heavy rains, and I had no worries. By the way, not the lowest price, but the best value of the 4 contractors I contacted.John – Seattle, WAtestimonial-292 ★★★★★ 5 15 1Anonymous
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