Frequently Asked Questions
▶ Do I need to be home while you are working?
No, but you do have the option to be home if you wish. Usually, we do not need access to your home as long as there is access to your external water and power sources. We use power sources to charge some of our battery-operated tools and other power tools that are vital to completing your job. Sometimes a fuse can trip and we may need access to the fuse box to continue your project. Also, it can get very loud inside the home as we work with tools that cause noise that amplifies into your home. If you are planning on being home, please keep this in mind and maybe plan to leave the home but still be available for any questions or concerns we have for you.
▶ Why is it important to have vents?
Proper ventilation can help you in many aspects. It starts with the right amount of insulation in heated portions of your home. Next, there are soffit and roof vents, which come in different styles but their main purpose is to achieve a good airflow between the inside and outside of your home. Properly ventilated homes can achieve higher energy efficiency and can even prevent problems like the formation of ice dams that can in turn cause leaks.
▶ Does my garage need vents?
Typically, if your garage is heated, insulated, or you are planning on heating or insulating your garage, then you will need to properly ventilate it. An inspection can be done to see if you do or not. Things that will go along with new roof vents are possibly new soffit venting and chutes that leave ample space for air to flow from the soffit to the roof. Ultimately, your city’s building codes have the final say on ventilation in your home or other structures.
▶ I’ve been told that I should avoid hiring a contractor who works only for the insurance amount – but isn’t that what you do?
Zablocki Roofing will work with you and your insurance company to make sure that all items are fixed according to your coverage. We will negotiate a fair price with your insurance company for our costs and will make sure that anything that should be included is. (Some insurance adjusters are not aware of our city codes which may require additional work such as removing all layers of shingles.) We will keep you informed of our negotiations as we feel it is important to be transparent to you when we are operating on your behalf.
▶ My insurance company told me I needed to get 3 estimates. Is this necessary?
No. Most insurance companies do not expect you to get 3 estimates, but suggest that you talk with more than one contractor, or that you go with your best possible option. Your insurance company wants to ensure that the work that is done is correct (up to code) and that it does not cost you more than you expect. (no hidden costs)
▶ Do you give free estimates?
Usually, this answer is yes. However , we do have limits to the amount of work that we can take on and we simply cannot afford the time it takes to give a thorough inspection and accurate estimation . For example, after a hail storm or during the warmer months, we experience a higher volume of calls and projects .
We are interested in earning your business, but we need to make sure that we are using our time efficiently and effectively . Sending out a representative takes away from time spent on other customers and projects already in progress . We want to be able to serve our existing customers with the same quality and promptness that you would expect yourself . We handle customers on a first come first serve basis, so we may ask for your patience and understanding as we approach your turn .
So, there may be times when we ask for a fee to come to your property. If you sign up with our service within a year, this fee is usually refunded from the total cost of your new roof.
▶ Does my roof qualify for an energy rebate?
No. The energy rebate was mainly designed for the southern part of the United States to help ease high air conditioning costs.
▶ My neighbor’s roof was replaced by their insurance company after a recent storm and mine wasn’t. Why?
There are a variety of reasons, including the age of your roof, different inspectors, different insurance coverage, if there are trees protecting your roof from damage and even differences based on how the storm moved through your area.
▶ My roof/siding was damaged on one side and my color/style is no longer made. Do I get a whole new roof/siding?
This depends on your individual insurance policy and the clauses that you have opted in or out of. The state of Minnesota states that your insurance company is only liable for the damaged portion and can replace it with the “closest match”.
▶ Why can’t you just put the new shingles over the old ones?
The current housing code instructs that all of the old shingles must be removed so the deck can be inspected for any damaged or rotted boards.
▶ Why do you instruct me to take things off my interior wall when you are roofing?
While not common, we have had reports that the vibration of removing the old shingles, and the use of our tools to install your new roof have caused loose items to fall. This is just a precaution to protect your valuables.
▶ I am a second owner and was denied on my Certainteed claim. Can you help me?
Certainteed ended its second owner program on 10/4/2011. This means that only homeowners who had originally installed the organic shingles may qualify for the defective shingle program.
▶ Why do I need to put new decking on my roof?
Generally, when you need to re-sheet, re-deck, overlay, or replace some of the wood under your shingles it has to do with proper installation and building codes . Older homes sometimes have gapped boards that were a common practice when it was built , but building codes have been updated since and require that you cover that gap to allow for proper installation .
Installing shingles on gapped boards can lead to them not being nailed down well enough. This may cause your shingles to blow off in a high wind or even leak easier. Also, if your roof has been the victim of dry rot causing the deterioration of the wood, it may be required to do a re-sheet or an overlay of plywood . This can ensure that your shingles will be securely nailed to your roof and prevent any unnecessary damage to your roof .
We may find that only some of your decking needs to be replaced . In this case, we would typically recommend that only those damaged boards be replaced .
▶ How long will it take to finish my project?
We can always give you estimates on times and we are really accurate on these estimates. However, there are other factors that can get in the way of completion. Such factors as unpredictable weather, finding extra repairs that are necessary, and tending to employee absenteeism due to sickness or injury can all make your project exceed its original estimation in time.
In the summer, hotter weather can lead to softening of products like asphalt shingles, making them susceptible to damage or even improper installation. On these days we generally are able to hook up to your hose bib and water the shingles down to keep them cool and avoid these problems. However, on extremely hot days we may only work a partial day or may decide not to work at all due to the increase in the chance of damage or improper installations. Also, hotter days can contribute to heat exhaustion and the safety of our employees is also important to us.
Overall, we are concerned with ensuring your satisfaction with the products we install, want to ensure that it has the longest lifespan possible, and want your product to look new.
If we find something during the process that was hidden or wasn’t found in the original inspection, it can also extend the time it takes to finish your project. The bottom line is that we are committed to doing things the right way and will inform you of anything that may not be in line with local building codes (needs updating), could compromise the integrity or life of your structure, or potential problems you may face down the road. We do run into situations and we will communicate to you why work has halted and/or what our experts recommend to you.
▶ Can you give me a “ballpark” number for what my project will cost?
No. We generally cannot make a decision based on anything but visiting your home and inspecting all aspects of your project. There are many things that need to be checked during this process. Even if someone gave you the amount of material you need to install or you know the measurements of your home, doesn’t mean that we can just shoot you a price over the phone.
We pride ourselves on being able to go in-depth and ask more questions and also to investigate. We need to know exactly what is going on with your project in order to give you an accurate price. If you or someone else says that you need a roof replacement, for example, we need to check other things like the attic for dry rot or gapped boards to ensure the longevity of your installation.
Dry rot or even a leak that you were unaware of that caused molding or rotting can be an issue that can’t be seen without an attic inspection. Also, things like gapped boards or improper ventilation are examples of things that can affect the life or integrity of your structure. Building inspectors typically look for these things to be in line with local building codes and can cost you extra money than originally anticipated. Catching these things right away ensures that we can give you a better idea of what your project will cost. No one likes surprise charges or having to spend more money than planned, so allowing for inspections ensures accurate cost assessments.
▶ I found many nails on the ground after our roof got redone by another company, will you clean up better?
Yes. We lay down tarps on your lawn all-around your home to help catch nails and debris. We also have a top-notch clean-up during your project and after. During your project, we will try to keep your lawn and landscaping still presentable. In areas that run the risk of being damaged or defaced by falling shingles, we stand plywood up to take the brunt of any hit that would have otherwise put dents or marks in such things as siding, door or window screens. After your project, we not only use magnets designed to pick up nails off the ground, but also do an inch-by-inch comb of your yard to look for nails and any other scraps that we left. Our ultimate goal is to leave the worksite and have it look just as good as before we showed up.
▶ What do you do when it starts raining in the middle of redoing my roof?
We are definitely prepared for this situation and are well-experienced due to the changing weather patterns in Minnesota. We usually are in constant communication with our office staff, so we are able to anticipate most incoming weather. Sometimes, though, we are caught off guard with a sudden formation of storms. In either case, we are ready with designated rain tarps that will go over your roof so as to not allow leaks or any water penetration. This has been a proven and tested way to protect your home when the weather is being uncooperative.
If a storm comes up during your project, we ask you to remain calm and let us handle the situation. We know exactly what to do and staying clear and away from our workers until they have your home completely covered is recommended for everyone’s safety and for the best results in protection installation. If a severe storm is present, we generally try to get our workers off your roof as quickly as possible for their safety, staying clear of the area can allow the workers to stay safe as well.
▶ Can I replace this roof myself?
You certainly can. We just want you to be aware of all the dangers that are involved. Roofing is a dangerous activity that puts people in the position of: falling from large heights, exposure to extreme temperatures, being susceptible to weather elements, intense physical labor and can have difficult installation techniques.
Of these, some are more overlooked than others. The weather factor can play a huge role in the ultimate failure of doing it yourself. We have had customers that have started with the best intentions, only to be hit with heavy rainstorms that threatened the integrity of their home’s structure. We had to step in because they had failed to plan on the rain and we had to come help cover their roof and to finish the installation because they were in over their head.
Another factor that can be overlooked is the sheer physical demand that roofing requires. Some people think that they can handle tearing off and installing their own roof, but they don’t realize how difficult it is once you get going. Shingles come in bundles and each bundle can weigh in excess of 60 lbs each. This may seem like an easy lift but when there are 75-100 bundles in a typical installation, which can be total weights from 4500-6000 at a minimum. Once you take that into account with going up and down a ladder and/or a pitched roof all day, it can lead even the strongest to feel overwhelmed.
Calling a contractor can alleviate any of these concerns and ensure your safety and the integrity of your home.
▶ Should I clear the snow off of my roof?
Yes. Typically the bottom of your roof is unheated. When snow accumulates on your roof, it can tend to melt and freeze with the changing temperatures outside.
Also, inside your attic, due to hot air rising, air can heat the underside of your roof melting it from within. When this melted snow reaches the unheated bottom of your roof, it can freeze and begin to build up and form ice dams. Once an ice dam has been formed, any more melted snow will hit this dam and instead of flowing down or over it, will actually start to work its way back up the roof. Once it begins going up your roof is when it gets underneath your shingles and leaks into your home. Even brand new roofs are susceptible to this.
We have received a few calls during the winter claiming that we installed a ‘leaky’ roof or one that ‘didn’t have that problem before. When we arrived at these houses they had extensive ice dams and were unaware that they had to keep snow off their roof. Also, winters can vary in Minnesota and it is important to track the weather during the season. 2010-11 was a year that had large snow amounts and many days that rose above freezing, allowing melting and ice dam formation. Previous years had either been snowy and cold or mild and didn’t contribute to ice dam formation.
The best thing you can do during snowy winters is to clear the snow off your roof. Keeping the bottom 4-6 feet clear is important in preventing ice dam formation. Using a roof rake with an extension to reach or having a roof snow removal company come out to clear snow are your best options.
▶ Do you offer a payment plan for work performed?
No. We understand that you may not be able to afford a large lump sum payment or would feel more comfortable paying in installments. However, we do look for clients that are comfortable in paying for their project. We do this because we believe that you should be comfortable in your investment and not overextend yourself. If you are able to pay for your project, but when you do it depletes all your funds, we recommend that you wait a little longer. We are not in the business of giving financial advice, but we are also not in the business of making people go broke or overextending budgets. We want to make sure that you have a cushion for other things in your life that are important and could come up.
There are other tools at your disposal. If your credit cards will allow for a larger limit, we do accept them (but we do charge an extra amount for financing this way). Also, there are banks that offer short-term loans or lines of credit if you qualify. The bottom line is though that you may end up paying 10% or more for your roof through financing, so please consider your options, even if it means putting off replacement for a while.
▶ A contractor showed up at my door, should I let them do my roof?
Definitely use your best judgment and make sure that you are utilizing the right tools to assist you in your decision.
Typically, if a contractor shows up at your door offering to ‘do your house for cheap’, ‘pay your deductible’, or shows up after a storm in a car or truck with out-of-state plates or decals, they can be classified as a “storm chaser”. These storm chasers usually are interested in canvassing the affected area, selling as many jobs as they can, and moving on to the next area (most times, out-of-state).
Typical complaints we have had from customers that weren’t informed enough to make the right decisions were that they were hard to reach after they collected their money, did a poor installation job, or even took a down payment for work and then skipped town. We are not saying that all companies that look and act like storm chasers are bad or trying to bad-mouth any of our competition. All we are saying is that you should be cautious and make informed decisions to get the best results.
Use Your Resources
Many tools are available to you. Make sure the contractor is licensed and bonded in your state, you can check with websites or can ask for proof from the contractor (Ours is here: License ).
Also, check to see if they are a local company that will be around for any future concerns. Caution: even though they have a local area code on their truck or material, they may not be from the area or will stick around. Cellular phones can be set up with any area code and they may do this to try and trick a person into thinking they are local.
Check records with the better business bureau. Complaints launched against the company will be shown and this is also a good reputation indicator.
Check that your contractor pays worker’s compensation insurance to ensure that if something happens to one of their workers on the job, that the company is able to take care of his or her injury appropriately. In Minnesota, it is illegal to not have this insurance, so do some fact-checking.
If you are unsure about anything, ASK. Good questions to ask are: Where is your office located? Do you have a workmanship warranty? Where do I call if I have issues after installation? What is your clean-up procedure during and after the project? Do you use subcontractors or employees? Every answer makes you better informed. Those that shy away or evade these and other related questions should make you think twice about hiring them.
All-in-all, it is important to select what is right for you, choosing the “cheapest bid” isn’t always your best bet. Here are some other things to consider ZABLOCKI ROOFING/ADVICE
▶ I’m thinking about replacing my roof, what are my options for types of roofing material?
When considering what kind of roof you should go with, there are many different factors in your decision. It’s important to ask yourself ‘what is important to me?’. There are many types of shingles some are inexpensive and some can be expensive. Different brands have different looks, some are considered energy efficient, and so on. When thinking of these, you need to understand that there IS an option for you.
Some people go with just the existing product on their roof, just with a different color. Others may want to choose a product that is more unique. There are many different styles and if ‘not standing out’ in the neighborhood is important to you, then you should choose a product that matches your neighbors. Or if you want something more distinctive then you should consider some alternatives.
Asphalt roofs are considered the default option, as we have seen through installation preference, and offer a look that is similar to cedar shakes with the option to change your color on a diverse palette. Asphalt is very common and therefore can be one of your most cost-effective options. Cedar shakes (wood) are another option that is a common choice. Shakes offer a unique natural look that can enhance the beauty of your home. Cedar usually stands the test of time better than most products, but also may cost more to install and upkeep than asphalt shingle.
Steel is becoming a very popular option in that it is considered an environmentally conscious product. Steel usually offers better protection from the elements, can reduce the number of replaced roofs due to toughness against hail damage, and can offer a very long life on your roof. One of the main concerns for years working against steel roofs was its looks. Today, though, there are companies coming out with products that still look great or can blend into the neighborhood that helps you in giving you another option to choose.
Your best bet is to do some research on your options before you call a contractor. Being knowledgeable and informed can in turn help you make the decision that is right for you, not just what the contractor is trying to sell you on.
Call 320-203-1297 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org