The Basics: Ensure You're Covered And The Ways A Contractor Should Protect You and What's Yours!
Updated: Oct 5, 2022
Welcome to The WaterpRoof Watchdog presented by WaterpRoof Roofing Diagnostics! The information incorporated is backed by licensed and certified industry experts accumulating decades of experience. Their expertise with the products, techniques, strategies and applications have been utilized by leading roofing manufacturers and "Top 5 roofing companies in the U.S."
Types Of Insurance A Contractor Should Have and Why?
Many things can go wrong when installing, maintaining or repairing a roof. Frankly...statistics state 29.9 deaths per 100,000 (full-time), about 2x the average for all other construction trades. Bluntly. about 50 roofers are killed on the job each year. - The International Institute of Building Enclosure Consultants (IIBEC)
Safety is and should always be job number one despite level of seniority, "fearlessness" or the brief amount of time spent on the actual roof. With that said, it is critically vital customers make sure and verify their hired roofing contractor is fully covered with valid (pay close attention to expiration dates) types of insurance.
Roofing contractors are required to provide and ensure that their crews receive adequate, regular training and use safety harnesses, roof ropes, safety flags and other gear that’s frequently checked to be in good repair and meet OSHA safety standards. (It is in the owners right to have a city inspector make a visit during a project to ensure safety laws and regulations are upheld. Furthermore, these inspection inquiries shall be kept confidential if specified by requester and are common which will not raise suspicion with contractor.
All safety regulations cited directly from the current (OSHA) manual.
How A COI Will Benefit You, Identifying The Insurance Types Your Contractor Should Have And Some Pro Tips!
Pro Tip: Ask the contractor if the Foreman or superintendent running the job has a valid OSHA 30 card and make a copy or photograph for your record to protect yourself. An OSHA 30 Certification is the requirement for a supervisor of a crew. Lastly, ask if an emergency plan will be established for easy reference in the event of a medical emergency. Often it is a sign or something similar with the name of the nearest hospital, address of the hospital and jobsite, phone number of the hospital and the estimated mileage/travel time to the medical facility. THIS SAVES LIVES AND IS FUNDAMENTALLY CRITICAL DURING TIMES OF EMERGENCIES DUE TO A STATE OF SHOCK OR FRANTIC FOR MEDICAL ATTENTION AND RESPONSE. [PLEASE SEE EXAMPLE BELOW]
Insurance requirements vary widely. Ensure the roofing company obeys city, state, federal or provincial and municipal laws. Here are some insurance types you will very likely need. (Ask roofing company for a current COI - Certificate of Insurance, it is very common in construction and business so don't feel hesitant to ask) - [EXAMPLE COI - CERTIFICATE OF INSURANCE PROVIDED TO THE RIGHT.]
Important Note: While contractors ideally should consider carrying all these types of insurance listed below, property owners/managers should be most concerned about a valid general liability policy. Although indicative and invaluable, workers' compensation insurance guidelines (varies by state, also enforced conditional on distinct situation and circumstances. There are situations where WC insurance coverage is unnecessary based on desultory factors.) Irregardless of the circumstances, it's wise to always ask for proof of insurance during the initial meeting with your contractor or for it to be sent prior to eliminate potential issues from the start.
Types of insurance:
• General Liability Insurance:
This type of insurance protects against accidents causing damage or injury to customers, the customer's property or bystanders. Pay close attention the contractor is not overly or under insured, specifically the latter. (Over insured may be a red flag as well due to the contractor commonly being sued or having a "slìp-n'-fall type scheme. Under insured obviously may result in sticking you with the remaining debt or liability for injury.)
• Workers’ Compensation Insurance:
Many know this type of insurance. It covers the types of accident described above when incurred by the contractor's employees on the job.
• Property, Auto and Other Add-On Insurances:
These insurance policies are held and established to protect from damages and loss in the event of vehicle accidents, vandalism of your property/contractor's property, materials, tools, equipment etc.
These types of insurance are supposed to be present and crafted in your proposal, contract or provided as additional documentation. If they are not, it is strongly recommended the contractor be informed you require these documents to protect yourself and your investment.
How Should A Professional Contractor Strive To Safeguard And Protect Your Property?
Installing roofing...especially shingles is a messy business despite planning and the hard work to contain the debris. As you remove the old roofing system, it’s noisy as you remove the existing roof to install the new system. The contractor should show consideration for your property, nearby community and family/neighbors/clients/employees. By the contractor doing so, you can continue to assert your professional image and establish the safety of individuals around the jobsite. DO let the contractor know your expectations in terms of disruption, mess and explain how you and your nearby community/family/neighbors/clients/employees will appreciate their best effort to minimize it. (Note: realistic expectations should be considered. Roofing is a loud, noisy and sometimes odors from products may occur. These odors are not harmful, a list of these products should be provided in MSDS form prior to project start to manager/owner. Handoff of these items should be completed at Pre-Con (Preconstruction Meeting).
We recommend the following:
• Before a roof tear off: All landscape features, pools, sides of buildings, any vehicles, driveways, loading docks, machinery or other property with the potential of damage or being affected should be covered or removed.
• Areas of frequency such as sidewalks, driveways, loading docks, overhangs, around dumpsters, garages and doorways should be frequently cleaned and monitored. Shingled roofing systems should be continually cleaned as a result of nails in driveways, sidewalks and patio areas having children, pets or vehicles may be at risk of harm or damage.
• The jobsite (your home/business/investment) should be made tidy during work and especially at the end of the work day. Disposal of packaging materials, materials and rear off. Tools, materials and equipment should be stored and securedovernight. Mot only for safety’s sake, but for theft prevention as well.
• Set guidelines, protocols, boundaries and make sure the line of communication are open. Ensure you have an immediate contact method for the owner and the foreman, supervisor or superintendent on site and in charge of the project. This is essential in the event of an issue or emergency. Also, if you have sensitive moments during business hours or ordinances, you can notify those in charge to accommodate these requirements.
Your Time Is Important, Valuable And Your Input Matters!
Optimally, you and the contractor will agree (preferably in contract form) on a timetable, suitable hours for work to commence and possibly project benchmarks in advance that works for you both. This will eliminate conceivable deviations, disagreement and delays allowing job completion in the agreed-upon time correctly. But be prepared for the unexpected. Unforeseen issues do arise in construction, but all issues or concerns should be immediately relayed to the owner. You should make this very clear during the hiring process. Communication and issues should be brought to your attention immediately and final approval w/additional pricing should be given prior to remedies being completed.
Communication is key to solving issues. Many of the issues that arise in construction are a result of poor research, planning, communication and truthfully sometimes unrealistic expectations (typically because the contractor does not adequately inform the client of the imposition, disruption, process or typical impacts of the project on the client).
Thank you for reading our current post. We truly hope that it assisted you by providing detailed information to vet your next contractor, protect yourself/property/individuals and simple tips that are commonly overlooked.
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The WaterpRoof Watchdog presented by WaterpRoof Roofing Diagnostics proudly represents WRD's mission to encourage, empower and educate the public as we support, contribute, nourish/mend, guide, innovate and collaborate to strengthen the roofing trade as well as our community. The WaterpRoof Watchdog shall navigate common issues, hopefully answer some questions you may have or not considered and assist you in extending the longevity of your roofing system.
The information incorporated is backed by industry experts which are licensed and certified. Their expertise with the products, techniques, strategies and applications have been utilized by leading roofing manufacturers and "Top 5 roofing companies in the U.S." This is not us selling you on our company, it serves the purpose of establishing our credibility to bestow accurate information to you.
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