How to Safely Repair and Replace Roofs In The Time of COVID-19
COVID-19 may have changed many things, but one fact remains the same: not attending to roofing problems right away will lead to more troubles in the future.
The roof is an essential part of your home; it shelters and protects you. Regularly monitoring and maintaining it is necessary if you want it to last long. Unattended and unrepaired roofing may lead to water damage, leaks, and mold. It may even cost you your home. This is why the roofing business is considered an essential industry. Thus, roof maintenance inspection is allowed in most states in the U.S., but health and safety protocols and restrictions must be observed.
Besides regular roof maintenance, it is also vital to have roofing insurance, especially since we’re still in the middle of a pandemic. It’s important to have protection at all times. Also, in case you need to have your roof repaired or replaced, it’s essential to stay updated with the latest guidelines when working with roofing contractors.
COVID-19 Roof Repair and Replacement Guide
COVID-19 restrictions vary by state, so it’s best if you first secure details from the state government. It is also essential to take note of the following:
1. Compliance with WHO and CDC recommendations
Roofing contractors must follow WHO and CDC guidelines, so if they are not feeling well or exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, they should inform the homeowner and skip working on the project. Maybe they can recommend someone else to take the job.
2. Follow physical distancing protocols.
The CDC's social distancing protocols require two or more people working together or out in public places to maintain a safe distance of six feet between themselves. Roof repair and replacement work usually occur outdoors, so there’s no need to worry about physical contact.
If roofers need to go inside, such as to the attic or roof deck to check ventilation, homeowners can schedule the task and set guidelines to ensure that there will be no contact with any member of the household.
3. Digital payments
It is recommended for homeowners to pay for roofing services through digital transactions to limit face-to-face meetings. Several payment apps are available for such purposes, and they provide users with receipts.
Here are other essential things you should know:
1. Set an online appointment with a roofing contractor
You do not have to meet face-to-face. You can get in touch with a contractor via chat or email or by calling or texting. For example, you can send videos or photos of the damage so the contractor won't have to meet you in person.
2. Avoid person-to-person consultation
COVID-19 protocols do not allow face-to-face meetings such as consultations, so here are some safe and legal options:
- Virtual sessions via Zoom or any other video conferencing apps
- Online roof inspection using video conferencing and video communication services
- Virtual documents, such as those that require signatures like contracts and quotes, can be coursed through DocuSign and other online platforms
During the virtual meeting, be sure to do the following:
- Have a checklist of questions to ask and information to gather ready
- Know your roof dimensions, but it’s safer to ask your roofing contractor to take roof measurements using satellite technology
- Take photos and videos of roofing problems or damage so you can show them during the meeting
- Don't forget to talk about schedules, payments, and all vital paperwork
- Ask your contractor to provide you with an estimate and initial plans for the roofing job via chat or email, or video conferencing
3. Socially distanced roof repair and replacement
This may sound challenging, but there are many creative ways to go through socially distanced roof repair and replacement work in your home during COVID-19. Just follow these suggestions:
- Roof repairs and replacement work are typically done outdoors, but since it’s not safe to be near another person you do not know, you can stay indoors and check on developments from time to time through the window.
- Follow safety protocols: screen workers and take their temperature every day - those with symptoms should be sent home, same as those exposed to contacts with COVID-19.
- Install sanitation stations around the workplace.
- Workers should wear face masks, gloves, face shields, or PPE.
- Work areas, tools, equipment should be regularly cleaned and sanitized.
- Social distancing among workers (if there are two or more of them) must be strictly followed.
- You must have an onsite supervisor to monitor health and safety protocols.
- Workers must not be allowed to borrow and use each other's tools or equipment.
- Provide a safe and hygienic portable toilet for your workers.
4. Use online platforms to secure, complete, and submit necessary paperwork; facilitate payments; and monitor and manage project schedules. Contracts should
Signs You Need Roof Repair or Replacement
There are three factors you need to consider when deciding the best time to repair or replace your roof.
It’s vital to know the lifespan of your roofing. For asphalt shingles, the lifespan is 20-25 years. If you have pre-existing shingle layers and place a roof over them, the maximum lifespan is 20 years.
If your roof age has exceeded the estimated or maximum lifespan, it’s time to call in the roofing contractors for a replacement.
- Damage = Repair
Homes that went through several storms, flooding, earthquakes, and have had leaks are bound to have damaged roofing.
If damage is extensive, replace the roof, especially if the structure is already weak or compromised.
- Too Many Repairs = Replacement
If your roof has had too many repairs in a short period, it is better, safer, and more cost-efficient to have it replaced.
Regardless of when you want to have your roof repaired and replaced, don’t forget the first rule: to follow COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
By now, roof contractors should have adjusted to the COVID-19 new normal. It’s not a simple process, but with the help of your roofers, it’s going to be a little bit easier to keep your roof well-maintained.
About the Author
Rachel Porter is the content specialist for Custom Contractors Insurance, LLC, an Arizona roofing and contractors insurance company. When not writing, she enjoys reading and mountain biking with her friends.