Your roof protects your family and valuables from the elements. It also isn’t a cheap purchase when it’s time for a replacement.
Unfortunately, there are cases where mistakes are made, corners are cut, or there’s just pure lazy workmanship. This leads to a bad roofing job that ultimately ruins your roof investment.
If this happens, it makes sense that you want the problem rectified as soon as possible. But it can be hard to know who to call or where to start.
So, that begs the question, what recourse do you actually have for a bad roofing job?
For over 30 years, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has educated homeowners on the good, bad, and ugly of the roofing industry. Now we want to help you understand your options when you run into the bad or the ugly side of it.
Let’s get to the course of actions you have when you’re stuck with a bad roofing job.
The roofing contractor’s workmanship warranty
The first thing to do about a bad roofing job is to go right to the source, the roofing contractor. Every roofing contractor should have a warranty on their workmanship.
A workmanship warranty is in place to protect your roof from errors caused during the actual roof replacement process. This means the roofing contractor should take care of any problems or leaks caused by improper roof installation at no expense to you.
However, the amount of years a roofing contractor stands behind their work varies. For example, let’s say your roof is starting to leak 6 years after it was installed.
When you look at your paperwork, you only have a 5-year workmanship warranty from the roofing contractor. Because the warranty has expired, you’ll have to pay out of pocket to repair the roof leak.
Just know a workmanship warranty is only as good as the paper it’s written on. So, I have seen cases when a roofing contractor won’t honor their warranty. We’ll discuss what happens in this case in the next section.
Filing a complaint about the roofing contractor with your state’s licensing board
Every reputable roofing contractor should be licensed, bonded, and insured. These three pieces of paper are in place to protect you in the event of something happening during your roofing project.
As long as the roofing contractor is licensed, you can file a complaint with your state’s Board for Licensing Contractors if they won’t honor their workmanship warranty. Once this happens and the problem is truly caused by bad workmanship, their surety bond comes into play.
A surety bond is in place to ensure the roofing contractor does the work, stands behind it, and does everything they said they would. After filing a complaint with your state’s licensing board, the bond company takes care of your problem and then goes after the contractor.
Even if the roofing company is no longer in business, they’ll still take care of your problem and eat the cost. Just know surety bonds have a set amount, so they’ll only pay up to what the roofing company’s surety bond limit was.
Filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau
Another course of action for a bad roofing job is filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. They help homeowners settle disputes related to sales, contracts, customer service, warranties, billings, and refunds against roofing companies and other businesses.
Even if the roofing company isn't part of the Better Business Bureau, you can still file a complaint. To file a complaint, all you have to do is go to their complaint page, find the business, and answer some questions.
Below is a quick overview of the timeline for the complaint process from the Better Business Bureau’s website:
File the complaint online.
The Better Business Bureau works to process the complaint within two business days.
The business that the complaint is filed against will be asked to respond in 14 calendar days from the date you filed the complaint. If a response is not received, a follow-up letter will be sent to the business.
You, the homeowner, will be notified of the business’s response when the BBB receives it and will be asked to respond.
If the business fails to respond, you’ll be notified. Complaints are generally closed within approximately 30 calendar days after filing.
What really happens during this process is that the Better Business Bureau will step in to try to help mediate a complaint between the roofing contractor and the homeowner. If the business answers and has a resolution that the homeowner is happy with, then mission accomplished.
However, there’s a chance the business won’t respond at all, or they respond but don’t make good on the resolution. At the end of the day, the Better Business Bureau is a third party that comes in to mediate a situation but ultimately has no power to force a business to do anything.
Civil litigation against the roofing contractor
The next recourse for a bad roofing job is an absolute last resort if the roofing contractor won’t honor their promises and everything else fails. This, unfortunately, is going the civil litigation route.
We’re a roofing company and are obviously not the best resource for any legal advice. So, I’m not recommending any legal action or telling you it's the best thing for you to do.
What I can tell you is that roofers don’t necessarily have the best reputation, and it can be hard for them to win in court if you actually have a case. The problem is that you’ll have to hire an attorney, and there’s still a possibility the judge could side with the roofing company.
This can lead to expensive attorney fees and other court costs. As I said, civil litigation should be an absolute last resort.
Just know it’s an option for homeowners to try and get some reimbursement for a bad roofing job. If you’re seriously considering going this route, you’ll have to find an attorney to get more information and clarity.
How do you know if you have a bad roofing job?
Now you know what recourse you have for a bad roofing job. Remember, civil litigation should be the absolute last resort.
At the end of the day, a roofing contractor’s workmanship warranty should cover any problems you have. But if they won’t stand behind their work and it was truly a bad roofing job, you now know the other options available.
After reading this article, you may think you’re ready to dive right into one of these options. However, are you 100% sure you have a bad roofing job?
If you have even the slightest doubt, you need to know the signs of a bad roofing job. Some of the signs are pretty obvious, but some can be tricky to spot.
That’s why I wrote another article breaking down the signs that you got a bad roofing job.
Since 1990, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has provided thousands of homeowners in Nashville and surrounding Middle Tennessee areas with high-quality roofing services. We take pride in standing behind our work and offer a lifetime workmanship warranty to back it up.