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Amity Insurance issues the "101" on roof replacement

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QUINCY, MA ISSUED FEBRUARY 14, 2011….This challenging winter has left many in immediate need of roof replacement, but urgency shouldn't override time taken to become educated about the materials, warranties and costs associated with this major home expense, according to Amity Insurance Agency, Inc., the region's leading full service agency.

Roofing materials should protect the home from hail, rain, snow, wind and possibly fire; in fact the life of a roof is highly impacted by these common weather conditions. While roofing material manufacturers aren't required to submit their products for testing to measure for resistance to natural elements, some manufacturers opt to have their product rated. These ratings can help determine which material best suits your home. Be advised that unrated products have either failed their rating or simply not been tested.

In terms of fire resistance, roof products can receive a Class A fire rating, which indicates effectiveness against severe fire exposure; a Class B fire rating, indicating effectiveness against moderate fire exposure and a Class C rating against light fire exposure.

Take note that UL 2218, a test designed by Underwriters' Laboratories, measures resistance to hail; under this test, the greatest hail resistant product is a Class 4 roofing material.

Regardless of the grade or materials selected for your new roof, it's imperative to read the fine print of the warranty with great care and maintain a copy of that warranty in your files. Several different types of warranties exist, including:

  • First owner – only the owner that bought the roof is covered
  • Pro-rated – the claim is based on how old the roof is
  • Wind – only covers damage caused directly by wind
  • Hail – only covers damage caused directly by hail

Most roofing products come with a manufacturer warranty covering defects for 20 or more years. But be aware that this manufacturing warranty is useless should your contractor install the product incorrectly. Therefore, you should have a workmanship warranty written into the contract with your roofing contractor.

The cost of a new roof varies depending on materials used and the labor necessary for installation. Certain roofs – such as those with a steep pitch – require more extensive labor to install and will cost more, accordingly. When comparing prices keep in mind that a roof is measured in squares, with one square equivalent to a 10x10 foot or 100 square foot section.

Choosing the right contractor is just as important as selecting the proper materials. Ultimately, you want a roofer who is established, licensed and bonded, but do shop around and seek multiple bids. Before hiring a contractor, ask for references and verify certificates of insurance and license.

Ask the contractor for a written estimate that contains details regarding all material charges, labor charges, a specified start date and estimated completion date. And make sure that your payment method and workmanship warranty is specified in your contract.

A little advance knowledge can go a long way in being able to choose the right materials and contractor for your roof replacement.

About Amity Insurance

Amity Insurance Agency, Inc. is a full-service agency dedicated to meeting your business, professional and personal insurance needs.

Amity Insurance is licensed in most states. The agency maintains headquarters at 500 Victory Road, North Quincy 02171. For information on products or services, please visit or call (800) 940-4010 to schedule a free analysis of insuranc