You just got a new roof within the past year. And then monsoon season hit in Arizona and you discover that your ceiling is leaking.
Of course you’re probably like “Whaaaat?? I JUST GOT THIS ROOF!”
OK, breathe. Breathe. It’ll be OK.
So what should you do now? Where do you go from here?
We’ll show you the steps you should take when dealing with this issue and answer common questions homeowners have.
Step 1: Make sure the roof is the actual problem
Just because your ceiling is leaking, doesn’t mean the roof is necessarily to blame. A possible cause is your air conditioner.
How is that possible?
Well, if you have a split system, the inside unit may be living in the attic. And if that inside unit has a clog in the condensation line, water can back up into your home.
But, we don’t know your specific scenario. So let’s just assume the problem is the roof is leaking. In this case, you need to…
Step 2: Find your contract
When you signed off on a new roof, you should have signed a contract with your roofer.
The contract should detail the scope of work and any warranties you have, including yourlabor warranty. That’s your secret weapon for getting your roof repaired without paying anything.
A warranty is a contract between the issuer of the warranty (the roofer) and the purchaser of the roof system (you). It defines the limits of liability that the roofer will assume if there are problems with the roof system. In this case, the problem is a leak.
Read your warranty very carefully to see if it will cover this problem.
Typically, leaks that happen after the roofer completes the work are workmanship errors.Meaning most labor warranties will cover the leak.
However, if you’ve had the roof for over a year, you need to keep in mind the things that can void the warranty.
For example, most warranties will state that it needs maintenance one to two times per year. Failing to do this maintenance will void the warranty.
Related article: How to Maintain Your New Roof in Arizona
Step 3: Calmly call the roofer you hired
We’d like to emphasize “calm” here because, remember, you have all the power here. You have the warranty, and the roofer is the one you blame. You’ve got this.
Call the roofer and explain:
- When you got the roof from them.
- The name of the roofer who worked with you (the company you hired may have multiple contractors).
- Where the leak is happening and how bad the problem is.
- That you have a labor warranty.
- That you want them to come out within a week to investigate and fix the problem on their dime (if the warranty covers it). Be strict about the timeline here.
“What if my roofer does not honor the labor warranty?”
In that case, things get messy.
According to the Arizona Registrar of Contractors (ROC), “A customer will not normally be able to hold the contractor responsible for the labor costs, unless it can be shown that the original installation by the contractor was poorly performed or faulty in a way that lead to, or significantly contributed to the failure of the unit.”
So, long story short if the contractors says, “Not our fault,” you’ll have to show it is their fault. One way would be to hire another contractor to inspect the other contractor’s work.
In the meantime, you’ll need to file a complaint with the registrar of contractors.
According to the ROC, “ARS 32-1155 permits homeowners to file a complaint against a contractor within the two-year period regardless of the length of any warranties, exclusions or contract language to the contrary. After the statutory period has expired, however, the customer must pursue any further action against the contractor through the civil court system.”
“What if the roofing company is no longer in business?”
Unfortunately, you’re out of luck. Once the contractor dissolves their business, the labor warranty is useless. That’s why you always want to hire a reliable roofing contractor that’s been in business for quite some time.
In this case, you’ll have to cut your losses and start looking for a roofer to fix your leak.
To find quality roofing contractors, use these resources:
- 3 Simple Steps to Choosing an Arizona Roofing Contractor
- 5 Tips for Avoiding Roofing Scams in Arizona
Need an Phoenix, AZ roofer’s help ASAP?
If you need someone else to inspect the roof or repair it right away, we’re your guys and gals.
Lyons Roofing serves the roofing needs of the entire Phoenix and Tucson metropolitan areas.Contact us for more information.