According to Heartland News, which broke the story, officials said, “…the check was made to make sure quality services are given for the citizens of Carbondale by licensed [roofing] contractors.” The article went on to point out, “All persons and companies doing roofing work in the city of Carbondale must be registered as a roofing contractor with the city’s Building and Neighborhood Services Division, which maintains a list of licensed roofers and electricians that are registered with the city. Roofing repairs should be made by qualified roofing contractors who are licensed by the State of Illinois.”
Licensing requirements for contractors vary from state to state and even from city to city within a state, but looking into proper licensure is one important way homeowners can protect themselves from roofing scams.
In recent years, residents in Ohio have bombarded the Better Business Bureau with an estimated 52,000 questions regarding roofing contractors, making such inquiries the number one topic for the BBB. There, general contractors of all sorts, including roofing contractors, are not subject to any State of Ohio licensing requirements. That does not mean, however, that anyone can hang up a roofing contractor shingle and perform roof repairs and replacements. Various cities and counties within the state require a local license. Such licensures are based on the locale where the work is to be performed, not on the contractor’s location. Therefore, Ohio residents should check with their local county offices about what certifications their chosen contractor must hold.
In the state of Florida, roofer licensing measures are a bit more stringent. In order to obtain a license, a Floridian roofing contractor must sit for and pass two exams covering the business and finance of the profession and the overall trade. They must also prove four years of documented experience before being granted a license. In addition, they must pass a credit check and financial statement analysis proving they have a net worth of at least $5,000. Finally, licensed contractors in Florida must carry general liability insurance coverage of at least $100,000 for bodily injury and $25,000 for property damage.
In states where such insurance is not part of the licensing procedure, homeowners should still demand that their contractor carry similar coverage.
What activities does a contractor license grant the holder to perform? Contractor-Licensing.com defines a licensed roofing contractor as “a contractor whose services are unlimited in the roofing trade. Roofing contractors have the experience, knowledge, and skill to install, maintain, repair, alter, extend, or design and use materials and items used in the installation, maintenance, extension, and alteration of all kinds of roofing, waterproofing, and coating, except when coating is not represented to protect, repair, waterproof, stop leaks, or extend the life of the roof.”