Frequently Asked Questions

You have questions? We have the answer!

We have found that the majority of our customers have a lot of questions when it comes to roof repair and replacement. Whether it's residential or commercial, our licensed contractors are here to help guide you through the roofing and insurance claim process!


We can't cover every single question we get asked in our FAQ section, but we have chosen the basic questions our team of experts gets asked most frequently. So this is definitely a great place to start!


We encourage our customers to ask questions; so if you don't find the answer you are looking for here, feel free to contact us and we will have a team member from our Nashville, TN office get you the information you need!

Roofing Q & A's

My roof is leaking.  Do I need to have it completely replaced? 


No, not always.  Leaking can result from damage done to a section of the roof or from flashing coming loose.  However, a roof failure is irreversible and usually caused from improper installation or choosing the wrong materials. If you do have to replace your roof, make sure you choose a contractor with experience and knows the best materials to use so your new roof lasts as long as it should and you don’t have reoccurring issues. Specialized Contractors has over 150 years of combined experience between our team members. Our licensed contractors are knowledgeable when it comes to choosing the right materials for the job and performs quality installation each and every time. 


How should I prepare for the installation of my new roof? 


There will definitely be constant hammering, which can cause enough vibration to your walls and shelves for items to fall.  Be sure to remove all loose items so they don’t break or hurt anyone from falling.  Make sure you have your driveway and all surrounding areas to your home cleared.  There is a chance that materials in use will fall in the driveway or the area directly around your home.  This also gives the roofing contractor a place to store the material for easy accessibility.  Also, be sure the contractor puts plywood down in the driveway to protect it. When our customers and contractors accommodate each other throughout the entire process, it ensures that the project runs smooth, is completed right and finished on time. 


How long will it take to replace my roof? 


Roof repair and replacement all depends on the type of roof, the weather, and the inspections needed.  Typically, a small family home can take a couple of days while large commercial projects can take a few weeks, or even months.  As long as your contractor manages the project closely, everything should run smoothly and the project will be complete within a reasonable time frame. Specialized Contractors will always have a foreman on site to make sure the project stays on track and to resolve any issues quickly and professionally, should they arise. 


How long will my new roof last? 


Just like any building material, shingles deteriorate at different rates depending on some of the following factors:  the quality of original construction, the level of abuse, the level of maintenance, appropriateness of design, etc.   


So how long should a roof last?  We have seen some roofs last as little as six or seven years before they failed, but this was due to poor installation. We’ve also seen roofs that were 60 years old before needing any repair at all.  With that being said, the majority of building owners, roofing contractors and designers feel that 20 years is the average and most acceptable service life of a new roof.  This is based on shingle material, Tennessee climate, and proper installation. 


Can I do the roofing work myself, or should I hire a contractor? 


Most roofing work should not be done yourself.  As a matter of fact, most manufacturers won’t provide a warranty if you don’t have a professional roofing company complete the installation.  Trained roofing professionals can handle the environment and conditions that may present themselves when doing a roofing job.  The dangers to a homeowner with trying to do your own roof work could be a lot more expensive than simply hiring a roofing company to complete the job for you. 


Can I cover over my existing roof? 


Installing a new roof over the top of an existing roof is acceptable under these guidelines: 1) A structure can’t have more than two roofs; 2) Wet installation can’t be left; 3) the structure must be able to handle the additional weight of an additional roof; 4) the new roof must be attached to the roof deck to meet wind conditions (it is not acceptable to adhere the new roof directly to the old roof). 


How many roofs can I put on? 


Most building codes allow a structure to have two roof membranes in place, but not a third.  The codes are also now requiring all roof layers must be removed once the two roof limit has been reached and you are looking to install the third roof. 


How can I tell if my roof has problems? 


Roof problems are usually discovered after leaking or other serious damage has already occurred.  However, periodic inspections (every 6 months) can often uncover problems before they get worse. This includes cracked, warped, or missing shingles, loose seams and deteriorated flashing, excessive surface granules accumulating in the gutters or downspouts, and other visible signs of roof problems.  Inside you should always look for cracked paint, discolored plasterboard, and peeling wallpaper - these are tell-tell signs that your roof is failing. If you don’t feel comfortable looking for signs on your own and you're NOT working with an insurance adjuster, contact us and we will have one of our licensed contractors come out to do the inspection for you. 


If I choose an entire roof replacement, what options do I have? 


When choosing you replace your entire roof, you have 2 basic options – the first involves tearing off the entire old roofing system OR you can recover your roof which involves leaving the existing roof intact and going over it with new material.  If you’ve already had one recover completed, you can’t do it again so you’ll have to stick with option #1. 


How do I know what the best roof is for my home/business? 


It would be so simple if there were one solution for every roof issue!  Unfortunately, there isn’t just one solution in the roofing market that fixes every roofing problem.  What is offered is a wide selection of quality products, each having their own attributes and faults.  The key to selecting the proper roof system for your structure and situation is to identify the specific roof design of your building and how each roof system works to meet the requirements for what you need to fix your problem. Specialized Contractors can recommend the roofing system that is the best one needed to fix your roofing woes! 


What will a new roof cost? 


The cost of your repair or replacement depends largely on the material you select, whether you remove the old roof or not, the type of underlayment, the price of the permit and so on.  If you think the cost is high, you can request additional estimates, although it’s not required for insurance purposes.  Just be sure that if one company comes in higher than another that you’re asking the right questions.  Make sure you ask about the type of material being used and the reputation of the company, just because it is cheaper does not mean that it is better.  Sometimes the higher priced contractor is the one you want to go with. Always research their reputation, make sure they are licensed, and the materials they are using are durable and high quality. Reputable roofing companies stick to high quality materials and leave you satisfied with the project upon completion. Don’t forget that little saying – “you get what you pay for”. Specialized Contractors always uses the best materials while providing you with competitive pricing. Contact us for a free estimate – you’re under no obligation and there are no-strings attached.    

Insurance Q & A's

Will my insurance company know that I have damage from hail or high winds?


A lot of insurance companies subscribe to weather tracking and hail reporting services. These services report the hail size and the location where it landed. So if you have hail damage to your roof, your insurance company may already know.  Specialized Contractors can be present when the adjuster comes to complete the inspection if you request it. Everyone has the right to have another person present during this part of the process. We want to ensure you get what you deserve on your claim. If the adjuster doesn’t have a roofing professional with him during inspection, it is possible you may not receive a full claim. 


If a Specialized Contractors team member is going to meet the adjuster we ask that you insist on a firm appointment. This is so we can schedule the appointment also. Our goal is to make sure our customers are treated fairly by the insurance company. 

What should I expect during the inspection?

The adjuster will look at your property during working hours, so you probably won’t be home when the adjustment is taking place, which means you have no input in the matter. We ask that you allow us to represent you during the inspection. The adjuster will inspect your roof and exterior of your home for visible signs of damage only and typically does inspections during normal business hours, so you may not be able to be there. However, we can represent you! 


Specialized Contractors can be present when the adjuster comes to complete the inspection if you request it. Everyone has the right to have another person present during this part of the process. We want to ensure you get what you deserve on your claim. If the adjuster doesn’t have a roofing professional with him during inspection, it is possible you may not receive a full claim. If a Specialized Contractors team member is going to meet the adjuster we ask that you insist on a firm appointment. This is so we can schedule the appointment also. One of our goals is to make sure our customers are treated fairly by the insurance company.   

Why would the adjuster tell me there was “no damage” after a severe weather incident?

It’s possible that your roof wasn’t affected. However, you’re entitled to a re-inspection by another adjuster. So if you aren’t happy with the results of the first inspection, don’t settle. Request another adjuster from the same firm. It’s possible there was slight damage that was missed the first time. 

I noticed some discrepancies between the adjusters and contractors information. Why is that?

Sometimes discrepancies occur when the adjuster has not assessed the same amount of damage as the contractor. You may have interior damage or other smaller damages that can be easily overlooked, meaning the adjuster will probably miss it.  You can choose to have your preferred contractor represent you during the adjustment process. Having Specialized Contractors present during the inspection will expedite the settlement of your claim, save you from taking time off work and ensure the inspection is done completely. We work with your adjuster to determine the extent of the damage, clarify pricing and offer a repair price that your insurance company is OK with. Usually all you have to pay is your deductible.   

How does the insurance company pay my claim?

Once the adjuster has inspected the property, the insurance company will send you a check (usually within 7 business days). The check will be in the amount of the actual cost to repair or replace the damaged property, minus depreciation because the age and condition of the property is taken into consideration when determining the claim amount. Once the work is completed, if it’s determined that the total expenses were more than the amount that was issued, the insurance company will issue you a check for the recoverable depreciation amount. 


However, there is a way to get the total settlement amount without depreciation. Many home and business owners never get the depreciation amount back. This happens because they don’t understand the entire process or proper procedures. If this happens, it is the customer’s responsibility to pay the difference, which can be extremely costly. Our knowledgeable team of licensed contractors is more than happy to handle all of the red tape for you, making the process as stress-free as possible! 

If the total cost of the project ends up being less than the amount the insurance company gave me, do I get to keep the extra money?

Since you are not allowed to profit from a loss you are unable to keep any remaining funds. That is considered insurance fraud. If you are caught you could be prosecuted for committing a felony. 

Do I really need to get 2 or more estimates?

Absolutely not. Insurance companies already have their own price list and will only pay actual costs for repairs and they will pay a reputable contractor a “fair market price.” Regardless of how many estimates you get, you’re only responsible for the deductible amount, but if you let one of our professional and licensed contractors negotiate with the insurance company, we will make SURE that you get everything needed for a quality restoration. 

Will my insurance company give me more money if I spend more than they have given me?

This usually only happens if you can prove there were damages that were overlooked initially. 

Will my insurance company lower my premium for finding the best price for them? 

Your insurance company will only pay a contractor “fair market price.”  Rather than focusing on the total cost you should concentrate on choosing a reputable contractor who uses superior quality materials. Since all you’re required to pays is your deductible (in most cases) it is impossible for you to overpay. 

How do I know which contractor I should hire?

You should only choose an experienced and licensed contractor. Also, make sure they are willing to help you through the claims process if needed. We have successfully completed hundreds of storm damage repairs, complete roof replacements and we have the experience needed to work on your behalf. Specialized Contractors is a full-service residential and commercial roofing company who has 150 years of combined experience. We have extensive experience in replacing your damaged roof, siding, windows, and more. 

If you’re still unsure of which contractor is the best fit for your project, here are some signs to look out for that should definitely tell you “NO”. Beware of:

- Contractors that do NOT pull permits.

- Contractors that DO quote unusually low prices. 

- Contractors that will NOT provide an insurance certificate.  

- Contractors that DO ask you to sign documents with a higher price than what your insurance company has given you.