What Every Property Owner Should Know
About Hiring A Roofing Contractor

By using this simple checklist you, the property owner, can be assured that you are complying with the law, protecting yourself against unwarranted insurance claims and that you have an avenue of recourse in the event that you do not receive what you contracted for.

• Get a clearly written proposal or contract that spells out exactly what will be done including the cost and payment methods. Included in the contract/proposal should be a written explanation of everything that is covered in your warranty. Be sure that both labor and materials are covered. Most manufacturers guarantee their materials but this does not mean that the labor for replacement is included. Be sure the labor guarantee is specified separately.

• Before signing any contract, call your local building department and the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation at 850-487-1395. They can verify that the company has an active status license and advise you of any complaints that have previously been filed.

• Beware of any requests for unusually large sums of up-front money before beginning work. Make sure the roofer has workers' compensation, which is required by state law, and general liability insurance. As a homeowner, you could be held liable if a worker is injured and there is no workers' compensation. Likewise, if the roofing company has no general liability insurance, any damage to your house becomes your problem. To verify workers' compensation coverage call 850-413-1601. Ask for current certificates of insurance for both types of coverage.

• Require that the contractor obtain the building permit and that it be posted on the property before work begins. Never apply for a permit for the contractor.

• Get a "lien waiver" from the contractor upon making a lump sum or final payment for any project. If, for any reason the contractor does not fulfill the terms of the contract, you should contact the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. You may also file a complaint against licensed roofing contractors or report unlicensed contractors by calling the Florida Construction Industry Licensing Board at 850-487-1395.

Many of our members are also members of the Florida Roofing, Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors Association (FRSA). Our association is a chapter of the FRSA.

Space Coast Licensed Roofers Assoc.

5085 South Industry Drive
Melbourne, FL 32940

Florida Consumer Consideration in Replacing Their Roofing System

The FRSA provides the following information to help Florida consumers when selecting a qualified roofing contractor and appropriate roofing system when replacing an existing roof.

Selecting a Roofing Contractor

Florida roofing contractors are subject to the state laws which regulate construction contracting. All roofing contractors conducting business in Florida must have a license issued by the Florida Construction Industry Licensing Board (CILB).

Registered Roofing Contractor

A registered roofing contractor has met the licensing requirements for operating a roofing business generally only in the area in which the business is located. The county or city sets the requirements which include competency through successful completion of an examination and proof of necessary workers' compensation and liability insurance. Once the contractor meets the necessary requirements, they receive a local license and may then apply to the State Licensing Board for a Registered Contractor's license. The license is an "RC" followed by six numerals (Example - RC000001). This license allows the roofing contractor to operate only in the local area(s) where he has demonstrated competency.

Certified Roofing Contractor

State Certified Roofing Contractors have successfully completed a two-day comprehensive examination administered by the Construction Industry Licensing Board. In addition, they must demonstrate that they have specific experience and training in the roofing field and provide proof of both workers' compensation and liability insurance. If they meet all the requirements, they are issued a license which is a "CCC" followed by six or seven numerals (Example - CCC000001 or CCC1111111). Certified roofing contractors are allowed to contract anywhere in the state without having to meet any local competency requirements. Generally, the only requirement to obtain a permit to re-roof a home or building is proof of certification.

What to Ask the Contractor

Florida law requires that all roofing work be done by a contractor licensed to perform such work. Hiring an unlicensed contractor can result in a fine to the consumer of up to $5,000. Always get at least three proposals and ask the following questions:

  1. 1. Are you a member of a professional roofing organization such as the Florida Roofing, Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors Association (FRSA)?
  2. 2. Do you have a permanent place of business and for how long?
    3. Are you properly licensed and insured according to the Florida licensing requirements? Please provide your license number.
    4. May I see copies of your certificates of insurance for workers' compensation and contractor liability insurance?
    5. Can you provide me with a list of client references that I may contact?
    6. Do you guarantee your work, and what type of written warranties will you provide?
    7. Will I receive a written proposal with a complete description of the work and specifications, such as estimated starting and completion dates?
    8. Will my property remain relatively clean and orderly during the project?
    9. Who will be the on-site person in charge on a day-to-day basis?

Primary Residential Roofing System

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are the predominate roofing material used to roof homes in Florida. Asphalt shingles are composed of a base material which is a fiberglass mat, asphalt, and surfacing material which is generally a mineral granule. The mat gives the shingle strength while the mineral granules provide protection from impact, ultraviolet damage and improved fire resistance. The asphalt binds all components together.


Asphalt shingles are manufactured in more than one thickness. Shingles with multiple thicknesses are generally known as laminated or architectural shingles. They have a three-dimensional appearance.

Shingles are applied over an underlayment of asphalt saturated felts which provide additional protection beneath the shingles but are not exposed directly to the weather.

Shingle Warranties

A number of shingle manufacturers sell their shingle products in Florida through both the wholesale and retail distribution systems. Manufacturers' warranties generally range from 15 years to 40 years depending on the type of shingle. Some manufacturers make and warrant shingles which are resistant to fungus/algae growth. Warranties relating to this fungus/algae growth are generally 10 to 15 years.

All manufacturers' warranties are prorated. Pro-ration generally starts after the first year and continues through the warranty period. Manufacturers warrant that their shingles are free of defects. Roof leaks caused by improper installation by the contractor are not covered by the warranty, but should be covered by the roofing contractor's workmanship warranty.

Most manufacturers' warranties provide that the manufacturer will replace or repair defective shingles, but no other components of the system such as metal or the felt underneath. Generally, the manufacturers will provide labor but both labor and repair of replacement of the defective shingles are prorated based on the length of the warranty.

  1. Most manufacturers' shingle warranties do not cover:

    1. Natural disasters and acts of God (lightning, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes)
    2. Hail
    3. Acts of negligence, abuse or misuse, accidents, vandalism
    4. Damage by structural failure; settlement; movement; distortion; warpage; or buckling or cracking of roof deck, walls or foundation.
    5. Failure of material and/or metal work not supplied by the manufacturer issuing the warranty
    6. Changes, repairs, or alterations to roof or installation of equipment, fixtures, or utilities on or through roof after application
    7. Defects in, failure or improper application of, roof insulation, roof deck, or any other underlying surface of material used as a base over which the shingles are applied
    8. Inadequate attic ventilation
    9. Traffic or storage of materials on roof
    10. Improper storage of shingles
    11. Damage resulting from lack of positive, proper, or adequate drainage
    12. Negligence or failure of owner to use reasonable care in maintenance of roof or failure to follow manufacturer's maintenance specifications
    13. Variations in color caused by natural positioning of the granular surfacing material
    14. Discoloration caused by algae, fungi, lichen, cyanobacteria, or environmental sooting
    15. Repairs performed or materials furnished by others unless specifically authorized and approved by manufacturer; unauthorized repairs
    16. Fire
    17. Any cost incurred for repair or replacement not authorized by manufacturer
    18. Contaminants that have not been approved first or accepted by the manufacturer; exposure to or contact with damaging or deteriorating substances or agents
    19. Defects or failure caused by misapplication of materials or by application not in strict adherence with manufacturer's specifications, application instructions, and approved practices
    20. Application of shingles directly to insulation or an insulating deck without manufacturer's prior approval
    21. Application of cleaning solutions, paint, or coatings
    22. Infiltration or condensation of moisture in or through underlying area; vapor condensation beneath the roof
    23. Damages caused by falling objects
    24. Damages to the shingles due to any cause other than manufacturing defects; acts of parties other than manufacturer
    25. Appearance problems related to multiple-layer installation, application over old shingles
    26. Force majeure; conditions or use or circumstances beyond manufacturer's control

Contractors’ Workmanship Warranties

Generally, roofing contractors will provide a written warranty against failures caused by improper installation of the roof. These warranties range from one to five years, and occasionally may go as high as 10 years. During the period of the warranty, the contractor will repair any portions of the roof that develop problems resulting from installation of the materials. If the materials are defective, the contractor will contact the manufacturer regarding their warranty provisions. It is important for homeowners to understand that this warranty can be voided by actions including repeated foot traffic on the roof, and repairs made by persons other than the roofing contractor. Generally, workmanship warranties are not transferable to new owners.