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Customer Q&A

On top of a roof looking off toward distant mountains with a city at the base

Hi there – Do you folks do work up in Spearfish?   If so, is this with your own locally based crews or do you contract it out to others from out of the area or state?  We may need our roof repaired from hail damage but we had a bad experience with another roofer a few years back and really prefer to deal with local companies and crews with local references, etc. Thank you, Steve

Hi Steve! We work in Spearfish all the time, in fact we are roofing a large apartment complex there as we speak.

All of our core teams are local, and many of our workers have been with us for many years. But with the unprecedented amount of hail damage in our communities this year, many of us reputable contractors have had to call in help from friends from out of town/state. We have been hiring nonstop since May, but there is just too much demand and there are not enough people locally to perform the work.

Now there is a major difference between what we are doing and what you’ve seen some other contractors do. We aren’t just “subbing out” all the work to some crew we do not know. We still have our entire management team including project managers and production managers monitoring and coordinating every crew. Our crews are all working full time for us. And regardless of who is on site to install, its Weather-Tite who will stand behind the work down the road. We all live and work in the Rapid City area year round. We dont have “offices” in other areas and dont go chasing after storms and leave our local customers hanging.

It’s smart to be leary of roofing contractors these days, unfortunately. Like I tell my friends, at this point in the year I would wait until winter to get started with contractors. Many of the out of town companies will be gone so it will be a little easier to discern who is actually local. New shingles need warm weather to properly seal and you’ll be better off waiting until spring anyway.

Also, do some research. Google us. Google, HomeAdvisor, Angie’s List, BBB, etc are all good sources of unbiased and verified information. Its even better than references (anybody could put their friends on a piece of paper). But we do have a list should you want it. Also, not to brag, but we were voted #1 Best of the Black Hills two years in a row by the Rapid City Journal – in five different categories. I sure hope all this helps. If you would like us to take a look at your project and get to know each other a little better, we would be happy to take your name and number and have a project manager give you a call in January so we can get an early start on a spring project for you.

Thanks so much for getting in touch. We look forward to getting to know you!

Hi Sam – I wanted to follow up with your e-mail from a couple of weeks ago. Thanks for all of the information…we did actually see your crew working on that apartment complex over here in Spearfish as it was next to our daughter’s school and we saw your sign out front.  I think that was one of your out of town crews because they looked like they were from Texas or maybe even Mexico….we have seen a lot of similar crews in our area and they seem to be very hard, reliable workers.

I did have a few more questions.  Insofar as waiting until Spring to get the roof repaired, from your experience is there any major potential serious downside to this? We did have the insurance adjuster tell us that while the roof was very banged up there were no actual holes in it where you could see into the house I would assume based on what he said that the hail simply busts up or chips the shingles but doesn’t actually penetrate deep onto or beyond them?   You have done a lot of work in our area so what can you tell me about what your crews reported from the June storm.  The hail was huge, sounded like someone was throwing bricks at the house….If you could elaborate on this based on your experience I would appreciate it.

Also, if we wait until Spring what would realistically be the earliest your local crews would start.  In this area warm weather might not arrive until at least May. Do you temporarily shut down the roofing portion of your business when it gets cold?  I noticed that there are still many companies preparing to do roofing jobs in our area based on all of the shingles I see piled up in front of homes and businesses…being that it’s going to get really cold this week I am curious as to how they are going to pull it off …..from my research and from what you said the hotter the better for replacing a roof. 

Finally, would you be able to send someone out to give us a quote for just the roof replacement? We do not yet wish to work off of the insurance claim for all of the damage to our house at this time because we prefer a company to simply tell us what is would cost to do the roof only, go over our options for what type of shingles we could use, when it would be completed by, etc. Then we can compare it to what insurance will pay and go from there. We want to keep this simple. We are going to be in this area for a long time so if we can find a company we can rely on that would be great.  Thanks for answering our questions. Steve

Hi Steve,

That was an all hands on deck project. I’m sure you noticed some vehicles with SD plates and some with Texas, one with Arkansas, and even one with CO plates. The CO plates belong to one of the new guys, he recently moved here but does not have resident plates yet. The Texas plates are a crew who is run by a brother of one of our local guys and the Arkansas crew is a cousin of one of our local guys. They are all very hard workers. We had everyone team up and work together under our lead foreman Hector, to get that project done expeditiously. It was over 55,000 SF of steep roofing way up high and it was sold with an Emerald Premium warranty (Malarkey’s highest warranty, only available through us), so the industry’s strictest installation details had to be followed. All that and we got it completed in a week. Its been kind of the talk of the town in the roofing world around here. I’m very proud of our entire team.

Typically hail will “bruise” your shingles and create small cracks that grow over time. Very few neighborhoods this year had gaping holes in shingles – that takes an extra wicked storm. Most roofs I’ve seen I would have no worry of them going through one more winter. In fact, installing shingles this late in the season is risky. Shingles need heat in order to seal, and even on a warm day, the time where heat is adequate is limited as the days are getting shorter. If the shingles don’t have a chance to seal down, they could blow off or crack during winter winds.

We have paused our shingle roofing production now that it snowed and the weather shifted significantly. If we get another run of warm weather, we have a list of folks who want us to get their roof done. But at this point, we only roof those who are leaking, moving, or otherwise insistent they want it done. Everyone else has been placed on our spring list. Tough to say when that is. Some years March. This year we started the last week of April. Some years it was in to May. We communicate with those on the list as we make decisions about starting. Our schedule is a list format rather than a traditional calendar schedule. In our line of work giving someone a set date is frought with uncertainty.

If your insurance company is one of hundreds that we work with, you should only have to worry about your deductible in order to get similar or slightly better shingles than you have. Usually we have to have them add a few line items to their estimate, as the adjuster can only write what he/she can see, and some items are only included if “incurred”, but you can leave all of that up to us. If there is something they left off, we will provide them the documentation they need to get it added. We use the same software most insurance companies do so that we can make it as easy as possible for everyone. As long as you have replacement cost coverage, code upgrade coverage, and your insurance company is one of the hundreds we work with, we actually guarantee that your out of pocket will not exceed the deductible. Its up to us to get the fair price we need to get the job done, and if we can’t come to an agreement with your insurance company, our contract is null and void and you have no obligation. I can send you a copy of our Insurance Claim Service Agreement so you can read through it and learn more about how our process works.

As we talk further about shingles, my team will likely have some suggestions on changes or upgrades for you to consider. Most certainly is an impact rated shingle. We have shingles available that resist hail. They work, and you can get discounts from most insurance companies on your premiums for having them. The shingles on those apartments are the Vista – a class 3 impact resistant shingle. They are tested to withstand 1.75 inch hail, and we have seen them survive 2 inch hail.

We haven’t been taking on new fall projects since August. We have been putting folks on a new spring project contact list and we are going to start meeting with them after the holidays to inspect their homes, review their claims, and go over options. The sooner we get you on that list the better! I just need your address and phone number.

If you want to expedite the process you can send us a copy of your claim and your project manager can review it and have an action plan ready when they first come to meet with you.

Hope all that helps! We look forward to getting to know you and your situation and what we can do for you!

Stay happy and healthy!

Hi Sam-

We have been approached by many roofers since October and with all of the building going on out here recently we can see first hand what works and doesn’t insofar as when to put on a roof.  Needless to say with all of the wind storms recently several neighbors have entire sections of their roofs blown away.   We want to go with a company with a good reputation.  We know from living in this area there will be more hail storms in the future that may require us to need repairs again and we really don’t want to go searching for yet another roofer.  As I explained before, we had a very bad situation the last time this happened and got burned badly by the company we hired.  

We do not wish to get the roof or any other repairs done until summer…we feel the hotter weather is more conducive to the jobs being done properly.  Do you line up all of your jobs in a given area at one time and then send your crews out here for a few weeks to do them all in a row or do your crews always come out of Rapid City?  I know we asked this before but want to clarify…are you still currently using out of state crews or are back to your local core crews?   We do not want to hire Weather-Tite just to find out that the guy who lives around the corner that gave us a lower quote was subbed out for you.  We are not looking for a middle man…we want to know that who we hire is actually doing the job.  

Insofar as insurance goes, we have AMICA.  They have been very good with us so far.  What is your experience with them?  Also, we have already been paid by them.  Does that affect your project manager coming out to look things over?  Obviously the breakdown covers more then the roof as we had damage to the gutters, decks, etc…we do not wish to pay more then we were paid by the insurance company for repairs.  The deductible covers everything, not just the roof.  

You said in your email to us that “if we can’t come to an agreement with your insurance company, our contract is null and void and you have no obligation.”  What contract would that be?  Can you elaborate on this because we are not signing a contract for any work until after we have an agreement among all parties.  

Thanks in advance for clearing up some of our questions.

We have been doing some shingle work when we have had nice days, but waiting until May or June is definitely not a bad idea. In fact at this point we are booked for shingle work until probably June.

This winter was especially windy, but we have been through windstorms like that before. Because we know to stop shingling in October, we experienced only a few blowoffs and they were quickly repaired the next day. We aren’t immune to 80-90 mph winds on a newly installed roof, but I’ve talked to other roofers in the area who had as much as 80 houses with blowoffs. I don’t think I could sleep at night! Part of it is using the right shingles, but frankly part of it is knowing when to quit and not being greedy.

Most of our shinglers live in Rapid full time. They have been here all winter helping to repair blowoffs for people who (unfortunately) hired out of town companies who aren’t coming back. We may bring one of our Denver friends back this spring if we need to up our production capabilities, but so far our Rapid based teams have been keeping up just fine. Like I’ve said before, even if we had a team from out of town performing the install, it is Weather-Tite who backs up the work. So if you have an issue down the road, we have locals who can come and fix it.

AMICA is pretty reasonable to work with usually. We have not had any claims with them where we could not come to an agreement. We have 2 ways of doing contracts when it comes to insurance claims. The first is a fixed price contract, where we give you a price and you work with your insurance company on your own. You agree to the price, and then we schedule the work. You pay us when the work is done. It’s very easy for us. You communicate with your adjuster and get approval for any overages, and process any closeout paperwork they need in order to get your depreciation payment. The other is what we call our Claim Service Agreement. This is where we help to show your adjuster any line items they may have missed, and get you compensated for line items they do not pay for unless incurred, such as building permit fees. Over 96% of claims require supplemental item requests in order to complete the work. Insurance companies are businesses, and they obviously aren’t going to offer you the fullest amount up front. We also send in all documentation to certify the completion of the work and close out your claim. A fixed price is easier for us, but we offer the Claim Service because most people are not very well versed in how these claims go and what to ask for. We however work on hundreds of claims a year, and so we know how to speak their language, and therefore can get everybody in agreement on the price and scope much more efficiently.

Because the Claim Service requires us to communicate with your insurance company throughout the process, we need to have written authorization to communicate with them. And this process can often be a lot of work for us, so we ask that in exchange for assistance with this that you commit to hiring us for the roof work. The agreement comes before all three parties have an agreed upon price and scope, and therefore we put that language about  “if we can’t come to an agreement with your insurance company, our contract is null and void and you have no obligation.” so that we can ensure that homeowners won’t have any additional out of pocket expense. Your deductible (unless you choose to upgrade or add work) should not exceed your deductible for repairs covered by your insurance company, and that is what we try to ensure.

Thanks so much for staying in touch and asking such good questions. It’s nice to see homeowners who take an active interest in this process, it’s clear that you care about your home and want to make good decisions about how best to maintain it. I think you should give Tom a call, have him give you an estimate (be sure to ask about impact resistant products – they are worth the extra money!). You can send it to AMICA and have them approve it, and then we can get you on our list! It would be wonderful to work for you.

Have a great day!

Tom is coming out next Friday and we will get the ball rolling. Weather-Tite is the clear choice. My wife and I look forward to meeting you and your team and to working with you all. Once it is warm out that is!

Thanks again



It will be an honor Steve. We look forward to getting to know you too. See you soon.