Some tips from the state Department of Consumer Protection on hiring a contractor to clear snow off your roof:
>> Don’t hire contractors who go door-to-door, who call, who post notices on bulletin boards, utility poles, or online before you check them out thoroughly. Get references and call them. Get written estimates before you hire someone.
>> While a home improvement registration is not required to remove snow from a roof, it is a good idea to have a reputable registered home improvement contractor who specializes in roofing in order to evaluate the situation.
>> Although workers who remove snow are not required to have a home improvement registration, you should take additional precautions when workers are on your property. The company or individual performing the work should carry their own liability insurance and must be able to produce an insurance certificate as proof. The certificate should carry the name of the insurance company, and you are urged to call the insurance agency on the certificate to confirm that coverage. If a company is having employees doing the snow removal work, the company should provide evidence that they have worker’s compensation insurance, which the employer is required to carry.
To verify if an insurance agent or agency is licensed in Connecticut, please visit the Connecticut Insurance Department web page at http://www.cidverifylicense.ct.gov/CLIC/VerifyLicense.aspx.
>> Prices for roof clearing may vary depending upon the nature of the roof. However, there should be a reasonable basis between the size of the roof, the time involved in removing the snow, and a comparable, ascertainable hourly rate – such as that for home improvement work – that would normally be charged for similar labor under normal circumstances. Every situation will be different, but the test of whether price gouging occurs will be whether the contractor can justify the price using an objective standard.
>> Anyone removing snow from a roof, homeowner or contractor, should be extremely careful of any kind of above-ground wiring and keep all tools away from power lines.