City of Ottawa Urges Care to Residents Regarding Roof Replacements

OTTAWA, Kan. June 1, 2017 — The City of Ottawa urges owners to take care in the consideration of contractors to repair or replace roofs following a May 31 storm that resulted in hail in varying sizes and intensity throughout the community.


Community Development Director Wynndee Lee said from visual review, it appears the south portion of the community, particularly south of 13th Street, sustained damage that could result in the need to replace roof materials. However, any resident unsure of damage should contact his or her insurance provider for specific policy details. Lee said although some residents have experience with this type of situation, a significant change from the last major hail storm in 2003 is that the city now requires roofing contractors to be licensed.


“We found that from the ’03 storm, a number of citizens were taken advantage of with either deposits with contractors who then left with the funds, or more often, contractors who did substandard work resulting in water damage or voided warranties from the materials companies,” she said. “In many of those situations, the contractors may not have even had insurance, so citizens were left with no recourse.”


The Community Development Department urges residents to take care with the selection of contractors and do their research.


“First, ensure they are licensed with the city to do work here and that contractors secure permits,” Chief Building Official Jim Sherman said. “Checking references, determining materials and even getting more than one estimate is appropriate. Licensed contractors have to have insurance, workman’s compensation insurance and show evidence of technical knowledge of the roofing code requirements.”


Lee said if homeowners are considering replacing their own roof, they should talk with Sherman regarding the necessary materials before getting materials estimates to make sure they understand all of the code requirements for roof replacements in the area. Sherman also encouraged residents to not sign a

contract or put deposits down without this due diligence.

“Unfortunately, many of our residents have suffered in the past, and we want to do our best to avoid that

if possible,” he said.

Lee said if a homeowner doesn’t ensure the contractor is licensed and secures a permit, there is little the city can do for the property owner. If a permit is obtained, inspections will be conducted to avoid installation issues. If damage is sustained during the roof installation, the city maintains a copy of the current insurance so homeowners know whom to contact if the contractor fails to respond.


For more information, contact the Community Development Department at 785-229-3620 or