Little roof leaks and cracks can add up to large problems and big repair bills if they are not taken care of early. Do not wait too long to see how the weather has been treating your roof...inspect it regularly. If it appears to be badly worn, take care of the problem by patching and coating, resurfacing, or removing and replacing the entire roof. Whether you need a patch job or you need an entire roof, get estimates from at least three contractors. Make sure you call the BBB for a reliability report. Before you let a contractor begin work, be sure to have a written contract describing the work to be done and the quality of the materials to be used. Make sure to get any warranty in writing, specifically noting what is to be warranted. It should tell you whether the entire job or only certain materials are guaranteed. Find out who will make good on it, the dealer or the manufacturer. Also, make sure the contractor has liability insurance to protect you in the event that there is damage to your property and workmen's compensation insurance to protect you in case a worker is injured on the job. In The Ozarks, and in most communities, contractors must secure a permit from the building inspection department to replace a roof. Make sure the contractor you choose gets that permit and that the permit has been issued in the company name. For more information on selecting a contractor, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for a copy of a free brochure called "Roof Repairs Replacements & Coatings" or fax us at (417)869-5544 with your request.