It never fails that after a severe, damaging storm, canvassers show up in your neighborhood trying to convince you to use their roofing service.
Scammers typically target homeowners looking to save money, neighborhoods with senior citizens or young children, and places that were recently struck by high winds or hail. These unfortunate schemes can leave families short on their budget and stuck with poor quality work. A con artist often works quickly and with shoddy materials. Or, in some cases, no work is completed at all!
Whether it’s the usual roofing damage suspects or a dangerous storm, it’s important to know how to find a contractor that works for you. It can be hard to spot fly-by-night roofers but stay alert for these common signs of a scam, and we will also share how to find a dependable contractor.
How to Avoid a Scam
Avoid Storm Chasers
Storm chasers are the contractors that canvass neighborhoods after a big storm. They pass out flyers and might even ask to climb up to your roof. They will almost always find damage. The scam usually occurs when they bid very low and use low-quality materials or ask you to pay all of the cost upfronts and disappear. Another one of their techniques is that they convince you that you can get your roof for free by filing a fraudulent insurance claim.
Low Starting Bid
Some contractors will lure you in with a tempting low bid, and it’s much lower than the competition. However once you agree and they start work, they ask for more money for materials due to unforeseen circumstances.
Damage that Comes Out of Nowhere
Sure, it stormed hard, but your roof seems sturdy. In fact, it’s great! However, now a contractor is knocking on your door saying they couldn’t help but see the damage on your roof. What gives? Some con-artist contractors have invented roof damage or exaggerated a small amount of damage to justify replacing the whole roof.
Fraudulent Insurance Claims
A scammy contractor can promise you that they will cover your deductible by charging the insurance company one price and charging you a lower price. With the money they get back, they will reimburse the cost of your deductible. Just know that insurance fraud is serious and can lead to prosecution.
There are tips and tricks to get your insurance to cover roof repairs. In any case, stay far away from deceitful insurance tactics.
Forceful Sales Tactics
Builders that make you feel like you have to act “now” or make you sign a legally binding contract immediately before you can conduct your research are often unethical.
Some dishonest roofers use poor quality materials to inflate their profits. The second-rate repairs might even appear to have fixed the problem, but they are likely just masking it.
How to Find a Reliable Roofer
Word of mouth is one of the best ways to receive a roofer recommendation. If there was a recent storm in the area, chances are you have friends, family, or neighbors who had roofing work completed on their houses. What did they think of the contractors who worked with them? Also, look online and read reviews on sites like Google, Yelp, and Facebook.
Get Multiple Estimates
Similar to asking around, don’t go with the first roofer you talk to or that approaches you. Get multiple estimates. Ask them for a cost and turnaround time. Ask if you will be expected to pay a downpayment. Usually, it’s not more than around 10%.
A roof protects your home from storms, and it lasts for decades, so it is essential to use a roofer who knows what they are doing. Choose a contractor that is insured and licensed and ask them to see their credentials.
Communication Red Flags
It’s best to acquire all information in writing. Do they promptly return your phone calls? Are your questions answered in a timely manner? If you don’t feel at ease, stop before you sign anything binding.
Cheapest isn’t Always Best
Yes, that low bid is tantalizing. And, if you had a severe storm, it’s tempting to pick up the damage as soon as possible and move on, but it can come at the cost of low-quality work, poor service, or insurance scams. You should not want any part of that.
Remember that market-price bids mean that the builder can fairly pay their workers, pay for insurance, and buy quality roofing materials.
While they are repairing or replacing your roof, a dependable roofing contractor should plan to inspect your roof daily to anticipate problems before they occur. Ask them what their quality control is like.
A Roofer You Can Trust
We know that storm damage is an unwelcome stressor in our customers’ lives. That is why we are a team of professionally trained contractors, prepared to help you in the event of a severe, destructive storm, or anytime you need a reliable contractor for seasonal gutter maintenance, or you’d like to know how to maintain your home against the elements. Our customers always come first, and we pride ourselves on the quality of our work. You deserve the “Advantage.” Contact us today.