Whether you’re after repairs or want to get a new roof installed – ensuring the roof over your head isn’t leaky is a costly affair. So, it’s not uncommon for homeowners to look for cheap solutions to protect their homes from the elements.
Unfortunately, this can leave you vulnerable to roofing scams. Most notably, contractors doing a poor job to save on costs. Other scammers demand a sizeable personal insurance check or sum of cash upfront and then disappear.
If you don’t know what precautions to take, you might not realize you’re the victim of a scam until it’s too late. That’s why we’re about to provide a complete guide on how to avoid roofing scams.
Let’s dive in!
Recognize Scam Artists
There are various strategies scam artists use to make money for roofs they never complete, or do a lousy job with. Roofing Scam Artists will commonly target communities with a large number of senior citizens or those prone to major storms.
They aim to prey on budget-conscious homeowners trying to get repairs for affordable prices.
Here are some of the signs you might be dealing with a roofing scam artist.
1. The Stormchaser
Stormchasers are roofing scam artists that travel the country following severe weather conditions, like bad storms.
Stormchasers flock to areas hit by hail and/or wind damage and prey on those facing unexpected disasters requiring a quick fix.
People in this scenario often offer lower rates and do the minimum required so that it appears as if they’ve adequately constructed or repaired your roof.
However, homeowners that are victim to this scam are often left with poorly constructed roofs. Often they only notice when the company has already disappeared.
There are a few traits by which you can recognize a roofing storm chaser. For one, they use aggressive, high-pressure sales tactics. They can’t provide proof of certifications, licensing, or insurance and are challenging to find online.
They also won’t be able to produce local references and have out-of-state license plates or driver’s licenses as they never settle correctly in one area.
How to Avoid This Scam:
Always ask for references, licenses, and certifications. Make sure they can demonstrate a current insurance policy and that you can trace their online presence and local office address.
2. Salespeople Knocking on the Door
Most people don’t appreciate unannounced salespeople. But it’s still a strategy used by scam artists in the roofing industry. They may approach you under the guise of a free roof inspection and then say the damage is worse than it actually is.
They may also fabricate damage to mimic that of wind or hail storms. As such, the roof might not need repairing, and you’ll unknowingly shell out unnecessary costs.
The fabricated damages also reduce the value of the roof, and filing a claim could affect your insurance coverage; in some cases, it may even invalidate it!
How to Avoid This Scam:
Never sign any paperwork until your insurance company has inspected the roof. They should inform you about the costs of repairs or replacements. Always do your own research, especially when it comes to door-to-door contractors.
Familiarize yourself with typical signs of roof damage and keep an eye on your roof’s condition before trusting third parties.
How to Avoid Roofing Scams
You’re more likely to fall foul to roofing scams when you allow contractors to talk you into a deal without doing your research. So, take your time making an educated decision.
Don’t wait until a problem with your roof is so severe you need a contractor immediately. If you see a problem arising, start looking for roofing companies straight away, and do your due diligence before hiring a contractor.
For more information about how we could help fulfill your roofing needs, contact us today!