As summer begins, temperatures rise and the likelihood of thunderstorms grows. These summer storms can sometimes be very intense and can bring hail and wind that damage roofs. Unfortunately there are many fly-by-night contractors who chase these storms and swoop into neighborhoods offering to “help” homeowners with roof repair or replacement. A fair number of these “storm chasers” are unqualified roofers that do shoddy work and victimize homeowners. People with handicaps and seniors citizens are particularly at risk since they might have difficulties inspecting their roof and checking out the “damage” for themselves.
Knowing that unqualified roofers and scammers lurk out there, people must do their due diligence before handing over any money or signing a contract. Here’s what you can do to prevent from making a roofing contractor mistake.
Example of a Common Scam
First off, people should familiarize themselves with a common roof scam. It starts by a person going door to door pitching a repair for a “low, low price.” The “salesman” might say his crew just finished a job nearby and has a bunch of leftover materials. This would allow them to pass along the savings to an unsuspecting customer.
The contractor won’t show a business license, leave contact info, and offer references. He’ll often ask for the money upfront. The crew may start the job and leave before it’s half-done or they might actually complete the work, just sloppily. The crew hastily exits the scene with the victim’s money, and the homeowner is left frustrated and possibly still in need of a new roof.
Avoid Becoming a Victim
Homeowners should follow these tips and warnings sign to help avoid becoming a roofing scam victim.
- Don’t be pressured by a “limited-time offer” to hire the roofing company, especially following a damaging storm in the area.
- Related to the point above, be leery of roofers from out of state. Storm chasers look for opportunities and conditions where they can prey upon people who may be distracted and distressed by storm damage.
- Don’t pay for a large part (or all) of the work in advance. Legitimate contractors usually don’t request money upfront.
- Always check the roofer’s references and find out if their insurance and licenses are current. If asked, a legitimate roofing company should provide proof of roofing credentials, workers comp and general liability insurance, and written manufacturer and labor warranties.
- Visit the Better Business Bureau’s website (http://www.bbb.org) to see if anyone has filed a complaint against the roofer.
- Don’t settle for a verbal agreement. Ask for written contract with all the work details and the agreed-upon price.
- To confirm the company does in fact exist, make sure you get a phone number, email, and mailing address (and then follow-up with them at a later time).
- Don’t feel rushed into signing any contract or having the work done ASAP. Do all the research before agreeing to anything.
Achievements That We Stand By
In business for more than 30 years, DryHome Roofing Inc. is fully licensed, bonded, and insured. We’ll happily provide references of satisfied customers in your area and copies of our insurance and licenses.
DryHome is listed with Angie’s List, the Better Business Bureau, and the National Roofing Contractors Association. Find out more here: http://www.dryhome.com/about/history.