No one wants to face roof damage, but you may need to contact a roofing contractor if you notice any issues with your roof. While you can find a reputable contractor in your area, you must think about and consider roofing scams.
It’s important to work with a roofing company you can trust with the proper credentials.
Since you don’t want to face a roofing scam, you must understand how to spot and avoid them. Doing so will help you find honest contractors in the area, so you’ll get your roof repaired.
Types of Roof Scams
To spot potential scams, you must know the types of scams out there. As you educate yourself, you’ll make it easier to tackle your roof replacement without running into a scam.
Insurance Claim and Damage Scam
Some scammers will attempt to get on your roof to give you a free inspection. However, once they get on your roof, they’ll fake an injury and try to apply insurance fraud to homeowners. Insurance fraud is illegal, but you may not realize they attempted a roofing scam.
As they do the free roof inspection, they may try to go on damaged roofs. They’ll then cause more damage to your home rather than commit insurance fraud. They’ll offer to build a new roof, but you’ll end up with a shoddy roof made with cheap materials to fix the mystery damage.
Upfront Payment Scam
Homeowners don’t always realize that shady roofers may appear and attempt an upfront payment scam. Homeowners fall victim to these scams as the scammers will utilize high-pressure sales tactics to trick you into making a large down payment upfront.
Placing a down payment upfront may seem like a way to secure a roofer, but they could run off with your money. Avoid them if you see a roofer knocking to get as many roofs as possible. Don’t answer your door and avoid claims of a low starting bid, a huge discount, and terms that sound too good.
Dangerous Contract Scams
Some may show up to give you a full roof replacement, but they use other predatory tactics. For example, they may push you to sign an exclusivity contract to prevent you from working with other contractors, locking you into a terrible deal.
They may claim other no-cost incentives or huge discounts, but they want to take advantage of people after a big storm or severe weather. Remain cautious of these scams as they seek to replace roofs. Instead, understand what you should expect from contracts.
For example, you’ll need verification, a business phone number, and a timeline for the work.
How to Spot Scams
Once you look into insurance fraud and other scams, you’ll have an easier time spotting the different scams a storm chaser and others may try. Doing so will help you avoid scams from a storm chaser or anyone else as you look into common warning signs.
- Going door to door
- Pushing for immediate action
- Paying upfront
Most roofers don’t go to your door unannounced and seek work, especially after a bad storm. They know people will reach out online, so they don’t need to go around during major storms. However, storm chasers may attempt to scam homeowners as they follow bad storm events.
After they follow the bad storm events, they’ll push you to work with them for as little cost as possible. They may visit the roof nearby and go to as many people as possible, making you act. Instead, don’t act or agree without consulting someone or your insurance first.
You should also only pay upfront if you receive verification. Unfortunately, some people will follow bad weather events and push for payments, so don’t listen. Find someone to manage home repairs, like your insurance company, so you don’t fall for these scams.
How To Avoid Roofing Scams
If you suspect someone might try a scam on you, you can utilize different techniques to avoid them. That way, you can seek a legitimate roof repair to address any problems you have with your roofing needs.
Verify With Your Insurance Company
Before you do anything, verify the repair with your insurance company. Not only will they check the insurance coverage, but they’ll review an insurance claim if it arises. That way, you can avoid roofing scammers while verifying the process with a massive insurance company.
Remember that an insurance company doesn’t want to lose money, so they’ll work with you to avoid scams. They could even give you an insurance deductible based on the situation, so always talk with them before you do anything with storm chasers or others.
Check Their Insurance
You should also see if you can perform an insurance check on roofing contractors before you let them on your property. Doing so will ensure they have contractor’s liability insurance, so they have coverage if they face an injury.
Legitimate roofing contractors will reassure you they have insurance. You can also work with a large roofing company and call them ahead to learn about liability insurance if you want to play it safe.
Get a Second Opinion
Never take storm chasers or others’ statements at face value. Instead, homeowners should talk with other companies before they sign a legally binding contract.
That means getting two separate invoices while getting a copy of your own. They can’t try to give you inflated material costs or other unexpected payments if you have an invoice copy.
However, if they demand a down payment before you even sign a contract or anything else, don’t work with them to avoid common roofing scams.
Contact the BBC
The Better Business Bureau (BBC) keeps records of various companies and tracks customer complaints. The Business Bureau seeks to collect this information so that people can avoid repair scams and other poor business practices.
Just go to their website and search for the company. If you see tons of people falling prey to faulty roofing installations, you most likely find some roofing scams. Ensure you check this information from home improvement companies and other companies to ensure you get a well-constructed roof.
Dealing with roof scams may pose challenges if you don’t know how to identify them. So whether you come across a legitimate storm chaser or a con artist at your door, you must remain wary as you look into your options.
However, you’ll keep yourself safe as you understand the scam types, know how to spot them, and avoid them.