Hurricanes, thunderstorms, blizzards, and other severe weather can leave a lot of damage in their wake. Storms can wreak havoc in your home and unfortunately, roofs bear the brunt of the damage. After a storm blows over, you might find yourself dealing with missing, cracked, or damaged shingles, among other roofing problems.
As if this wasn’t bad enough, you might also encounter roofing scammers out to take advantage of you. You might even have experienced this at some point. These companies or individuals often pop up after a storm hits your area. They may go door to door, offering to inspect roofs, recommending repairs, and handing out pamphlets. They often try to pressure people to sign contracts on the spot or pay upfront for roof repairs.
Some common roofing scammers to be wary of include those who…
… demand payment in advance.
These ones insist on full payment before they even start working on your roof. Unfortunately, once you hand over the cash they usually disappear as fast as they appeared.
… exaggerate your roofing damage.
These scammers overstate, lie or exaggerate the extent of your roofing damage in hopes of overcharging you or the insurance company. Some offer to inspect your roof only to cause more damage in hopes of inflating the insurance claim.
… try to entice you with lowball bids.
Others choose to quote lower offers than other contractors. They may claim to be the cheapest contractors around and may even claim to have a “Special Storm Deal” offer going on.
… do shoddy repair work.
Then there are those who may actually start working on your roof but instead cut corners and do a rushed job with substandard roofing materials. These repairs won’t hold for long and you might incur more damage in the long run.
These individuals know how to prey on the vulnerable. After storm damage, you might find yourself forced to make quick decisions. After all your roof protects everything inside your home and a damaged roof puts your belongings at risk. Roof repair is urgent and due to this, you might feel pressured to pick the first contractor who shows up offering a solution to your problem. At such a time you need to be vigilant and know what to look for and which questions to ask to ensure you’re not taken advantage of when you’re at your most vulnerable.
How to Avoid Roofing Scams
Here are 5 tips on how to avoid falling prey to roofing scams:
Only work with licensed and insured contractors.
Before agreeing to let a roofing contractor fix your roof, ensure that they have the correct license. This is because a license shows that the contractor meets the minimum training expectations of the trade. Additionally, ask for a certificate of insurance and ensure that it hasn’t expired. That way you can hold them liable for any damage they cause. These documents also help you weed out fakes.
Get several estimates before committing.
Before settling on a roofing contractor, call up several other reliable local contractors, and get a couple of estimates. This will give you a figure of how much it will cost to fix your roof. With that information, you can then gauge anyone who attempts to scam you with lowball bids and question why their services are so much cheaper than other contractors. Having estimates on hand also saves you from scammers who might pressure you to overpay for repairs.
Do as much research as possible.
Make sure you properly vet any potential roofing contractors prior to signing a contract. Check for reviews online as this is a good indicator of their past service records. Also, check to see if they have any negative feedback with the Better Business Bureau as this could raise red flags. You can also ask them to give you references, photos, or other evidence that they have done similar projects in the past. This ascertains their validity and shows they’re up to the task. It’s also a good idea to check if the contractor is a member of any local, state, regional, or national roofing industry associations as it shows they are held to some industry standards.
Insist on a signed contract before work starts.
Remember that oral agreements do not hold merit. Reputable roofing contractors always insist on a contract for their protection as well as yours. Before signing the contract, ensure that specifics such as the project cost, time, scope, payment schedules, guarantees, and other expectations are clearly outlined. Avoid being pressured to sign a contract with blanks because these scammers can alter the contract agreement once you’ve signed it.
Leave a paper trail.
Another great tip is to always pay for roofing services with a check or credit card. This ensures that you leave a trail you can later track if something isn’t done properly or if something goes wrong with the repairs. You should also avoid paying for the repairs in cash, paying the contractor in full, or signing a completion certificate until all the work on your roof is completed in full to your satisfaction and in accordance with the building codes in your area.
Work with a Reputable Local Roofing Company
When a hurricane or other inclement weather damages your roof, you need quality roofing contractor services backed by years of experience, reliability, and a good reputation.
At Christian Brothers Roofing in Atlanta Georgia, we are dedicated to providing prompt and comprehensive roofing repairs. Our professionals will quickly assess the damage to your roof and give you a very detailed estimate of the repairs needed. We are also licensed and insured and all our work is done by individuals who adhere to local and national roofing standards. Additionally, we only make use of high-grade roofing materials that can withstand the test of time.
We offer a range of roofing services in Georgia from roof inspection and replacement to roof repair and maintenance. Call us today at 1-770-734-6700 for a free estimate and a hassle-free experience. You’ll be glad you did.