You’re having a quiet weekend at home minding your own business, when suddenly there’s a knock at the door. You open it to see a professionally dressed person with a clipboard standing on your porch. Immediately, you wonder what he’s selling and why. Without hesitation, he jumps into a pitch about a vague recent storm and how there’s serious damage he’s seeing on your roof. Initially, you wonder about his credibility because you checked out the roof when the storm happened and didn’t notice any problems. But then…the doubt creeps in. Heck, you’re no professional, so how can you be sure?
Roofing scams are one of the oldest in the book, yet folks continue to fall prey to them. These low-lifes seek out budget-conscious people that don’t know anything about roofs. They push to do the work immediately then disappear into thin air with your money after doing subpar work.
Sounds scary, right? You’re probably wondering how you can avoid falling victim to such a thing, so let’s discuss three important tips on spotting a roofing scam.
1. DAMAGE YOU CAN’T SEE
Odds are, your home is perfectly fine following a big storm. You’ve looked around and seen nothing concerning, but that sales person’s voice is nagging at you. They’re pointing at mysterious places on the roof, using professional jargon you don’t understand, and you’re getting worried that there’s actually damage there. Beware, because this is a common tactic used by scammers. If you are unable to physically identify an issue, it’s best to send them on their way. Go inside and hop on your favorite search engine to search for a legitimate roofing contractor with a permanent address and have them come take a look.
2. STORM CHASERS ARE NOT YOUR FRIENDS
A “storm chaser” is a roofing scammer that pops up in areas hard hit by storms. They prey on the chaos and stress of homeowners, making promises of quick, cheap work. Oftentimes, their business name is suspicious and you haven’t heard of them until that very moment.
These scammers are known for offering major discounts with the promise of immediate repairs, replacements and billing insurance themselves to be paid. While this may sound standard at first, they actually do shoddy work with low-quality materials, which can result in costly damage down the road. You will be the one footing that final repair bill and they’ll be long gone.
3. LOWER THAN NORMAL BIDS
You know the saying, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is? This definitely applies here. Roof repair scammers set unbelievably low prices, then increase them once the work begins. Typically, they’ll blame these increases on costs of materials or “unexpected” problems to justify it.
It is absolutely necessary to research the standard rates for roofing contractors in your region. Once you’ve found someone like The Roofing Center, you can get in touch for a free, legitimate estimate.