Whether you need to patch a small section of your roof or have to get a completely new one installed, ensuring the roof over your head will do its job can get expensive. 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. When you go for the cheapest option, you often get contractors who do a poor job to save on costs. Other times, you end up with scammers demand a sizable 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 Bailey’s Roofing wants to provide a complete guide on avoiding roofing scams for Southern Oklahoma homeowners.
Let’s dive in!
Recognize Roofing Scam Artists
There are various strategies scam artists use to make money off roofs they never complete or do a lousy job with:
- Roofing scam artists will commonly target communities with a large number of senior residents.
- Scam artists prey on budget-conscious homeowners trying to get repairs for affordable prices.
- Scam artists also commonly target communities that are prone to significant storms.
1. The Stormchaser
Stormchasers are roofers that travel the country following severe weather patterns, like hurricanes, blizzards, and thunderstorms.
Stormchasers flock to areas hit by hail 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 bare minimum so that it appears as if they’ve adequately constructed or repaired your roof.
However, homeowners that are victims of this scam often end up with poorly constructed roofs. And when that next storm hits, it will be apparent that your “new” roof still has some serious issues.
There are a few traits by which you can recognize a roofing Stormchaser:
- They frequently use aggressive, high-pressure sales tactics.
- Stormchasers cannot provide proof of certifications, licensing, or insurance and are challenging to find online.
- They also won’t produce local references and have out-of-state license plates or driver’s licenses, as they never settle in one area.
The best way to avoid this scam is to ask for references, licenses, and certifications. In addition, 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 knocking on their doors, but it’s still a strategy used by many scam artists in the roofing industry. Here are a few tricks that these scammers use:
- They may approach you under the guise of a free roof inspection and then say the damage is worse than it is.
- They may also fabricate damage to mimic that of wind or hail storms.
Most of the time, your roof may not even need repairs, and you’ll unknowingly shell out money to cover the unnecessary costs. The fabricated damages also reduce the roof’s value, and filing a claim could affect your insurance coverage; in some cases, it may even invalidate it!
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. Also, always do your research, especially when it comes to door-to-door contractors. You should try to 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 situation 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 Bailey’s Roofing today!