It’s a homeowner’s nightmare. You meet who appears to be a trustworthy roofer offering a great deal. So, you sign a contract to get started, only to find out fairly quickly that you’ve fallen victim to a scam.
Unsuspecting homeowners can quickly become the victims of roofing scams that aren’t always easy to spot. However, if you know what they are ahead of time, you can avoid getting trapped. Here are 5 common roofing scams to avoid:
The Door Knocking Roofer
A friendly roofer comes through town knocking on doors trying to drum up business. They may even offer to evaluate your roof for free. Then, your friendly roofer may proceed to inflict damage on your perfectly good roof so that your insurance company will cover the repairs. Even if your roof isn’t in perfect condition, your roofer may try to make things seem or appear worse than they are to get you to sign a contract. In the worst of cases, your door to door salesman will get you to sign an authorization for them to get on your roof, but in reality, it’s a contract.
The lesson? Don’t sign anything or allow any inspection to take place until your insurance company has had a look. Also, although some door to door companies may sincerely be seeking clients and are entirely honorable, the best roofers don’t need to drum up business. Reputable roofers probably have plenty of requests coming in and don’t need to search for clients.
Also known as the “elevator ride,” this familiar contractor’s scam takes advantage of your good faith yet again. You’ll get a quote that’s very low, so low you’ll want to jump for joy and sign the contract right away. However, in this case, it’s too good to be true. Usually, about the time the roofer has your roof ripped to pieces and highly exposed, they’ll claim that they’ve found additional damage and that costs are going up. Alternatively, the cost of materials mysteriously changes, meaning they need more money from you. With your roof exposed, you’re in a tight spot and may feel forced to fork over the additional money. It’s not a pleasant situation.
So, how can you avoid this scam? Don’t sign a contract that seems too good to be true. If it appears to be an incredible deal, it just might be an incredible scam instead. You can also check over the contract before signing. Typically, there’s a section that covers stipulations about the roof deck which is only visible once work has begun. As a result, roofers only know about damage when they uncover it. A reasonable contract includes prices for necessary repairs on this area of the roof should they be required.
The Storm Chaser
After a storm comes through, you may notice leaflets and brochures appearing all over the place about roofing repairs. Sometimes, these roofers crop up to take advantage of the increase in roofing opportunities in the area. They take advantage of vulnerable homeowners who are having a hard time finding an available roofer due to the rise in demand. However, storm chasers may do shoddy work or use some of the other scam tactics mentioned in this post. As undesirable as it may be to wait for a roofer, you should resist the urge to sign with the first contractor who appears. Instead, get quotes from several contractors and research each company to find out other customers’ experiences and ensure that they are licensed.
If your roofer asks for a “down payment” or partial payment before they even start working, homeowner beware. Whether it’s poor money management or an attempt to take the money and run, it’s not a good sign. There are plenty of roofers out there who won’t request money ahead of time. Avoid getting scammed by choosing one of those roofers.
Some roofers never intend to do a good job. They charge plenty of money but perform cheap and insufficient repairs. Unfortunately, you’ll only notice this down the line when your roof continues to leak or shows other signs of continued damage despite recent maintenance. You can evade this scam by checking for a quality warranty in your contract and vetting the company beforehand. Make sure the company has excellent reviews and a solid reputation in the community.
Hiring a roofing contractor can be difficult, but with vigilance, you can make sure that you avoid scams. The best practice is to get quotes from a few contractors and make sure that you work with your insurance throughout the process. That way you’ll have options to choose from and guidance about your roof’s needs.
Need a great roofer in Orange County? Call the experts at Tom Byer roofing!