Each year, homeowners are targeted by less than reputable roofing companies, who do the bare minimum, fail to address any of the problems, leaving trusting families with poorly installed roofs that fail prematurely, or have ongoing water issues and repairs. Keep reading to learn how to avoid the most common roofing scams.
Roofing door-to-door sales are not common in the industry, but they are common roofing scams that unreliable individuals practice. Homeowners should always partner with reliable roofing companies they find—not the other way around. If a roofer comes to your home, you should be immediately skeptical. Two common signs that show the salesperson at your door is a scammer is if they mention your insurance, and if they arrive soon after a storm hits your local area. “Storm chasers” is a common term used for salespeople who listen to the weather bureau to find out which areas have wind or hail damage, knowing that insurance companies will allow for roof replacement in those areas. The “storm chaser” essentially blankets the area hit by storm damage and looks for unsuspecting homeowners in need for roof repairs, while also offering free roof inspections. Because they know how insurance companies work based upon the overall square footage of your roof, the salesperson will determine the cost to install the cheapest roof possible to maximize their profit. The trusting home owner is left poorly installed roof, and in many cases, the fraudulent company is no longer in business to help when roof problems begin to occur. Of course, these aren’t the only signs they’re scammers, but both tactics are prevalent among door-to-door roofing scammers.
Dodging the Scammers
For many people, the idea of getting a brand-new roof for free is appealing, especially if their roof was damaged or are convinced their roof needs repair. What can be easier, a problem solved, little or no money exchanged, and you have a new roof… right? Wrong. Roof scammers or “storm chasers” have no incentive to do a quality roof installation, and there is no way to hold them accountable when issues occur because they will most likely be long gone when problems do arise. Because the roof is cheaply installed, it is not unusual to see their roof needing to be replaced again in as little as 5 – 7 years.
So, now that you know the most common roofing scams, let’s break down the best tactics to avoid such situations. Unfortunately, scammers exist in almost every industry, and roofing is no exception. Thankfully, tactics for avoiding scammers are fairly straightforward. To put it simply, do your own research instead of taking the word of an uninvited stranger at your door. When the salesperson insists your roof is damaged and can be repaired cheaply, say no and stand your ground. After saying no to the salesperson, ask friends and family for referrals or research roofing contractors online. No matter how you hear about a company, research customer reviews, check their Better Business Bureau rating, and ask for examples of previous work. A reputable roofing contractor will be happy to provide you a list of references for you to see the roofs they have installed and obtain feedback on the quality of their work. You shouldn’t settle on a roofing provider until collecting multiple quotes, consider which ones address your roofing needs, and holds the most value to you. If your roof was damaged due to a recent storm, be sure to re-read your homeowner’s insurance policy to avoid breaching it in the process.