Types of Roofing Scams
Honest, trustworthy, and reliable roofing contractors are having a hard time with the bad reputations left behind from scammers. Scammers have been taking advantage of customers for years with old and new schemes, people entrust their money with contractors who say they’ll do one thing but do another. It seems that nowadays all you ever see associated with roofing is people getting scammed and scammers going to jail for their crimes, its making it difficult for good honest contractors to get work. Today well share some stories and scams these people use and how you can steer clear from it.
Storm chasers, scammers who come out after big winter or rain storms, they claim your roof is damaged and that you need to fix your roof as soon as possible. Once they receive payment they’ll never show up to fix or replace your roof, they won’t answer your phone call or the call will go directly to voicemail. This is a very common practice with scammers in the roofing industry, you will start to see the same pattern develop with the different schemes they use. They will be persistent in trying to make you sign papers and get the payment, before signing anything always check their business for telling signs of scams, we’ll discuss this later.
Time is always one of those things that can be used against you when trying to get your roof replaced. Scammers have been using this method for a while now, it seems to be an easier technique for them to use. Just like the storm chasers the scammer will try and get the job signed quickly, then when it comes to doing the work the scammers will keep putting off the work. This can be a very tricky situation to be in, especially because the good contractors often have a wait time due to weather conditions and being backed up with other jobs. These will sometimes be harder to tell from scams and real jobs because of this situation. If the job keeps getting pushed back for more than 3 weeks and the contractor is less reluctant to pick up the phone and weather is not an obstacle, then it’s safe to assume there might be a bigger problem. If you gave payment and it’s been over 3 weeks without word back from the contractor is a good chance that you were scammed.
There are other bad contractors dealing with roofing and home improvement scams, they will do the same thing as the other two scammers, but these will prey on senior citizens and single moms. They will target these groups of people because of the lack of knowledge and ability to take action if something happens. They will target some of these people because most will not question the authority of the contractor and have little to no knowledge of the scams associated with roofing and home improvement. People will often figure out they were scammed after a long period of time of leaving phone calls and no returns.
Leaving damages were no damages were visible before, a technique also used by many scammers is to lie about damages and later make the damages. Its despicable but it does happen, we’ve read news reports of contractors doing such things and leaving the customer confused because everything was good before the contractor go onto the roof. The contractor should be monitored when doing a roof inspection to limit these things from happening. Then once the payment is given the roofing contractor will fix the small damages, sometimes the contractor won’t fix it but it’s rare.
We’ve heard of a story of a bad roofing contractor coming to homes and giving an estimate to the home owner, the home owner wasn’t interested in the roof replacement. She had another company come out to do an inspection, they told her everything was good and that nothing needed to be replaced. Later that month two roofers came to her house to start striping the roof but she never agreed to it and told them to leave, she later filled out a police report. These people will try anything to make an easy buck. They would have charged her for everything even though she never signed any paperwork or agreed to it.
How to Stay Alert
When getting a roofing contractor take some precautions that will later provide you ease. Some steps that you can take when looking for a roofing and home improvement contractor is to look at their online presence. How long have they been in business for, if it’s only been a year stay clear from them? Usually if they’ve only been open for a year they have most likely don’t have a lot of reviews and business to sufficiently assess if their reputable. Check and look at the reviews they have on their business accounts like BBB or home advisor, most people will tell you how it is. Look at their ratings and see if they are a good fit for your home improvement needs.
Check and see if they have the proper insurance, that covers if the contractor gets hurt on the job the business will be able to take care of all their hospital bills instead of the home owner. This is usually the deal breaker when it comes to hiring a good contractor from bad. Usually the scammers will be set up with no insurance and having little to no history in the industry. Don’t just automatically agree to something you’re not comfortable with, let them know that you want to get another perspective. Do your research before doing anything, get to know who you’re getting in to work with. Don’t always assume everything will be done right, make sure you get everything u want done to be done. Leaving things out of contracts will leave you upset when these contractors don’t do what you assumed needed to be done. If a contractor makes u pay in full for a job that hasn’t been started yet that’s a sure sign of a scam. No one should pay in full, just a small down payment is needed to start a job.
Make sure the contractor is registered depending if it is necessary to be registered in your state. There’s different regulations in different states, so make sure that the contractor follows the law of your state. Don’t ever allow for contractors to pick out your insurance plans for you always have a grasp on what you think is right in the first place. Review the roof beforehand, look at the entire roof to see how it looks before calling up the contractor, this will prevent any distrust when he brings up some problems. Having some references on the contractor you want to hire is the best option for you, it limits scammers, and has a good example of their work ethic along with the quality of their work. Getting a second opinion on a job is really helpful to prevent scams from happening. Scammers negatively affect both customers and other good, hardworking contractors, take the time and research before going through with a roof repair or replacement.