The aftermath of a storm is always stressful, especially if you’ve experienced damage to your home. Repairs can be expensive and it may be tempting to go with the cheapest and easiest to find option to fix any roofing damage. Unfortunately, many of those too good to be true options are illegitimate and are just scammers preying on the fear and desperation of homeowners in need of help. Avoid being scammed by disreputable roofers and make sure your home is protected against many storms to come with these helpful tips.
1. Work With Local Roofing Contractors
Local roofing repair companies know the area the best and are also easiest to contact should something go wrong. Laws related to roofing also vary from state to state, and in some cases, city to city, so this will help you avoid working with people that don’t know what they’re talking about as well as a number of other complications.
2. Beware of Storm Chasers
Storm chasers follow after large storms, trying to find homes damaged by the weather to scam. In some cases, the home isn’t damaged at all despite the storm chaser saying so! If anyone comes to your door after a significant weather event offering to fix your roof for a low cost, be wary. It’s very unlikely that they want to fix your roof for cheap out of the goodness of their own heart.
3. Research Your Contractor
Don’t move too hastily when you choose someone to fix your roof. Instead, look up reviews and information on the companies you’re interested in. If the company doesn’t have any online presence, that’s a major red flag and a good sign to go with someone else. It would also be worth looking into what qualifications and licenses your state requires a roofer to have so you know how to spot people that aren’t actually qualified to work on your roof.
4. Get Multiple Opinions
Ask your friends and family if they have any recommendations and get a quote from all of the companies you’re considering so you have a good, realistic estimate of what fixing your roof should cost. This will also ensure a realistic estimate of your roof’s damages. If one company claims you have more damage than any of the others, they’re likely just trying to get more money for repairs you don’t actually need. Keep in mind that quotes significantly cheaper than others may be an indication of cheap materials that will leave your roof requiring more repairs in just a couple years, if they aren’t just scams altogether.
5. Ask a Lot of Questions
Any legitimate company that wants your business won’t mind you asking them questions. Don’t be afraid to bombard them with your queries. Remember: it’s better to be a little difficult than get scammed. Ask them for proof of their qualifications, about a timeline of when the work will be done, if they have references of any previous roofing work they’ve done, what insurance they have and/or if they offer a warranty–– any question is fair game. If the company you’re thinking about working with doesn’t have answers or doesn’t want to give you answers, you probably want to work with someone else.
6. Avoid Roof Insurance Fraud
Don’t sign an Assignment of Benefits (AoB) if your roofing company tries to get you to; this lets them file an insurance claim on your behalf, which opens the door for insurance fraud. They could also submit one invoice to you and a more expensive one to the insurance company, which is also fraud. The best thing to do to avoid all types of roofing insurance fraud is to keep in close contact with your insurance company yourself so you know exactly where that insurance money is going, and what is and isn’t legal.
7. Make Sure Both Parties Sign a Contract
You should have a contract with your roofer that outlines the work that will be done, the time frame, the cost, and all of the legalities along the way. If your roofing company wants to do work without a contract, go with a different company. Without one, you’ll have little legal protection against roof repair scams. Asking for a contract in general should chase off some scammers; many don’t want to sign anything that will hold them accountable.
8. Trust Your Gut and Don’t Be Afraid to Say No
If anything doesn’t feel right to you about a roofing company you’re looking to work with, it’s better to be safe than sorry. There are countless options out there; there’s no harm in saying no to one. It might just help you avoid a roof replacement scam.
Rest assured, Oaks Construction is a fully licensed and insured roofing contractor with 20 years of experience and hundreds of happy customers. If you’re not sure where to turn after harsh weather damages your home, give us a call and our team of qualified roofing professionals will be happy to help!