If you have ever had someone from a roofing company solicit you for business at your home, you were likely skeptical of the legitimacy of the company. While there are more accredited and licensed roofing contractors out there than there are scammers, we understand your hesitation, especially if you are solicited almost immediately after a storm in your area. Even though it is possible that your roof may be in need of roof repair or replacement that you are not aware of, you still want to make sure you are not being scammed.
That is why we have compiled a list of the top 6 roofing scams to beware of. Please read on for more about this below:
1. Storm Chasers or Opportunists
This is certainly a thing across the country and is prevalent enough to where unlicensed roofers have been pegged as storm chasers for rushing to areas strongly hit by storms to attain tons of business from unsuspecting homeowners. As mentioned above, these folks will go house to house and tell each homeowner that they either notice roof damage or insist on doing a free roof inspection. They may even tell you that they were contracted to fix a roof or two in your neighborhood.
These storm chasers will not only take the opportunity to cause damage to your roof during their “inspection” to justify a need for repairs but will then try to collect a down payment, in cash no less, and do low-quality or incomplete work before getting out of dodge.
That is why we encourage you to proceed with caution with these solicitors. Ultimately, it is highly unlikely that professional and reputable roofing contractors would be going door to door for business.
2. Unbelievably Low Quote
You know that saying, “if it sounds too good to be true, it’s too good to be true?” Well, while there are exceptions to this old adage, any contractor who quotes you way less than other contractors is most likely too good to be true. This is usually a tactic to reel in business to then raise the price during the project.
3. Hefty Down Payment (Paid Cash, no less)
At R.L. Hayes Roofing & Repairs, we believe a good rule of thumb is to get at least 3 estimates or bids on your roofing project and to ask each roofer what needs to get fixed or replaced.
Say a contractor does not provide a really low quote, which would trigger a red flag. There are scammers who actually ask for a large down payment and assure you this is commonplace to cover all the material costs and labor with prices going up. Unfortunately, if you were to agree and pay that down payment, the scammer could very well take your money, especially when you pay in cash for a price break at their insistence, and disappear without doing any work to your roof.
To avoid this altogether, you should seek a contractor who asks for a reasonable down payment of about 15% or less of the total estimate and clearly outlines all payment terms in a solid contract. The Better Business Bureau is a good resource for tracking scammers and a guideline of what to look for.
4. Special Deals on Materials
Now, there are some instances where a contractor may actually offer you a special deal to use discounted or even leftover materials. You should, however, be wary of these types of price breaks because it does not mean that those roofing materials are durable enough for your roof to be in excellent condition for years to come.
Not to sound like a broken record, but the best thing you can do is to get quotes and specific project details from at least three different roofing companies and thoroughly research the materials they plan to use to repair your roof. Don’t just take our word for it! If a roofer is transparent, they will not take offense to you wanting to look further into it. At the end of the day, it’s your money and your heartache later if you go with the wrong roofer.
5. Insurance Fraud
A contractor without the proper license or contractor’s liability insurance is a contractor you do not want to bother with. Moreover, if a roofer asks you to sign over an insurance check or offers to pay your insurance deductible, they may just be trying to commit insurance fraud, which is when the roofer takes the larger payment from the insurance company and pockets the additional funds.
Furthermore, when a contractor asks you to sign an Assignment of Benefits (AoB), which gives a contractor permission to work on your behalf when filing an insurance claim, you need to move away from that person as this opens the door to committing insurance fraud.
To avoid this situation, communicate with your insurance company so you know what is being covered and how much your contractor is being paid. As a matter of fact, your first call after a storm should be to your insurance company to file an insurance claim. An adjuster will then inspect the damage and tell you what they will cover. Once that happens, you can look for a professional contractor to do the job.
6. Asking You to Get the Permits
A contractor should be the one to handle securing the necessary permits for the project. That is not your job to do so when a roofer asks you to pull the roofing permits, it may mean that they aren’t eligible to get a permit or are banned from the permit office for XYZ reasons.
Fortunately, most roofing contractors are professional and licensed. The good thing is that you can find a lot of information about your roofing contractor online. This includes reviews on Google as well as any possible complaints filed against them with the Better Business Bureau.
At R.L. Hayes Roofing & Repairs, we encourage you to check out our reviews and website and ask us any questions you may have. We know a roof repair or replacement is a big decision and not one to be taken lightly so we want you to be able to trust us to do the quality work we pride ourselves in doing for each of our customers. You can call us at 706-869-1193 or visit us online for a quote and more information.
R L Hayes Roofing & Repairs
3540 Wheeler Rd Ste 103
Augusta, GA 30909