The roofing industry is vast; there is no shortage of retailers, online and offline, looking to give you the best deal on your roof. But therein lies the danger of running into scammers trying to take advantage of your lack of knowledge. Fortunately, there are several ways to sniff out a scam before it’s too late. This post provides you with valuable tips to avoid a roofing scam.
What are the common roofing scams?
There are different techniques that scammers use to trick innocent homeowners that are searching for a simple roofing service. Beware of the following roofing scams:
“Storm chasers” are fraudulent roofers who will show up at your doorstep after a storm. They use this vulnerable opportunity to tell you they are in your area and offer to do the job for half of what other roofing companies charge. But when they come back for the roofing project, their equipment is old or defective; the materials used on the roofs are substandard; worst of all – these low-quality products can cause more problems down the road, and will make you feel like you wasted your money.
Another common scam is “mystery damage.” The roofer shows up at your door, telling you that there is a hidden issue – such as water leakage or other damages to the structure. They offer their services in repairing these damages, but once they are done with the job, it is shoddily done.
Some roofers will inflate the cost of roofing repairs despite using low-quality materials. They give a great first impression with their lower price, but once they are done, the poor quality of the work becomes apparent. This leaves you in a deeper hole than before you started and can cost hundreds of dollars more in the long run.
Some contractors will pressure you to sign up for whatever they sell without giving you the job details. They use scare tactics and fear-mongering to get what they want. You might come across special “today only” deals that don’t allow you the chance to discuss the details of what you are getting into.
Many scammers will use a name similar to a legitimate roofing company and try to pass themselves off as being part of this more trusted roofing business. They will then ask their previous customers for positive referrals, but they may not even do any work. They will take your payment and run with it, leaving you without the job they promised.
What can I do to avoid roofing scams?
If any of these scams sound familiar – or there is anything else that doesn’t sit right with you about someone offering roofing services, it’s time to remember some tips to avoid a roofing scam:
Hire licensed and insured roofers
To start, you should only hire contractors who are appropriately licensed and insured. They should have references from previous customers that can be checked out and have a good rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB). A legitimate contractor will always answer your questions honestly – if they dodge something, it is a red flag.
Get referrals from friends and family
Another way you can avoid a roofing scam is to get in touch with your family, friends, or neighbors that have recently had their roofs repaired. They will be able to point out the reputable contractor who did an excellent job – but they may also tell of any shady ones you should watch out for.
Do a background check on the contractor
You can use Google to do some basic research about the local roofing company. There are also sites such as Yelp and Angie’s List that you can look at for customer reviews of contractors in your area. This will give you an idea if this is someone who does quality work – or not, increasing your chances of avoiding a roofing scam.
Be cautious with contractors who come to you
Many scammers will approach you in their cars and suggest they do the job right then and there – but this is often because they don’t have any tools or supplies on hand. Some will even knock on your door, asking if you need roof repair. This is all a scam – it’s an easy way to take advantage of homeowners in a hurry who don’t want any further damage done to their homes.
Avoid contractors that ask for full payment upfront
A legitimate contractor will only seek out 50% or less of the job cost up front – and the rest can usually be paid after they finish it. If a contractor wants to take everything upfront, this should make you very cautious as they could take your deposit and run with it, leaving you without having your roof repaired at all.
Check out the company’s website
If you can get a look at their actual roofing materials and services, it will give you some insight into whether or not they are legitimate. You should also see what kinds of warranties come with these products. This will help you know if the contractor has the experience to work on your new roof.
Make sure you get all your questions answered
If the roofing contractor doesn’t answer your questions or dodges them, this is a sign of something being wrong with their business practices. A reputable roofing company should also be willing to show you references from previous customers. You can ask for this in writing, and if you’re not satisfied with the answers, it may be best to look for another contractor.
Roofing Contractors, You Can Trust!
At Precision Roofing & Gutter, we have been providing roofing services like roof replacement, roof repairs, roof inspection, and maintenance to homes and local businesses for decades. Give us a call anytime you need a roofing contractor in Tigard, and we’ll be there in no time! Our roofing technicians are licensed, insured, and bonded, so you can be sure you’re getting the best possible service.