They show up after every storm: scammers exploiting home and business owners whose roofs need repairs of storm-related damage. At best, these are often unlicensed roofing contractors who lack the insurance and credentials required by law. At worse, they are con artists who take consumers’ money and never show up to complete the job. Look out for the following warning signs before agreeing to let someone fix your roof:
1. The contractor knocks on your door.
In general, roofing contractors who are on the up and up will not market their business by walking around the neighborhood. They will use more traditional channels and often let consumers come to them. We want you to do your research and be comfortable with the service we are offering. A strong arm salesman who shows up on your doorstep should be treated with suspicion.
2. They ask for cash.
If someone wants money up front in an untraceable format, you have no guarantees that they will do the work that they are offering.
3. They undercharge for the job.
Have an offer that is hundreds less than estimates from other roofing companies? That is a sign that that contractor is cutting corners. Chances are, they have not invested in the bond and insurance that are required by law. These policies are there to protect the homeowner. If someone is injured working on your roof and they are not insured, your homeowner’s insurance may wind up on the hook. This means higher rates for you and even the possibility of losing your policy.
4. They don’t have a working company name.
These individuals will probably lack business cards, a business phone number and a physical address for their roofing company. This makes it harder for someone to hold them accountable if they do not do a good job or if they abandon the work before it is done.
5. They don’t offer a written contract.
Our contracts detail, in writing, what you can expect from us and how much you can expect to pay. Additionally, you have a right to cancel contracts within three days if you signed one based on a contractor’s visit to your home. Without a contract in place, you do not have the assurances you need.
What to do if you are approached by scammers
There are many protections in place to help ensure that scammers do not separate you from your hard earned cash. If a contractor makes you uneasy, call the state Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Hotline at 1-800-386-5438. They can tell you whether any complaints have been filed against a contractor. If you are suspicious of activities in your area, call local law enforcement. You can also look up licensed roofers online.
Before choosing a contractor, compare a few estimates. Ask for references. Get recommendations from people who you trust.
And, never pay in cash and never pay before the job is finished and you are satisfied.
By taking some caution now, you can avoid being taken in by a scammer and failing to get the product you paid for.
Has your roof been damaged by a recent storm? We can help. Call us today for a consultation and a written estimate.