Beware of This Common Roofing Scam – Roofer Who Shows Up after a Storm

by | Sep 25, 2015 | Buyer Beware

Roof RepairsAre you aware of the common roofing scams that many people fall victim to every year?

Your roof is one of the most important parts of your home – it keeps the elements out, it keeps your home’s structure intact, and it protects the things that matter most.

Whether you need a full roof replacement or just repairs after a storm, you’ll want to find a reliable roofing contractor who will do the job with care and attention to detail.

The unfortunate reality is that while most roofing contractors are honest and dependable, there will always be those looking to take advantage of unsuspecting homeowners. These scam artists, or ‘fly by nighters’, want nothing more than to take your money (and your neighbours’ money, too) and get out of town.

One of the common red flags you need to be on the lookout for is when a roofer or roofing company approaches you after a recent bad storm in your area.

These scamsters are known as “storm chasers”. 

How the Scam Works

Storm chaser roofers travel from city to city, going wherever serious storms have passed through. They know that roofs can be damaged in severe storms, so they follow the storms to take advantage of homeowners.

Much like the door-to-door roofer, they will often simply show up at your home. They may offer a free roof inspection or an unbelievable deal like a free roof replacement.

Remember: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

If you hire this contractor to repair or replace your roof, they will take the money provided by your insurance company and do the bare minimum to replace your roof cheaply.

That means you will think you’re getting a full roof replacement, which would entail a brand new roof with all problems solved. However, what you are really getting is a cheap job that doesn’t actually address any underlying issues with your roof.

You won’t get a quality roof with quality workmanship, so you can expect to have more problems down the road.

When you experience problems with the roof (maybe 5 years later), the roofing contractor is nowhere to be found. You’re stuck with a shoddy roof and you’ll have to foot the bill for repairs or a whole new replacement.

Some storm chasers aren’t even licensed roofers, don’t have the proper liability insurance, and aren’t covered by worker’s compensation insurance!

How to Protect Yourself from This Scam

Like the other scams we’ve discussed, it’s not too hard to avoid this scam.

You should thoroughly check up on any roofer who shows up at your door without an invitation – especially after a storm. Don’t sign anything or agree to put any money down until after you’ve done your due diligence, even if they are telling you it’s a “limited-time offer” or using other high pressure sales tactics.

Find out where the roofer’s physical location is. Do they have one in your area? Do they have one at all? You need to know where you can go to find them, should anything go wrong with your roof in the future. As we’ve said before, they’re unlikely to go poof if they’re a long-standing local company!

Ask to see their credentials. They should have proper documentation of their legitimacy. Find out if they’re accredited on the Better Business Bureau.

Important Advice: Do not let them on your roof (not even for a free inspection) until after you are convinced of their legitimacy! Some of these scammers may deliberately cause damage during their “inspection” to convince you that you need the repairs in the first place.

For more tips on making sure you hire a legitimate roofing contractor, click here!

>> We’re trusted roofers with over 50 years of experience in Ontario. Quality, dependable roofing and customer satisfaction are our most important values. Get a free estimate on roof replacements.

Serving homeowners in Burlington, Hamilton, St. Catharines, and the Niagara region.

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