This spring KETK did a story on roofing scammers that are “out to take your money and run.” After a spring hailstorm damaged hundreds of East Texas roofs, the Mount Pleasant police department issued a warning for residents to beware of roofing scammers. This isn’t the first such warning. Last year the Better Business Bureau warned consumers about a Winona roofing company that asked for money, then didn’t complete work. If you’re in need of roof repair or replacement, here’s what you need to know.
How Scammers Operate
When your roof is damaged, you want to get it fixed as quickly as possible. Most people deal with roof replacement only once or twice in a lifetime, so dealing with a roofing contractor is unfamiliar territory. Roofing scammers prey on homeowners’ inexperience. These are the most common scams:
- Down payment theft – Unscrupulous roofers may offer an attractive price on roof repair and ask for money to buy materials, then disappear. If you’re filing a claim on your homeowner’s insurance, they may ask you to sign over that first check. Last year the BBB alerted homeowners of a roofing company that received an F rating for just this scam.
- Storm chasers and salesmen – After a storm moves through the area, roofing companies from outside the area often move in. They target neighborhoods with older homes and senior citizens and start knocking on doors.
- Fluctuating replacement costs – Sometimes contractors lure homeowners in with a low-cost estimate, then once the shingles are off, the price skyrockets. It’s normal to occasionally discover the need for additional repairs, but that cost should be discussed and explained during your original estimate. Choose a roofer known for their expertise in pricing as well as roofing.
- Investor deception – Commercial building owners and investors aren’t immune to roofing scams. Last year a man was prosecuted for tricking investors into paying thousands of dollars for an investment opportunity that involved roofing in Canton and Houston. Rely on more than official-looking invoices and company letterhead when it comes to protecting yourself from scams.
How to Protect Yourself
KETK and the BBB both recommend the following when it comes to protecting yourself from scammers.
- Look for industry certifications. For example, the fact Advantage Roofing is GAF certified means our experts are fully licensed, completely insured and must undergo continual training.
- Ask to see photos of the damage. A qualified roofing expert won’t just tell you your roof has hail damage, he or she can show you verifiable photographic evidence.
- Check online reviews. Google and social media can be a powerful tool when it comes to verifying if a business is local and has been in business for long enough to have a history of reliable service.
- Get estimates in writing. That way you’re covered if the price starts to creep up once the work has started.
Advantage Roofing has local offices in both Dallas and East Texas. We’re established in the community, so you can hire our experts with confidence. The top of your property is our top priority, and we have the certifications to prove our commitment to our clients. Contact us for a free roofing analysis today.