Roofing Scams or a Reputable Roofer?
Roofing scam con-artists seem to come out of every corner whenever there is a little hail storm or strong winds or rain. It reminds me of cockroaches scurrying around whenever the light comes on because that is what happens in local neighborhoods that happen to have bad storm weather or even a mild one. Seriously, homeowners are harassed by fly-by-night roofers who will do anything to get into a homeowners wallet. What is a homeowner to do?
Don’t Trust a Door Knocker/Storm Chasers
These sales people who represent themselves as an experienced roofer are everything but that. They will say anything to get your permission to climb up onto your roof and after that they have the power to alarm you to the horrifying damage on your roof in that “little hail storm.” If you allow an unknown roofer who comes knocking at your door uninvited chances are he is there to take advantage of you. Some have been known to take pictures off of the Internet of severely damaged roofs and pass it off as the homeowner’s roof. They take advantage of the elderly who tend to believe these door knockers and end up spending money that wasn’t needed because the homeowner’s roof wasn’t damaged at all.
There are also “in-town” storm chasers, who may be from your area, but have no roofing expertise at all. Suddenly door knockers jump into the roofing business simply because there is significant opportunity to make money. Pick a company that is local and a member in good standing with a professional organization. Don’t let the sales person on your roof!
Don’t Sign Anything
Avoid signing with a roofer that isn’t local. Most door knockers are pushy sales people who represent themselves as a reputable roofer but are not. They may not be roofers at all. They are knocking on your front door because they want your money. Do your business with a reputable local roofer.
Knowledge is Power
Licensing: If an uninvited sales person claiming to be a licensed roofer, is false information. He is referring possibly to his contractor’s number if he even has that. There is no licensing required for roofers in Texas.
Insurance Deductible: “You don’t have to pay your deductible.” This is a lie.
You have homeowner’s insurance and just like any other insurance; you will have to pay a deductible.
Roofing scammers will tell you that they will pay the deductible if you (a) allow him to place his sign in your yard. In some neighborhoods with HOA, this is not allowed. (b) He won’t collect the final payment at the end of the job. (c) He will let you keep the depreciation when the insurance sends it (e) He will make (2) invoices: one for the insurance company claiming more damage than there actually is and one invoice for you with a lower rate. Either way, this is insurance fraud and it’s a felony.
You don’t want to do business with a dishonest roofer because you will be the one who goes to jail, not him. Not only that, if he is willing to commit fraud with your insurance company, wouldn’t he do the same with you?
Contingent Contract: A legitimate contingent contract will be based on insurance approval and will become null and void if the insurance company does not approve the work. The roofing scammer’s contingent will say essentially the same thing and will generally have some fine print saying you owe them an unknown amount of money for representing you or you agree to replace your roof at your own expense for an undetermined amount until he fills in the blank. The scammer will start with the deductible lie to get you to sign a contingent. Once everything is settled with your insurance adjuster your roof project will begin and so will Fraud that is on you.
Paying Up Front: If a contractor is asking for full payment upfront, this may be tell-tale of a scam. This is possibly the easiest way that a roofing scammer makes money, especially with trusting elderly homeowners.
The quick talking roofing scammer will make a quick assessment of roof damage, give an unbelievably low estimate and ask for money before any work is done.
If the homeowner agrees, he will then leave and never return to do the work on your roof. A reputable roofing company won’t ask for full payment upfront. There are times when it is an industry standard for the homeowner to make a deposit depending on the project, price and/or special order of the materials.
Roofers Are Not Insurance Adjusters: Roofing scammers will often misrepresent themselves as a roofer and as an insurance adjuster. Homeowners should shut the door quickly when they hear this statement from the door knocker. It simply is not true. Roofers are not Insurance Adjusters. This is another way to scam homeowners out of more money. It is possible for a roofing company to actually have an Insurance Adjuster on their staff but more often than not, this isn’t so.
Check Their Insurance: Be sure you get proof of valid General Liability and Workman’s Compensation Insurance before letting a roofing company on your roof. Take the five minutes to call and to verify the policy is in force. If a roofing contractor is hurt on your property he may be able to come after you for damages or if he damages your property, you will need protection. Some roofers will sign-up for an insurance policy to get proof of insurance and then stop paying their premiums so the policy is no good but certainly will not divulge that information to the homeowner.
Get a Referral
Speak to a trusted neighbor, friend or family member and get a referral. Contact your local Better Business Bureau and check out local roofing companies. You don’t want to hire a pushy sales person that has knocked on your door claiming to be a roofing company because they are not. Reputable roofing companies do not have to knock on doors for business.
Hire a Reputable Roofer
Do your research for a reputable roofer in your area. Check the Better Business Bureau and other organizations, ask your neighbors for referrals or ask a trusted friend or family member. Don’t be persuaded by an uninvited pushy sales person knocking at your door after the latest storm. If you receive a call from a call unexpectedly from someone claiming to be a roofing company who will just happen to be in your neighborhood after a storm, hang up! Protect you, your roof and your finances by unwanted storm chasers.
Class 4 Shingles
If you do need a roof replacement, why not replace with the strongest shingles available? The Class 4 shingles will withstand large hail because it has been proven to withstand a stainless steel ball. The Class 4 Shingles were actually tested by dropping a steel ball onto the shingles. The UL 2218 impact test was developed in conjunction with insurance industry leaders for the highest rating.
Benefits of Choosing Class 4 Roofing Shingles
• Have extended warranties
• They meet the highest standards for impact resistance – UL 2218, Class 4
• May qualify homeowners for a premium discount from their insurance company +
• Depending on your area, Class 4 shingles may be algae resistant
+ Homeowners should check with their insurance company to see if they qualify. According to Texas Department of Insurance, to qualify for the credit, roof coverings must be tested by an approved laboratory. Roof coverings that have passed the UL Standard 2218 test are classified as either Class 1, 2, 3, or 4. A Class 4 roof covering receives the highest premium credit.
Don Rutherford, Founder and Roofing Contractor for Northwest Roofing, located in Haslet, TX. Don has 25+ years of roofing experience. Take a look at the Gallery of Homes that we serviced and read our satisfied customer Testimonials.
Be sure to use our easy Contact Us form to let us know how we can help you with roof leaks or other services. We are looking forward to helping you!
Office: (817) 439-3065 or Mobile: (817) 614-1630