Home improvement scams are very common in the United States, therefore it is very important to be aware of some of the popular tactics that the scammers use to pursue homeowners.
Our guide will help you spot the roofing scams and advise you on how to pick the best roofer.
When there is a storm outside or if it’s hailing, you would find yourself worried about the roof. You must be looking for the right roofing contractor or company. If that’s the case, avoid hiring someone just because you immediately need repairs. Take your time for some research.
Let’s find out the roofing scams that you should avoid.
Roofing Scams That You Must Avoid
You might have recently shifted to a new area and not aware of the roofing scams. You must know what to expect so that you can keep yourself safe from such scams.
1. Storm Chasers
There may have been a recent storm in your area. So a lot of damage is naturally expected. Many roofs were damaged by the storm and so was yours.
At this point, you were not sure what to do with the roofing! All of a sudden, a roofer appears from nowhere and tries to sell you their roofing service.
The person tells you that he/she can help you with the roof inspection.
Think about it, why would someone show up randomly and offer you a free roofing inspection. Some even offer very lucrative deals to convince you to go with their roofing service. Nowadays, the vast majority of professional companies and workers have an online presence. Thus, you should check their validity online and do some research before accepting their offer.
2. You Are Offered A Free Estimate
One day you were having a nice cup of coffee in your living room and your phone rang. You picked up the phone and there was a voice on the other end telling you about an awesome roofing company. You were thinking about the roof repairs so you want to give it a try!
The person on the other end is offering you free inspections. Watch out! You have to ask some questions before hiring the person.
Consider asking the following:
- Do you offer a warranty?
- What’s your experience?
- Can you tell me the name of the company’s website?
- Do you have a license?
- Do you have insurance?
If the person hangs up the phone, it was a scam! Avoid inviting the person to inspect your roof if they don’t answer the above-mentioned questions. They might show you fake images and whatnot! Thus, if you receive such a call make sure you are asking the right questions. Be cautious, If you notice hesitation in the voice of the caller.
3. You Are Expected to Provide A Large Down Payment
If the roofing contractor is professional and well-intentioned, you can expect an affordable down payment. On the other hand, a roofing contractor who is demanding a large down payment could be non-trustworthy.
Plus, if this person or the company is asking for cash then you have to be extra careful. You might not know the norms of such work, which is okay as you don’t have experience dealing with scams.
Act wise and learn from the experience of other people. You have to be careful when dealing with such companies. Thorough research before reaching out would help.
4. You Are Approached By A Skilled Salesperson
You might be happy to see a skilled salesperson, but this person can put you under pressure. The pressure can be so high that you might end up hiring this person for the job. It’s wise to know if the person is legit or trying to mislead you.
You would hear words like the deal is just for today or if you don’t hire this person today, they don’t have any more slots left. If that’s the case then again you should ask for the official website and experience.
It’s always wise to check the customer reviews on Yelp, Google, and BBB websites. Keep in mind fake testimonials or paid reviews. When you do thorough research on the person’s profile, you can sense if he is legit or not.
5. The Roofing Contractor Is Using Cheap Material
The roofing contractor you hire may be using cheap materials for the job. The roofing contractor can be dishonest and ask you for a higher price.
If you have no idea how to spot such a person or company then you would be a victim and you would have no idea about the materials the company is using.
On the other hand, a professional company or person would be transparent in dealings. You would instantly know that you are working with the right people.
Unfortunately, if the roofing contractor is using cheap material, it’s hard to tell the difference until it’s too late for you. So it’s always better to do thorough research first. You can ask for receipts or ask the company to give you a warranty.
Tips to Keep In Mind When Hiring A Roofing Contractor
Apart from the above-mentioned scenarios, also keep the following tips in mind:
- You should sign a contract before the work begins. Everything should be mentioned in the contract. A shady contractor would be reluctant to sign a contract with you. That’s a clear indication that you should not hire them.
- Don’t just rely on one estimate. It would be wise to consider more than one contractor. A dishonest contractor would try to pressure you, but you have to be wiser and shop around before you sign the contract.
- Always do your research before you hire a roofing contractor for a job. You must know that you are dealing with the right person.
- Make sure you are not paying in cash. What if the contractor is a scam and says you didn’t pay anything. There should be proof of payment.
- Always work with a licensed contractor. The person or company that you plan on hiring should have the expertise and experience for the job. You don’t want to deal with an unprofessional person. It’s easy to be tempted by the cheap prices, but you want quality work for sure!
Find information on the company at Better Business Bureau Ratings. It would be best to see what reviews are left by the past customers. You would get enough information!
Few More Tips To Avoid Roofing Scams
It’s important to avoid roofing scams. If you know the possible scenarios it would be a lot easier for you.
You can also try the following:
- Do a quick research on the company when they approach you. When you are not able to find the relevant information, ask the reason from the person approaching you.
- Go with your gut feeling, if something doesn’t feel right then it probably isn’t. Why take any chances when you can avoid the issue in the first place.
- Just say no if you don’t feel comfortable. You don’t have to fall under the pressure of the person on the other side.
- Make sure you are not making a hasty decision. Listen to the offers. Make sure the roofing contractor is ready to sign a contract. You have to get a written estimate.
Wrapping It Up
Roofing scams can be hard to avoid if you don’t have enough knowledge. When you know what tips to keep in mind, it would be easy to spot a shady roofing contractor. You want to deal with the right person and company.
Unfortunately, roofing scams are on the rise again. Riding the wave of solar power popularity, many scammers are targeting the elderly.
In any case, it’s best to do thorough research and ask the right questions. A shady roofing contractor would be reluctant to cooperate. Thus, you can easily move on. Also, go with your gut feeling as it tells you when something is off! Beware of the scams in your area.
Frequently Asked Questions
First, check to see if they are licensed and bonded. Second, ask if they have workman’s comp insurance. Third, ask if they carry general liability insurance. You can learn more about how to choose the right roofer on our blog.
Be careful when a roofer asks for a large down payment to start the repair.