4 Tips To Avoid Getting Scammed by Roofing Storm Chasers
Your roof is one of the most important parts of your home. It protects you from the elements and keeps your family safe and dry. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you hire a qualified, reputable roofer to do the job right. Here are five tips to help you avoid getting scammed by a roofing storm chaser.
What is a Roofing Storm Chaser?
Roofing Storm Chasers are contractors who only come to sell roofs after a storm or that chase storms in order to find homeowners who are afraid but haven't suffered any damage. These people do this in order to make quick money at the expense of scaring home and business owners. Be sure to look at the license plate of the roofer knocking on your door—many storm chasers come from out of town.
As of 2013, Colorado Roofing Association contractor members must have a local Colorado address. Click here to learn more about our CRA Members and hire one for your next roofing project.
1. Check for Licensing and Insurance - Most Storm Chasers Don’t Have It
When hiring a roofer to do work on your home, it's important to check that they are licensed and insured. This protects you in case the roofer damages your property or causes an injury while working on your home.
You can check for licensing by contacting your local licensing board or by checking the roofer's website. You can check for insurance by contacting the roofer's insurance company or by requesting proof of insurance.
2. Ask for Referrals - Most Storm Chasers Can’t Provide Them
If you're looking for a good roofer, one of the best things you can do is ask for referrals from people you know. Chances are, if you know someone who's had a good experience with a roofer, they'll be more than happy to refer you.
When you're asking for referrals, be sure to ask your friends specific questions about the roofer. For example, you might want to know how the roofer handled a particular problem, or whether they were professional and courteous. This will help you get a better idea of what to expect from the roofer.
If you’re looking for a reliable and experienced roofer, you can also ask the roofers themselves for referrals. Most roofers maintain a list of satisfied customers that they can refer you to. If a roofer is giving you a lot of push-back about a referral list, watch out, they could be trying to scam you.
3. Get a Written Contract
Many people know that they should get everything in writing when hiring a contractor, but few actually take the time to do so. This is especially true when it comes to roofers. A lot of people think that because roofing is a “big ticket” item, they don’t need to worry about getting a contract.
When you are in need of roof repairs, it is important to get a contract—and everything else— in writing from the roofer.
This will protect you from any potential problems that may arise. And note, this doesn’t need to be a pressured contract or sales pitch. A reliable contractor will give you multiple options and time to make a well-informed decision. They should also offer answers to your questions so that you can make the best decision for you. If you feel pressured to sign a contract on-the-spot, this is a red flag.
A written contract should include the following:
- The work that will be done
- The materials that will be used
- The price of the work
- A payment schedule
- The warranty on the work
- The contractor's contact information
Not having a contract can lead to all sorts of problems. You may not get the work you were promised, or the contractor may go back on their agreement after the job is completed. In some cases, you may not even be able to find the contractor again if they came previously knocking on your door after a big storm. Keep a sharp eye! Many contracts are sometimes disguised as an estimate or proposal. So, read all of the fine print before signing.
Follow these guidelines, and use common sense to avoid storm chasers. If a deal seems too good to be true, it could be a scam. Make sure ALL WORK is written down, even if changes are made to the original contract.
4. Do Your Research
Don’t commit to the first offer that you receive. Roof work is a big commitment, get multiple bids from multiple roofers BEFORE you accept a bid.
Make sure you research every roofer that you come into contact with for work. Reputable roofers should be:
- Properly licensed
- Committed to high-quality work
- Ethical in their business dealings
- Established, proven, and reliable
- Technically competent
- Willing to stand behind their work
- Committed to their industry
- Insured and committed to safety
- Trained and experienced
Look at their website and make sure that they have a brick-and-mortar office location. Most roofing storm chasers do not, so this is a great way to avoid getting scammed when the opportunity comes knocking. Download our Consumer Checklist for Selecting a Trusted Roofer for more great tips!
Avoid Roofing Storm Chasers with the CRA
By following these tips, you can avoid getting scammed by a storm chaser. Read more about how to spot a roofing scam in our guide. If you’re in need of a reputable colorado roofing contractor, use our website to search for a CRA Contractor Member.