At Midwest Exteriors Plus, we take pride in our roofing installations. As summer storm season approaches, we would like to educate our neighbors about roofing scams used by a few roofers who bring a bad name to the industry. Roofing scammers often make big promises about your roof – but after receiving the check, they either disappear immediately or do sub-par work on your roof and then disappear.
Four Worst Scams
1. Act Now
A sales person claims his company’s crews are “just down the street” and if you act today, they can come over tomorrow and put down a new shingle roof. The price will be staggeringly low, the sales pressure staggeringly high, and the offer will be good for a staggeringly short time.
Prevention: Ask questions and sign no paperwork until you have checked on their credentials. Never pay money up front.
2. Storm Chaser
A storm chaser is an out-of-town roofer who plunges into a neighborhood right after hail or high winds, preying on homeowners who want quick roof repairs. A storm chasing roofing company will take whatever money your insurer provides as a first payment, slap down a shoddy roof, and disappear.
Prevention: Demand full details on licensing, community references, evidence of insurance, and a local address and telephone number.
3. Your “Lucky” Day
A “free” roof inspection by an unscheduled door-to-door sales person should be a warning sign. Most people do not recognize their own roof, so these fraudulent roofers may claim a picture of another home’s damaged roof is your Champlin home. This hard-sell sales person will insist that you sign paperwork, pressing you to make a decision immediately.
Prevention: Before signing any agreement with an unfamiliar roofing contractor, open up a claim and communication with your insurance company.
4. Down Payment
Honest and well-established roofers do not need a down payment to begin work or purchase materials. At Midwest Exteriors Plus we have creditable accounts with our suppliers, and do not require a down payment for most projects.
Prevention: Insist on a bill made out after all work has been completed on the project. This will help ensure that the quality you deserve is delivered.
An Ounce of Prevention
The Better Business Bureau, of which Midwest Exteriors Plus is a member, provides tips on hiring contractors, including roofers, such as these:
- Check out their track record
- Confirm their licensing, bond, and insurance
- Get estimates from at least three firms (if you are unfamiliar with the contractor who approached you)
- Use a local contractor in case followup service is needed