You want to be sure the structure of your roof can support the home and prevent any rain, debris, or other particles coming into your home.
But do you truly need roof work done? Or is a salesperson pressuring you into a scam?
Protect your roof, but also protect the money that is in your pockets. Here are 15 common ways to identify roofing scams, and tips on how to receive the best from your roofing services.
15. Research the Roofer
We live in the amazing age of technology. It’s easy to do a search on a company and receive consumer reports about roofing scams at your fingertips.
This is vital when choosing a roofer.
If a roofer approaches you and you receive sketchy vibes, jot down their name and the name of the organization. Be sure to ask for additional information such as why they approached you and how much they’re charging.
Conduct a search of reviews and also look at the company website and their past work.
If you mostly find negative feedback or an unprofessional site, or even a lack of website and portfolio, then don’t do business with this individual.
In addition, research if you truly need a roofer. Most roofing issues only require replacing shingles; this is a task you can easily perform yourself.
14. Hire a Roofer Who’s Local
A great tip to avoid roofing scams is hiring a local roofer or hiring a local roofing company. These businesses are typically promoted by word-of-mouth, so you receive feedback from your loved ones and neighbors.
Local companies can be more trustworthy than large corporations. But it’s recommended you still find reviews by reaching out to the local community or looking online.
A great local roofing company knows they have a lot of competition, so they will be sure to have examples of their past work on a great website.
These businesses also rely on local support, so their service is usually exceptional. Plus, their services are more cost-effective compared to corporate roofers.
13. Avoid the Door-to-Door Salesman
You probably experienced one of these roofing scams before. A seemingly nice guy arriving at your door, offering to take a look at your roof.
Say there was a storm or maybe your roof is just old. You think it’s a nice gesture, and if he’s not charging a lot of money then why not?
This is where you should stop and decline his services.
Unqualified roofers are the ones who approach your doorstep. They run with your money without even taking a look at your roof.
Roof damage can even be done by these scam artists. They damage your roof, blame the damage on the weather or wear and tear, and then charge you extra to fix the damage.
Reputable roofing companies don’t walk door-to-door. They’re busy with their clients. Instead, they schedule a consultation when you inquire.
12. Have Patience
It was just mentioned that reputable roofing companies are usually very busy. They’re usually booked up and won’t be able to tend to your roof immediately.
Which is why scam artists look attractive — they’re willing to do the work immediately.
Most people fall into these roofing scams because it’s easy; hiring a professional takes time, but it will be worth it. Reputable roofing companies suggest staying patient.
If the work is extremely urgent, stay with a loved one or at a hotel. There is a lot that goes into fixing a roof, so the roofing experts need to identify the issues and schedule a time to repair them.
11. Look for Qualifications
Say you need roofing work done and you’re approached by someone who seems trustworthy, but you still get weird vibes. Don’t be afraid to demand proof of their qualifications.
What does this mean? The only way a roofer can legally work on your roof is if they’re qualified. A qualified roofer either has Trustmark, NFRC, or Competent Roofer approval.
Certified roofers are easily distinguishable. Reputable companies usually have their certification on their website or at their office.
Whereas, a salesman is only trained to appear trustworthy and reliable. They don’t actually know how to repair your roof — they only know how to take your money and commit roofing scams.
10. They Ask for Money Upfront
You don’t want to give money to a random stranger, but you especially shouldn’t give money to someone who approaches your door offering to fix your roof in exchange for a down payment or cash.
They will have some excuse such as they need the down payment for supplies.
After these scam artists receive your money, they will run.
This is one of the easiest ways to identify a scam artist. A reputable roofer will never ask for money upfront.
When you inquire, they will give you a price after observing the damage. While fixing a roof isn’t cheap, a reputable roofer will be reasonable and won’t ask for a large sum upfront.
9. Changing the Quote Several Times
Say a random roofing scam artist or a door-to-door roofer approaches your home and states their quote. Their quote is reasonable and they seem reliable, so you accept it.
As they view your roof, they tack on more damages and the cost of the quote adds up. This quote adds up even more as they perform the work.
A reputable roofer will usually have an estimated quote listed online, and you will be able to calculate that when you call them. A reputable roofer won’t officially state the quote until they conduct a thorough inspection of your roof.
Don’t forget, roofing scams can come from reputable companies. You could still be overcharged, so you should always inquire with multiple companies and compare quotes.
8. Inadequate Repair
This is one of the most difficult roofing scams to spot. You won’t immediately notice inadequate roofing work. You may not even notice the damage immediately after the worker fixed your roof.
Or, you notice your roof looks great. But then a storm blows through, and you realize your roof wasn’t able to support the damage.
This is usually done by seemingly reputable companies who charge a cheap quote or aren’t as experienced. They will only target minor issues such as putting up new shingles rather than actually fixing the root of the problem.
To make sure you avoid this, read your contract. See if there’s a way you can have someone re-do any damage for no extra cost, or see if there’s a way you can receive a full refund.
7. Unnecessary Repairs
On the opposite of inadequate repairs, some roofing scam artists will do too much unnecessary work.
You think they’re being honest and you would rather have a stable roof than a roof that can’t protect your home. So you oblige. But this work can be pointless and the scam artist will end up overcharging you.
This issue is extremely hard to notice and you may not even notice you were ripped off. If the worker did a good job, your roof will last decades. But what was the point of that service if you technically didn’t need that service?
6. They Want to Work Immediately
There’s a lot that goes into fixing your roof.
You contact the company, they observe the roof, they state the repairs and they request a quote. When the insurance company and HOA approve the service, the roofer gets to work.
One of the many examples of roofing scams is when the roofer wants to immediately start the repairs.
The scariest part is the fact that these roofers can be professionals that you’re contracting, not the typical door-to-door scam artists.
Try to observe their behavior if they want to work immediately. Identify any high-pressure sales or even if they encourage you to sign a contract without reading it.
5. A Very Low Bid
Let’s say either a reputable roofer or door-to-door roofing salesman offer you a quote you can’t refuse: a decent amount of work for a low price. You can’t help but accept this, especially if you truly need roof work done.
There are a couple of different issues with this scenario. The roofer will both quote you at a low price and increase the price as he works on your roof.
He could also state he saw the damage that wasn’t there or even causes damage himself.
These scammers can go as far as replacing your roof without the consent from you or your insurance company, and charge you for the replacement.
Or, he could do a poor job and perform inadequate repairs.
4. Scammers Approach You After a Storm
When a major storm hits, it’s easy to fall victim to storm roofing scams. You desperately need roof repair from the storm damage and you’re getting a headache dealing with the insurance company.
These scam artists offer cheap repairs with little to no involvement from the insurance company.
In reality, these scammers attempt to exploit you after the storm. They will use you for your money, barely do repairs, and you could potentially get in trouble with your insurance company.
If you get approached by someone after a storm, always contact your insurance company. During the times of a storm, your county will usually have crisis measures set in place.
Involvement with stingy, roofing business deals isn’t necessary.
3. Stating Insurance will Cover the Cost of the Roof
Say you’re having a consultation with a roofing company. They observe the damage and you give them the information for your home insurance.
You receive a call back from the roofing company stating they contacted your insurance company and they’re covering all of the damage costs.
While that is the best-case scenario, this is also too good to be true.
In rare cases does the insurance company even cover your deductible; your roof will have to endure minor damages, and at that stage, there is no point in having roofing repairs.
If there’s serious damage to your roof, stay in contact with your insurance company. If the roofing company says the insurance company is covering the deductible, call your insurance company and verify.
Stories such as these explain there are roofing scams where roofers travel around, targeting homes affected by storms, promise roof work and stating they storm insurance will cover it.
They collect the checks and either doesn’t do the work or don’t pay the contractors.
2. They Want to Overlook HOA Standards
If you live in a community under the Homeowner’s Association (HOA) then you understand there are strict standards when making any changes to your home.
A reputable roofer understands this, and they will cooperate with the HOA’s standards.
However, roofing scams won’t care about HOA rules. They will use cheap materials or the materials they have on-hand so they receive more money in their pockets.
1. They Travel or Move Around
If you find out a roofing company has moved around a lot, it’s a good idea to avoid them.
While they could still exercise honest practices, but they could also be engaging in fraudulent activity.
These traveling roofers are called ‘storm chasers.’ They target areas commonly affected by hurricanes, tornadoes, hail, and other natural disasters.
They collect checks from insurance companies and either don’t perform work or perform the work cheaply.
Roofing scams where the company moves around could also be a company with legal repercussions against them in other states.
Always Avoid Roofing Scams
If anyone ever approaches you offering to fix your roof, chances are it’s a scam.
Don’t ever give in to a sale unless you truly need your work done. And don’t ever let someone who approaches you fix your roof — shop around and find reliable roofers in your area.
If you need the most reliable people to fix your roof, contact us and we’ll survey the damage.