Building Awareness: The Reality of Roofing Scams and How to Avoid Them

One of the biggest problems that plagues the roofing industry is roofing scams. For every good roofing contractor there’s likely ten bad ones who try and take advantage of people by way of scams. And what’s worse is that it’s sometimes difficult to determine what’s a scam and what isn’t. In this post we’ll go over some common roofing scams and help you spot those scams to better protect yourself.

So, one of the biggest problems that roofers face is getting leads. And sometimes they take to methods such as going around a neighborhood knocking on doors offering roof inspections to try and get business. While this may be okay for a local roofing contractor in the area, when those door knocks come after a major storm in the area, it may not even be a local roofer you’re even talking to.

Roofing storm chasers basically go from area to area after a major storm hits. They likely aren’t licensed or insured since they move around so much. And that also makes them ‘not a local’ which means they may not know how the roof will perform over time. That’s even if they do any work at all.

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A shady tactic that many of these roofing storm chasers do is to falsify damage to the roof. To tell you that you need roof repairs which you actually don’t. And of course, they have the means to repair it right now for a small payment of $$$. Now, if you actually have water leaking inside your home from a roof leak, that’s one thing. But if you don’t see any signs of a roof leak, should you really believe there is a problem?

The best way to avoid problems with roofing storm chasers is to hire only local qualified roofing contractors that have been around for a time. Look at a company’s address and reviews online to determine if they are legit. It can certainly help you to avoid many roof scams that are out there by simply doing a bit of research.

Common Roofing Scams

We’ve went over roofing storm chasers above but there are a few other common roofing scams that you should be aware of. Here’s a few others that are common in the roofing industry and how you can avoid problems:

Roof Scams by IKA Homes

Take the Money and Run

While this may have been a great song it’s not the kind of scam you want to fall victim to when you need a roof repair one. Some roofing contractors will require payment up front for materials and such and then vanish without a trace.

Sometimes you may be able to get the money back but, many people simply can’t find the person or company again. The best way to avoid this is by working with the supplier of the materials if the materials needed are significant. Another thing you can do is to ensure that materials are delivered to your home for the project and then take an inventory when they arrive.

But for most contractors, they will offer financing options which can help you defer any payments until after the project is complete. This option can help you basically eliminate the ‘take the money and run scam’. Simply pay for the project after it’s completed or continue with the financing only after the project is complete to protect yourself.

Overbill Materials

If you’re paying up front for materials to repair or replace your roof be weary of buying materials for some other project. Some roofing contractors will order more materials than they need and then use those materials on other projects. You basically buy some other guys repair materials and the contractor gets paid for it.

Insist on a list of material that you’ll need for your project and if you’re paying for the materials be sure to keep a record of costs and materials used. Unused materials can typically be returned to get a refund as long as they are not damaged or used.

Insist on a Handshake

Gone are the days when a deal could be done by a handshake. I’m not saying there aren’t good people who stand on their words, but there are so many that won’t it means taking a huge risk if you’re a homeowner. A good licensed contractor will insist on using a contract for the project. For smaller roof repairs which are typically less than $1,000 they may not. But they will likely be available.

Insist on getting a contract for your roofing project which outlines the cost, materials used, time frame, and other details about the project. Be sure you also get a copy of this contract and any options or additions needs to be added. A contract will not only protect you but also the roofing contractor in case there are problems later. That’s why quality contractors will often use them on most projects.

Don’t Sign Over That Check

AOB scams have become a significant issue in the roofing industry, targeting unsuspecting homeowners and leading to fraudulent claims and higher insurance premiums. These scams involve contractors tricking homeowners into signing an Assignment of Benefit (AOB) form, which gives the contractor the right to negotiate and receive payment directly from the homeowner’s insurance company.

Talk with your insurance agent who can help guide you. Since they deal with this everyday they will have a good understanding of the situation and how to better protect yourself. Typically it’s better to get paid from the insurance and then pay the contractor but there are cases which either can be beneficial.

Get Quotes From Licensed Roofing Contractors

Don’t fall victim to roofing scams! Ensure your peace of mind. Call (844) 943-2373 now to get quotes from licensed, reputable roofing contractors that have been vetted in your area.

Rick Anderson

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