Your roof is an extremely important part of your home. It doesn’t just look nice, but also protects your home from weather and debris. Because it is important, many roofing scams seek to take advantage of homeowners who are worried about their roofs. Fortunately, there are some tips to help you avoid falling for a roofing scam.
The goal of a scammer is to get money quickly from a homeowner and then leave, often without either starting or finishing a job. If the job is finished, it’s often rushed, shoddy work that won’t last long. So what should you look for to spot a roofing scam?
The roofer shows up after a storm
If someone claiming to be a roofer knocks on your door right after a storm happens, telling you that your roof was damaged, they’re most likely a scammer. These people are called storm chasers because they go around residential neighborhoods after a storm and tell people that their roofs were damaged in the storm. Even if your roof really did sustain damage, it’s best not to hire a storm chaser. This is because the work is often rushed and done poorly. A roof repaired by a storm chaser most likely won’t last as long.
The roofer solicits your business
Good roofing companies are usually too busy after a storm to go door-to-door trying to look for business. Any roofing company that is going door-to-door for any reason (even if it’s not after a storm) and seek out clients is probably a scammer. The scammer may tell you that they’ve done work for your neighbors to pressure you into hiring them. If you think your roof has been damaged in a storm, your best bet is to contact a reputable roofing company.
Often scammers will claim that your roof has been damaged, but won’t be able to point it out. If you let a scammer on your roof to inspect it, then they may cause damage to your roof.
The roofer offers a discount because of extra materials
A common roofing scam involves a scammer knocking on your door and telling you that they’ve just completed work on a neighbor’s house. They’ll say that they have extra roofing materials left over from that job and will offer you a discount to do your roof as well. Instead, the price they offer either won’t be a discount, or the work will be shoddy and not last very long. You’re better off saying no and only getting the roofing work you need from a good, professional roofer.
Costs are extremely high after a free inspection
Free inspections are common in the roofing industry. Reputable companies offer them to quote how much a roof repair or replacement will cost. A scammer, however, will offer a free inspection and then inflate the amount of damage that your roof has, quoting an extremely high price. For this reason, it’s a good idea to get a second opinion from a known reputable company on any quote before going through with the transaction.
The roofer doesn’t offer free inspections
As mentioned earlier, free inspections are common in the roofing industry. Reputable companies offer free inspections as part of quoting a repair job to customers. If a company requires payment for an inspection, it’s probably a scam.
The estimate is unrealistically low
One way scammers hook homeowners is by offering an unrealistically low estimate. If an estimate for a repair or replacement seems too good to be true, it probably is. It’s a good idea to get a second opinion if an estimate seems too low. A scammer would take your money without ever completing the work that you paid for.
Some scammers will lure customers in with a low quote but then claim that the job had unforeseen problems and then later raise the price. Even if the scammer had the lowest bid initially, the work may end up costing more. Some scammers inflate the cost of the materials they’re using to make more money off of a customer.
The roofer requires a large downpayment
A downpayment on the cost of a roofing repair or replacement is normal in the roofing industry. Reputable roofing companies will offer financing options to help customers pay for the repair or replacement. If the downpayment required is a very large amount compared to a relatively low-cost repair, then it’s probably a scam. Scammers ask for a higher-than-usual downpayment while offering a low total price and then once they have been paid, take the money and go off the grid, leaving you without a roof repair.
The roofer doesn’t have a website
Reputable roofing companies usually have websites or some kind of online presence so that you can read previous customer reviews and contact the company. Scammers often don’t have websites and if there are reviews online, they won’t be good ones.
If you can’t find out much about a roofing company online, it’s best to avoid hiring them.
The roofer uses too much jargon
A scammer trying to convince you to sign a contract with them may be pushy. They may also use a lot of jargon in an effort to confuse you and convince you to sign. Some scammers may actually get up onto your roof to inspect it (and may actually cause some damage themselves), but many may try to bluff using technical roofing terms and being vague about what, exactly, is wrong with your roof. Before signing or paying anything, make sure to ask questions so you understand exactly what the damage is on your roof. And don’t hesitate to get a second opinion!
Need a reputable roofer?
If you’re searching for a roofer, look no further than Hippo Roofing. We offer roof repair, roof replacement, and inspections. Contact us today and get a free quote!