Is your roof in need of repair? When scouting out a roofing professional, it is best to take some time and do your research. Roofing companies have been known to use misleading tactics in order to gain business by catching you off guard when you are most vulnerable. If you feel uneasy about a contractor, go with your instinct as these signs may point toward roofing scams, fraud and double-dealing that you may want to avoid.
Storm chaser is a derogatory name for roof repair salesmen who come calling in a neighborhood after a storm. They search for homes with damage (or sometimes try every door), and offer to make repairs. Unfortunately, this is often a scam to win money from anxious homeowners. These storm chasers often disappear before any real work is done or make shoddy repairs that are not worth the effort. Quality professionals do not need to use door to door tactics
to look for business.
Bait and Switch Estimates
Estimate scams are very common amongst low quality roofing contractors. There are a couple of ways that these scam artists attack their prey. Contractors may give you an extra low bid upon your first meeting, however, without your knowledge, they begin to add additional expenses for undocumented problems until the final cost is higher than what the consumer expected.
Inflated Damage Reports
Another common tactic occurs when contractors provide inaccurate information regarding how much roof damage has actually occurred. The prices may seem reasonable, however, the contractor will fraudulently make up problems to increase the bid. This tactic is particularly effective amongst homeowners who are not knowledgeable about their own rooftops.
If a roofing company immediately pressures you to accept an estimate and sign a contract, you may want to take a step back. High pressure tactics are a sign of roofing scams at work. The contractor doesn't want you to think too hard about the offer or delay and consider other opinions. The more pressure there is to make an immediate decision, the more you should back away.
Suspicious Deductible Work
Deductible roofing scams are a common problem in the United States. They occur when roof repair is covered by insurance, but the roof contractor agrees to waive the deductible fee, leaving you with little or no payments. Behind this offer is a case of insurance fraud: The roofer convinces the homeowner to give fake reports to the insurance companies, or reduces the price of the roof after the claim has already been sent. Both options are often illegal.
There may be very rare cases in which a down payment is suitable for a huge roofing project. In most situations do not agree to a down payment or prepayment of any kind. This is an extra-easy scam where the roofer simply takes your money and disappears. A signed contract doesn't mean much if the company you signed it with doesn't actually exist, so say no to down payment situations.