Co-Owner of K & D Roofing
Are you worried you might be getting scammed by your “roofing contractor”?
Getting scammed just isn’t right. And, it’s all too common for homeowners to get scammed by roofing companies. Unfortunately, there are many roofers out there looking to make a quick buck and leave homeowners with a poorly installed roof.
You deserve a high-quality roof from a company that cares. That’s why we’re offering this guide to help you avoid roofing scams the next time you’re looking to get work done.
Imagine a big storm rolls through your neighborhood, and the next day, you notice a roofer walking throughout the neighborhood offering inspections and estimates for “damages” on your roof. After assessing the damage, the roofer might just offer to take your insurance policy, file all the claims, and do the work for you. So what’s wrong with this picture?
Well, there’s actually a lot of things that could definitely go wrong. To start, most roofers that take this door-to-door approach don’t actually have a professional, long-standing business, sometimes without insurance coverage. Instead, they travel and chase storms to work in places where homeowners are desperate and quick to spend their money on a new roof (hence the term “storm chasers”). The problem with that is you can pay them, or your insurance company might, and you’ll be left with a poorly done job and no local business to hold accountable for it. Not to mention, a poorly done job (such as one with incorrect ventilation) can leave you with more serious roof damage if not caught in time.
We encourage every homeowner to do their research in the wake of a big storm and to find a local, reputable contractor that cares about their reputation. An honest company that does good work and has a local presence will be much more reliable than a storm chaser.
When a company starts a bid low, that could mean you’ll get stuck paying more later. They advertise a low price upfront, but the roof will cost more than what they originally said and you’ll be left to come up with the difference before they finish (this of course happens after you’ve submitted the quote to file your insurance claim).
What’s worse is that it might not be obvious until you agree with them on pricing and then find out there are hidden costs like taxes or labor charges. Your roofer should be upfront about the process and pricing to help ensure that you’re properly taken care of. Just remember, there is no such thing as a free roof. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
If your roof isn’t leaking, isn’t very old, and hasn’t seen severe weather for some time, there shouldn’t be any damage. Yet, many roofers try to say that your roof has damage nonetheless.
This could indicate roofing scams or a roofer trying to push you for more money and work that doesn’t need to be done. Sometimes, they might say your neighbors have damaged roofs, which might compel you to let them inspect your roof. At a bare minimum, it is good to get a second opinion if you are going to get insurance involved. In general, if they can’t produce any proof, you should be very hesitant to work with them.
As we mentioned with the storm chasers, insurance fraud isn’t uncommon in the construction and roofing industry. Getting multiple bids and estimates can help to ensure that your roofing company isn’t trying to charge your insurance company for work that they aren’t doing.
This is where homeowners fall victim and have to bear the weight of the consequences if your roofing company commits insurance fraud. You might have to pay the money back to the insurance company or even get dropped by your insurance provider. As we have said before, many roofing companies offer a free roof inspection and would be happy to provide a second opinion. Remember this before signing on with the first guy that knocks on your door.
If you aren’t interested, then you just aren’t interested, and that’s okay. You don’t need to spend money on a new roof or fancy roofing materials if you don’t want to. Roofers can be pushy and really want to sign up a new customer. This can be frustrating, especially if you know the roof isn’t in bad condition or is just looking for some minor roof repair work. If they’re pushing you too hard, there may likely be something fishy going on with their business as well. Any company that can’t be patient for you to decide deserves a more careful look before signing anything.
Sometimes these types of shady tactics are combined with surprise charges, so you provide payment upfront, then you are surprised with additional fees and they won’t finish the job until you pay them. While this is an incredibly low blow, these types of contractor scams do happen so its good to be aware of the potential pitfalls.
When roofers use cheap materials for shingles or roof panels, they’ll need to cover the roof with more material than necessary, or the materials won’t last as long as they should. It’s never bad to ask your roofer about what materials they use and to ensure that they’re high-quality.
You might get a roof for cheaper if the materials are cheaper, and it might look nice and work well for 5 years or so, but after a while, you’ll likely have problems. That’s why it’s important to get the right materials installed, especially if your insurance will cover your roof replacement.
If your roofer asks for a large down payment upfront or says that the roof needs to be paid in full before they can finish, this can be a clear sign of a scam. Even if an insurance check is paying for the entirety of the damage, the roofing company shouldn’t need all of that money upfront.
Instead, half to start, and the other half when finished is a good policy and more commonly accepted by the industry. If you are skeptical about the roofing contractors you’ve been talking to, make sure to contact multiple local teams before you sign anything. Requesting quotes is a common part of the roofing industry and it is the smart thing to do, especially when insurance is involved.
Hopefully, these tips will help you steer clear of any roofing scams and keep a good roof over you and your families head. If you’re living in the Raleigh area and find yourself in need of some roof work, K&D Roofing would be happy to help. Reach out to us today to learn more or receive an estimate.