Thousands of homeowners fall victim to roofing company scams every year. Because your roof is your first line of defense against the weather, you’ll want to make sure it’s in good shape. Many homeowners, on the other hand, have no expertise selecting trustworthy roof repair professionals and may fall prey to classic roofing scams. After all, it’s not every day that a homeowner has to deal with roofing issues.
When it comes to roof repair or replacement, especially during tornado or hurricane season, these are several warning indicators to keep an eye out for.
Roofing Salesperson Who Comes to Your Door
You may hear a knock on your door after a severe storm or weather event while you are still recovering from the occurrence. When you open it, you’re greeted by a nice roofer who offers you a free roof inspection as a community service.
Don’t be duped. Salespeople who go door to door are taught to sell and sell aggressively. They will use every trick in the book to persuade you to let them onto your asphalt shingle or flat roof. If your roof is in great working order before they leap on it, you’ll almost certainly have damage when they come down.
To make their claims of wind damage more credible, these door-to-door con artists use hammers to simulate hail damage or pull off wood shingles. Their “proof” must persuade your insurance company to accept a damage claim. They will then pretend to do work or do a poor job, forcing you to file a claim for more tile roofing repairs a year or two later.
Another approach is to try to persuade naïve consumers to forego filing an insurance claim for their metal roof, for example, in favor of paying the con artists a ‘cheap’ price to complete the service off the books. They simply take the money and depart without doing anything.
While there are some trustworthy door-to-door roofers, it’s best to be careful when someone knocks on your door unexpectedly offering assistance. Choose a local, respectable, and trusted roofing contractor to be safe and get several quotes and expert opinions about your roof condition.
Read the Fine Print
Never sign anything you haven’t thoroughly read.
Roofing scammers will wave documents in your face and offer to give you a summary of what they say, causing you to sign without reading what you’re signing. They might also inject a feeling of urgency into the mix by stating that your roof problem must be resolved immediately and that they can’t wait for you to think about it or speak to anyone else.
You should also keep in touch with your insurance company at all times, and never sign anything without first consulting with them.
An Assignment of Benefits (AOB) document is a huge red flag in the roofing industry. An AOB authorizes a third party, in this case a roofing contractor, to file an insurance claim on your behalf, make repair decisions, and collect insurance funds. It implies that you will not be a part of the process at all.
There are certain advantages to having an AOB. For example, if a pipe bursts while you’re on vacation, the plumber you’ve employed for the past ten years requests that you sign an AOB so he may quickly repair it. When a roofing contractor pushes you to sign an AOB right away, problems develop.
Payment in Full Up Front
Before any work is done, you should not have to pay a roofing contractor more than a reasonable deposit (usually 10-20% of the total job cost). Fraudulent roofers may convince you that they need all of the money up front to buy materials or employ people to finish the job.
They might tell you a sob story about how they’ve been conned by homeowners just like you. You feel bad because the contractors have to feed their families, right?
Scammers will play on your emotions to persuade you to pay for their services in advance, then take your money. They will do everything they can to get you to work with them and pay over your hard-earned money. You lose out in the end, and they walk away with your money.
Roofing Scam Red Flags
- Door-to-door marketers offering a free inspection
- There is a pressing need for you to sign paperwork without first reading it
- Requests for Benefits Assignment
- Roofers attempting to dissuade you from speaking with your insurance company
- Quotes that seem too good to be real
- Demands for the entire sum of money before work begins
Obtaining numerous quotations from local, reputable roofing companies is one of the greatest methods to guard against roofing frauds. A local roofing company will not abandon you, and will most likely have positive recommendations from pleased clients in your area. Their local reputation is at stake. This isn’t true for fly-by-night roofers who follow bad weather and are here today, gone tomorrow.