There are a lot of excellent, reputable roofing companies out there. Unfortunately, however, not every roofing company is honest and it’s important for homeowners to be able to tell the difference so that they don’t fall for a roofing scam. The following are signs of a roofing scam that homeowners should look out for.
If a roofing contractor knocks on your door and tells you that your roof needs to be repaired, then that’s a sign it might be a scam. Be wary of any unsolicited reports that your roof is damaged. Someone knocking on your door won’t have inspected your roof yet and so any information about roof damage may be inaccurate. If you’re concerned that your roof does actually have damage, it’s a good idea to search for a known reputable roofing company to conduct an inspection.
Storms, especially in Florida, which gets seasonal hurricanes, can cause a lot of damage to roofs. However, you should beware of any roofer that knocks on your door after a storm to let you know about damage to your roof. This is because, especially during hurricane season, reputable roofers are too busy repairing roofs to solicit sales door-to-door. If someone knocks on your door after a storm, it’s still a good idea to seek out a roof inspection, but you should shop around for a roofing contractor.
While not every roofing contractor has a full website, it’s much more common for a reputable company to have an online presence so that you can check customer reviews. A scammer may not have any online presence at all. This makes it easier for them to completely disappear once they’ve got your money.
Asking for Full Payment Upfront
A small down payment is normal for roofing work. This is to cover the cost of materials before the contractor gets started on the roof. However, if the roofer asks for either a large down payment or the entire payment upfront, then that’s a sign of a scam. Many scammers will disappear as soon as they have the money, or partway through the roofing job, leaving you with an unfinished roof. The bulk of the payment should always be paid at the end after the work is complete, just in case the original scope of the project changes part way through.
If the price that a roofer quotes seems too good to be true, that’s because it probably is. It’s important to shop around and ask for quotes from several different sources. However, most quotes from reputable roofing companies will be in the same ballpark. The materials and the labor shouldn’t be radically different. If one quote is a lot lower than the others, then it might be a scam in which either the scammer disappears with your money or inflated costs come up later on.
Offers to Handle Insurance Claims
If a roofer offers to handle processing the claim with your insurance company for you, that’s a sign of a scam. This is because the roofer might report more work to the insurance company than was actually done, thus committing insurance fraud. In this scam, the roofer offers to pay your insurance deductible for you. The homeowner should always have a hand in the insurance claim process so that you know exactly what’s being claimed.