How to Protect Yourself Against Storm Chaser’s Roofing Scams (Don’t Get Scammed!)
Don’t fall for low roofing replacement bids- protect yourself against roofing scams with the following advice from roofing experts.
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Enduring a natural disaster like a tornado, hurricane, earthquake or severe snowstorm or hailstorm is a nerve-racking experience. You never know what to expect.
Of course, the safety of you and your loved ones is your top priority during a severe weather event or disaster. But after the event has passed and you know that your friends and family are okay, you may be left dealing with a new frustration: storm damage.
If your roof is unexpectedly damaged, you may go into full panic mode, frantically trying to figure out what your next steps should be.
That’s where storm-chaser roofers come in to take advantage of you. Storm chasers follow areas that recently experienced a severe weather event or natural disaster, quickly doing repairs for “cheap” before they move on to the next city.
Don’t fall for these tactics. Always talk to your home insurance company and do your research first. Storm-chaser roofers will frequently provide poor workmanship, or not follow through on the job at all.
What is a Storm Chaser?
Storm chasers are traveling roofers that pack up and go to cities where severe weather or another natural disaster recently occurred.
They go door-to-door trying to sell their quick roof repair services to homeowners in the area before moving on to their next location.
Storm chasers offer seemingly appealing contracts by promising that the project will be free or very cheap for you. They “guarantee” that your home insurance company will cover the cost and that you can sign their documents without any worries.
Sweet deal, right? Your roof gets fixed quickly, and your insurance covers the cost.
Not only do storm chasers have no incentive to back up their work with a warranty, they may not even show up to finish the job in the first place.
But there’s more.
They may try to convince you that you have roof damage that needs immediate attention when nothing is wrong with your roof at all. They may even pose as representatives from your insurance company, asking for your personal information and pushing a sale.
Don’t let a roofing storm chaser scam you. In this guide, we will walk you through how to identify and protect yourself against these shady companies and get service from a trustworthy, local roofer instead.
Our Favorite Roofing Contractors
Don’t let untrustworthy roofing companies pressure you into a contract before you’re ready. Instead, look for a reputable local roofing company that offers quality services and can back them up with a warranty, too.
We’ve researched dozens of roofing companies, and these are our favorites. If you’d like to get connected with one of our top-recommended roofing contractors, you can select one below to get started.
That’s because they pick up and leave your city once the next event happens — leaving you in the dust. Never let these shady roofing companies rush you into an agreement that you’re not completely comfortable with.
This guide will provide you with the tools and insight you need to avoid being scammed by a subpar roofing company.
Erie Metal Roofs
How to Identify Roofing Storm Chaser Companies?
Regrouping after a storm shouldn’t have to include dealing with scammers. Luckily, there are ways to identify roofing storm chasers and protect yourself. Here are the red flags that are dead giveaways that you’re dealing with a disreputable roofing company:
- Solicitors: Reputable roof companies do not typically hire salespeople to go door-to-door trying to convince you that you need a new roof or roof repairs. Your insurance provider won’t come to your home or call you if you have not reached out to them first. Be wary of people claiming to represent your insurance company asking for personal details about you and your insurance deductible and policy. This is likely a scam.
- Pressuring sales tactics: Storm chasers want to secure as many projects as possible in a short period of time, so they may try to pressure you into signing contracts and starting the roof installation as quickly as possible. An established local company will not pressure you into making decisions about your roof prematurely.
- Not a local company: Storm chasers are roofers that travel to different locations that just experienced a big storm. Because they are traveling roofers, storm chasers are not local to the areas they work in. They do their work quickly and move on, so they won’t back up their work with a warranty. To confirm if a company is local, look online to see if it is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), has positive reviews and has an active website.
- Offering free inspections: Although a legitimate roofer offering a free inspection isn’t a scam, be wary of illegitimate storm chasers insisting on performing this service for you. During their “inspections,” scammy companies have purposely damaged roofs to provide “proof” that your roof needs a repair — creating the problem so you can pay them to fix it.
- Promising a free roof: Storm chasers may claim that you can get a roof replacement at little or no cost. But this is no guarantee. If you haven’t personally spoken with a legitimate representative from your insurance company and have an approved insurance claim, your roof will not be free.
If you’d like to get connected with a trustworthy local contractor, you can select one of our top-recommended providers below to get started.
How Do I Protect Yourself Against Storm Chaser Scams?
There are ways to protect yourself against storm chaser scams. For starters, don’t rush into an agreement, and call your insurance company first. Doing your research to find a reputable company and identifying roof issues yourself will safeguard you against fraudulent companies.
- Don’t rush into an agreement: After a storm hits, scammers are hoping to catch you in a vulnerable moment and rush you into a binding contract without knowing all the facts. Never rush into an agreement like this.
- Call your insurance company first: If your roof has sustained damage from a storm or freak accident, always call your insurance provider first. File a claim and discuss your options before entering into a contract with a roofer. Many insurance companies will even help you find a roofer to do the job.
- Identify when your roof needs a repair or replacement: If the damage to your roof is not immediately obvious, don’t let a scammer convince you that you need an urgent repair. Instead, look for the signs yourself. Roof leaks, gutter clogging, signs of moisture and sagging are all tells that your roof needs attention from a professional.
- Find a reputable company: Do your research to find a local roofer that does quality work. Check that your roofer has all the necessary licenses and certifications, is locally based and has positive online reviews. The roofing company you hire will never require you to pay the entire cost of a new roof up front, and it will back its work up with a warranty.
Using Homeowners Insurance for Roof Storm Damage Repairs
If your roof was damaged by a storm or another unavoidable accident, your homeowners insurance or home warranty will usually help you cover the cost of the necessary repair or replacement.
Once you’ve called your insurance company, your insurer may send out a representative to do a roof inspection. Then your claim can be filed and the process of fixing your roof will begin.
Home warranties will cover you in more situations than standard home insurance will, so it’s wise to be prepared for the worst with a home warranty that covers roof damage.
How Do I Connect With a Certified Professional Roofer?
The bottom line is, if something seems fishy with your roofing contractor, it probably is. EcoWatch can help you stay informed, avoid scams and find a certified professional roofing contractor in your area.
If you’d like to be connected with one of our top-ranked roofing companies, you can select one of our recommended providers below for a free, personalized estimate.
FAQ: Storm Roof Scams
Roofing scams come in a ll shapes and sizes including roofers that demand payment in advance, roofers that offer you below market quotes or lowball bids, roofers that exaggerate your damages, and roofers that do shoddy repairs with poor quality materials. Don’t get scammed, always do your research and go through a trusted marketplace or referred contractor to be safe.
Not very reliable, often times the cheap work done by storm chaser roofers don’t last the full amount of time that a normal roof should last. For reference a well prepared roof can last 10 years.
Yes it is normal for roofers to ask for a deposit, after-all they are conducting a business transaction. Just make sure to have a contract written up. If you need help finding a secure and reliable roofer it is recommended to go through a third party marketplace or ask for a referral from neighbors or friends.