Disreputable roofing contractors can emerge when a storm does extensive damage to commercial buildings and homes. Reputable roofing companies are able to book completely within hours, as hundreds and even thousands of properties could be affected by a single storm. The unscrupulous roofers will come knocking when they do.
These contractors are also known as storm chasers or fly-by-night roofers. They usually try to scam homeowners in desperate need of roof repairs. If you don’t know how they are spotted, you might be taken for quite some money.
It’s easy to recognize fly-by-night roofing contractors if you know what red flags you should look out for. Learn how to spot a roofing scam to protect your home and wallet from storm damage.
FLY-BYNIGHT ROOFERS – WHO ARE THEY? & WHO TARGET THEM?
Fly-by-night roofers, who are often uninsured contractors, try to sell their services door-to-door after severe storms. Be wary if you get knocked on your door by someone trying to sell storm damage repair services after severe weather. You could be dealing with a fraudster.
These unscrupulous contractors generally work in one way or the other. Either they take a deposit and then disappear or they perform the work, but leave you with a roof that isn’t going to last. You won’t get the work you pay for and you will end up paying more for high-quality roofing work.
These dishonest roofers usually target the following people: Although they don’t always choose the people they scam, fly-by night roofers are more likely to target these populations.
- Senior homeowners
- Homeowners looking to sell their home
- Families with low income
- People who have vacant homes
These scammers are responsible for thousands of property owners in the United States each year. You can avoid being scammed if you are able to recognize them. Let’s take a closer look at how to identify a fly-by night roofer.
FIVE SIGNS YOU’RE TALKING TO A FLIGHT-BY-NIGHT ROOOFER
Let’s suppose a storm hits your area and causes damage to your roof. Contractors trying to sell storm damage repair services to you should be avoided. This is not the only warning sign you should be looking for. These are just a few of the other signs that you need to be aware of.
It seems too good to be true!
Be wary of roofing contractors who offer storm damage repair estimates that seem like a great deal. Although roofing estimates may vary from one company to another, most quotes from reliable roofers fall within a given range.
Roof repairs and replacements, like most contracting services have a range of prices depending on the material used. Do your research if you receive a quote that is out of the ordinary. Most often, extremely low estimates indicate that roofers are doing low-quality work.
They want a large down payment before they can start work
Fly-by-night roofers will usually ask for a large down payment before they start work. Although it is not unusual for roofing companies to ask for a down payment before they start work, reputable roofers tend to stick to a predetermined range.
It is common to require a deposit of 15% for the lower end and 30% for the higher end projects. Be skeptical if a roofer asks for more that a third of the project’s cost upfront.
It is impossible to find testimonials from past clients
Every roofing company that is worth their salt should have testimonials from customers who can testify to the quality and reliability of their work. You might be dealing with a pop up roofer looking to make quick buck and then disappear.
Fly-by-night roofers are not uncommon to appear after a storm and scam many homeowners before then disappearing completely. They might reappear later under a completely different business name when another storm hits the area.
The company does not have an online presence
Reputable roofing companies understand that potential customers search online for information and services in the digital age. A company must be online to make a difference in a competitive market and inspire confidence in prospects.
Every high-quality roofer that you meet will have a website. Usually, they also have a presence on the home services websites. Sites like:
- The Better Business Bureau
- Angie’s List
You are most likely dealing with a fraudster if you don’t find any listings or business websites on any of the home service sites.
The Roofers don’t want to show proof of insurance or licensing
Roofers who are reputable have full insurance and licensing. If you find a roofer that doesn’t have these items or is unwilling to provide proof, don’t hesitate to walk away.
Unlicensed contractors are not permitted to work on your roof. They’re likely to do a poor and dangerous job. You also don’t want any uninsured roofers working on your home. You could be financially responsible for any property damage or injuries that occur during the work.
NEED TO REPAIR YOUR STORM DAMAGED ROOF? Old Time Roofing IS TRUSTABLE
If your roof sustains storm damage this summer, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team at Old Time Roofing. Our roofing experience spans over 50 years. No matter if you need a few roof repairs or a complete replacement, our contractors will deliver the best quality work.
This post was written by Ted Williams! Ted is the owner of A Old Time Roofing which is the premier roofing contractor in Clearwater FL! Ted is a Master Elite Weather Stopper GAF Roofing Contractor, a double award winner of Best Steep-Slope Contractor from GAF and achiever of Master Elite Consumer Protection Excellence from GAF. He has been serving the Pinellas County area since 1978. Old Time Roofing has a tradition of quality workmanship, servicing residential and commercial properties.