How to Spot Roofing Scams Before You Buy

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Because your roof is such an important part of your home, it’s also frequently the target of scams. Roofing scams try to take advantage of worried homeowners, and scammers may even appear to be real roofers, at least at first glance. Here are the top signs that you’re being scammed by a “roofer” who’s just looking to make a profit.

Showing Up After a Storm

Many roof scammers are called storm chasers because they call or knock on doors right after a big storm. They’re trying to find easy targets by telling homeowners that their roofs were damaged by a recent storm. The truth is, professional roofing contractors are usually too busy after a storm to make house calls to strangers. If someone shows up out of the blue or calls you repeatedly, be very skeptical.

Using Industry Jargon

Roofing scams have one goal: Get cash from a homeowner quickly and then disappear. Scammers will frequently be pushy and persistent when trying to have you sign a contract or provide financial information. However, they may avoid discussing the details about what’s actually wrong with your roof.

While the occasional scammer may try to climb on your roof to find or even create a problem, most just try to bluff their way through, hoping that homeowners won’t question the jargon they use. It’s important to always ask questions! Ask for details about exactly what’s wrong with your roof, and how it will be repaired.

Insurance Fraud

Beware of the roofing contractor who talks about cheating your insurance company. Some may offer to contact your insurance company to determine your coverage for roof repair, while others may try to hide the fraud in your estimate. Some scammers may even suggest faking reports or covering deductibles so they can charge more money. Besides being illegal, this is a deal-breaker. If a roofer is willing to cheat your insurance company, they will cheat you, too.

No Free Inspections

Many professional roofers offer a free inspection or estimate before they start working. Findlay Roofing provides you with a free analysis so that you understand what needs to be done. On the other hand, scammers often demand a downpayment or charge fees for providing an estimate of the work.

No Online Presence

When choosing a roofer, look for an online website, online reviews, Better Business Bureau ratings, and any other data. Scammers rarely have an online presence, or at least not one that is well reviewed. Reading reviews that other consumers wrote is always a wise idea.

Unrealistic Estimates

Also beware of an estimate that is far lower than other bids. Roofing scams often provide very low bids to lock you into a project and add extra charges later, until you’re paying far too much. When in doubt, ask about added charges and hidden fees.

Photo source: BigStock

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