Roofs are made to withstand weather elements, but extreme storms may leave a trail of destruction. Storm chasing roofers have earned their name by following storms. Their goal is to get a lot of roof repair work then move on to the next affected region in search of new homeowners to exploit. This article has tips on how to spot a storm chaser from a mile away and avoid them altogether.
Common Types of Storm Damage
Thunderstorms, hail, hurricanes, and tornadoes are some of the most dangerous storms. Depending on their severity, your roof may suffer varying degrees of damage. The types of storm damage include the following.
- Water damage. It results from either thunderstorms or heavy snow. The accumulated sip through the roof begins leaking into the house. It can lead to rot, wall damage and mold growth.
- Hail damage. High-speed pellets, some the size of a baseball can crack the shingles. Also, hail accumulates on the roof causing water damage.
- Wind damage. Tornado and thunderstorms cause high-speed winds. The shingles may be cracked, broken, curled and completely blown off from the roof.
How to Spot a Storm Chasing Roofer
- Look out for out of state tags. Most storm chasers are not from the area. The license plates on their vehicles usually give them away.
- Claims of staying in town. The nature of their business requires them to get back on the road every now and then. That won’t stop them from trying to convince you they are staying in town for a while.
- Check for local licensing. Every state has its own set of laws. Storm chasers are never licensed locally since their work in the community is temporary.
- Vague contingency agreements. Storm chasers make their money by submitting a lower invoice to the homeowner while milking the insurance company for as much as they can. This is a fraud. Don’t sign any contingency agreements which do not specify the work to be done.
- Look out for out of town subcontractors and crew. Storm chasers usually round up a crew they can pay as little as possible.
- Listen carefully to their offering. Quality roofing materials are very expensive and so is labor. A classic scam of most storm chasers is they can do the job for a huge discount (or almost free).
- They ask for payment upfront. No reputable contractor would ever ask you to pay upfront. Once you make payments it is likely you might never see them again.
How to Avoid Storm Chasing Roofers
- Do your research. Storm chasers only scam unsuspecting homeowners with very little information.
- Be aware of your state regulations. Go as far back as 2-3 years to check for a contractor’s business continuity. Don’t sign a contract with a representative whose license plates are from out of town.
- Ask for references. A legitimate roofing contractor will not hesitate to provide references. You can gauge the level of satisfaction from the referees. They are more reliable if they are from the local area.
- Ask for a warranty. Warranties cover you from any damages which could occur due to poor installation or low-quality materials. However, warranties are of no use if the contractor is long gone.
- Remain calm and patient. In the wake of a storm, most homeowners are in a state of panic. It makes you an easy target for storm chasing roofing scams.
- Don’t rush into anything. If they are wanting you to sign documents stating you’ll work with them at the first meeting, don’t!
- Insist on proof of insurance. Reliable contractors insure their workers in case of injury on the job. Storm chasing roofers won’t have this; you are then liable should any accidents happen to the workers on your property.
- Only work with locally licensed roofers. Storm chasers rarely have up-to-date local licensing. Hiring unlicensed contractors can lead to legal issues later.
- Say No to unsolicited offers. Storm chasers are known for their aggressive marketing tactics. There is nothing wrong with door-to-door sales. However, nobody should rush you into using their services.
Get Help Now
Storm chasing roofers are an opportunist with only one goal – to replace roofs as many roofs as possible at a low cost and get out of town. Unethical roof contractors can be hard to spot, but these tips will help you to be proactive in keeping them away.
Do you need more information? Are you trying to understand the costs of replacing a roof?
Pro Roofing & Siding provides a full range of roofing services. Our team of dedicated experts will guide you through the entire roof repair process after the damage has occurred. We have multiple service stations in Atlanta.