Roofing scams are becoming increasingly common, with unscrupulous contractors taking advantage of homeowners who are in need of roof repairs or replacements. These scams often result in shoddy workmanship, overpriced services, and even more damage to the roof. In order to protect yourself from falling victim to these scams, it’s important to be aware of the most common roofing scams and how to avoid them.
The “Emergency Roof Repair” Scam
Emergency roof repair scams often occur after a major storm when homeowners are in a panic to have their roofs repaired. Scammers will often go door-to-door, offering their services, claiming that the homeowner’s roof has been severely damaged and needs immediate attention. They may also use high-pressure sales tactics, demanding the homeowner sign a contract on the spot. In many cases, the scammer will demand payment upfront, perform subpar work, or take the money and run, never to be seen again.
- To avoid this scam, take the time to research contractors and get multiple quotes for the work. Be wary of door-to-door salespeople, and never sign a contract on the spot. Ask for and check references before hiring a contractor.
The “Bait And Switch” Scam
The bait and switch scam occurs when a contractor offers a low quote for a roofing job, only later to switch the materials or scope of the job once the work has begun. For example, a contractor may quote a price for a basic asphalt shingle roof but then switch to a more expensive material once the work has started. The homeowner is then left with a much larger bill than expected.
- To avoid falling for this scam, get a detailed written contract that clearly outlines the materials, scope of work, and payment terms. Ask for a written breakdown of the costs and materials that will be used.
The “Storm Chaser” Scam
The storm chaser scam is similar to the emergency roof repair scam. Scammers will follow severe weather events, offering their services to homeowners with damaged roofs. They may use high-pressure sales tactics, demanding payment upfront, performing subpar work, or simply taking the money and running.
- To avoid this type of scam, research contractors and get multiple quotes for the work. Be wary of door-to-door salespeople, especially those who show up immediately after a storm.
The “Unlicensed Contractor” Scam
An unlicensed contractor scam occurs when a contractor performs work without a proper license or insurance. If the contractor is injured on the job, the homeowner may be held liable.
- To avoid this common scam, check with your local licensing authority to ensure that the contractor is properly licensed and insured. Ask for proof of insurance coverage for all workers working on your property.
The “Up-Front Payment” Scam
The up-front payment scam occurs when a contractor demands payment upfront for the entire job before any work has been performed. Requests for large sums of money upfront are a red flag for homeowners. In many cases, the contractor will take the money and then either perform subpar work or simply take the money and vanish.
- To avoid this unscrupulous scam, never pay for the entire job upfront. Instead, consider paying in installments as the work progresses, with the final payment made after the work has been completed to your satisfaction.
Roofing scams can be costly and damaging to your home. By being aware of these common scams and taking steps to protect yourself, you can ensure that your roofing project is completed to your satisfaction. Always research contractors, get multiple quotes, and check references before hiring a contractor. A little due diligence on your part can go a long way in avoiding these scams.
Reporting Roofing Scams
Homeowners can be vulnerable to scams when it comes to roofing repairs. Knowing the warning signs of a scam can help protect your home and your wallet. If you think you’ve been a victim of a roofing scam, it’s important to report it to the authorities. Contact your state’s consumer protection agency and the Better Business Bureau to report the scam and to get help resolving the issue. If you live in Missouri, report scams to The Missouri Attorney General’s Office. It takes these scams seriously and is known for taking legal action against unscrupulous contractors and seeking restitution on behalf of consumers who paid deposits for construction work but received no work or who received substandard or incomplete work. It is also advised to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission or the National Roofing Contractors Association.
Hire a Trusted Local Roofing Company
Since 1999, Brian Dawson Roofing has installed residential and commercial roofing systems throughout the greater St. Louis region. Because all of our work is done under warranty and fully insured, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your new roof is dependable and long-lasting.
Contact us online or at (636) 733-6435 to schedule a free inspection and consultation. Our experienced professionals will arrive on time, equipped with state-of-the-art equipment to detect leaks and other problems your roof may have. Our mission is to provide quality roofing services and top-notch customer service, all at a competitive price.