Is My Roofer a Scam Artist?
It’s that time again in Texas when bluebonnets groves are everywhere, the grass is greener, and butterflies are floating around. But with April showers also come hailstorms and “roofers.” When even the smallest of hail stones hit your roof, you can be sure that your neighborhood will be flooded with so-called roofers. While it is true that sometimes small hailstones can cause roof damage, it takes the “perfect storm” to do so. So how do you know if the fellow knocking on your door is a legit roofing professional or a scam artist looking for a quick dollar?
Is my Roofer a Scam Artist?
Your roofer might be a scam artist if he or she does one of these 5 things.
Informs You Have Roof Damage Before an Inspection
If someone knocks on your door and tells you that you have roof damage without performing a roof inspection, there is a good chance they are a scammer. Roofing professionals know exactly what to look for when it comes to hail damage. They may tell you that from the signs, they can see from the ground that your roof may have damage, but it will take a closer look to be sure. If anyone tells you to sign an intent agreement and to file a claim and hasn’t spent some time on your roof inspecting for roof damage, then you should dismiss them and seek a second opinion before doing anything.
If the Roofer Ask for More than Half Down
One big red flag is when a roofer asks for a deposit of more than half down. Now it is common for a request of half down, but anything excess of that should raise awareness. Professional roofers often ask for half down to minimize the risk of nonpayers and to solidify the contract. This is a risk-reduction practice. However, scammers are often greedy and will try to acquire as much of the money upfront, knowing that they will never return to do any work. Before you sign any contract or intent agreement, be sure you know the payment terms.
Is the Company a Legitimate Business?
When the storms hit, “roofers” come out of the woodwork looking to hit it big. Any guy with a truck and ladder becomes a roofer. To ensure your roofer is an actual roofer and not a scammer, research the company and ensure that they are a legitimate business. Multiple page websites, BBB ratings, and an online presence is a quick way to legitimize a business. A legitimate roofing company will be there for your questions or warranty issues down the road. The guy with a truck and a ladder, well, they will just be down the road with your hard-earned money.
What Do the Reviews Say?
When you make a new purchase, it is common practice to head over to the reviews and see what everyone is saying. The same goes for choosing a roofer. Look them up online and read the reviews to ensure that they operate professionally, warranty their work, and will offer you the best experience. However, be critical when reading the reviews that they are real and not just been bought. It’s often not that difficult to tell when a review is fake. People do not write in the same manner, and they have different experiences. Browsing through several reviews should reveal their authenticity.
They Say They Will Cover Your Deductible
For many, a hail claim was a payday or a free roof as roofing companies were forced to cover the deductible or give a cash bid due to the competition from the lowballing guys with trucks and ladders. These guys could do the work for less, knowing that they would not have to warranty their work and did not have any overhead expenses typical of a legitimate business.
The work that these “roofers” performed was so often subpar that the Texas government was forced to write legislation to force the insured to pay their deductible so that honest roofing companies could afford to perform the work according to the insurance scope of work and still be able to pay their workers properly for the work performed.
Prior to this legislation, the insured were still required to pay their deductible in order for depreciation to be collected, but it was not enforced by Texas law. Now, to collect the total depreciation, all the work must be performed and paid for in full, including the deductible. Texas State law HB2102 went into effect on September 1st, 2019, making it illegal for a contractor to assist, discount, or cover the deductible in any way. It is a crime for the contractor and the insured if violated.
Choosing Your Roofing Contractor
When it is time to choose your roofing contractor, it is most important that the contractor will be around for years to come to warranty their work. Choose a roofer that you feel comfortable working with and is honest. In Texas, having a good working relationship with your roofer is important as your home is at risk of hail damage every year.
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