Watch Out For These 5 Roofing Scams
Mosaic Roofing in Denver knows that roofs wear-out, and in Colorado, hail damage may have you looking for a new roof sooner than you think. But a great article we found on Angie’s List warns you to watch out for these 5 roofing scams.
1. Take the Down Payment and Run
If a roofing company requires a down payment before starting the work, beware. Many companies requiring a down payment to buy materials or to pay their labor, may take your check and never return. People who own their homes are often the target of these scams because the insurance check for the roof will be made out to them.
You should never give them a down payment check until the roofing materials have arrived.When you file a claim with your insurance company, the adjuster will examine the damage. Your insurance company will give you a check as an initial payment for the roof replacement cost. Once the job is complete, the insurance company will pay the remaining balance. But if you aren’t careful rip-off roofers may take that initial down payment and never be seen again.
Don’t give them any money until they begin the project or at least deliver roofing materials.
2. The Free Roof Inspection
If a door-to-door salesman stops by your house without being requested and offers a free roof or offers to inspect your roof for free, just say no. These types of scammers often target senior citizens, older neighborhoods or areas that have been hit with a hail storm.After offering a free roof inspection, they will go up to the roof and create damage to look like storm damage or show you a picture of roof damage from a different home and say it’s your damage. Sometimes they may go as far as tearing off shingles or hitting the roof with a hammer to make it look like hail damage.
3. Storm Chasers from Out-of-Town
Another on of the 5 roofing scams is the out-of-town storm chasers or roofing gypsies. There are roofers that travel to different states following the storms that have caused hail or wind damage, looking for homeowners to scam. The storm chasers find the areas that have had severe storms (hail, wind or tornados) that caused damage. They pass out leaflets and offer a free roof inspection.Many of these storm chasers will put on an inferior roof, doing the very least to repair the damage. They do not address many of the damage issues and the roof is not restored to its original condition. The fly-by-night company leaves and you are left with a cheap roof, often with many problems and no way to find the company. Many of these companies do not have a license or insurance.
You can ask for proof of both the license and insurance before you agree to use a company. Visit the company’s office. If a company only has a post office box and no real office, be cautious. Ask for a list of references and check the work sites.
4. High-Pressure Sales Tactics
Don’t fall for the high-pressure tactic of roofing salesmen who show up and promise a special deal or price if you sign immediately. Since none of us have purchased too many roofs in our lifetimes, it is easy to fall for it.The high-pressure sales scam is used to prevent you from getting other bidders. Don’t give a down payment for a roof. Don’t fall for their demands that both decision makers have to be present to talk to them. If at any point you don’t feel comfortable, you should ask the roofing salesperson to leave.
5. The Increasing Bid
After the job has been started, some roofers try to raise the price. Sometimes this is called the elevator ride. The contractor bids low to get the job, then finds additional problems or damage and the cost of materials suddenly increases. Making sure things are spelled out in the contract is a good way to hold the roofing contractor accountable.
As you watch out for these 5 roofing scams, Mosaic Roofing in Denver warns about discovering roof deck damage. The condition of the bottom layer or the foundation of the roof deck can’t be determined before the work begins. Once the job has started they may find damage to the roof deck, so legitimate roofing companies will include the cost to replace the roof deck per square foot in the initial contract, including labor and materials. Generally, the charge should be around $1.50 per square foot to replace the damaged decking. Make sure your contact addresses the roof deck.