Roofing scams: property owners be wary after storm
There is probably not another scam artist attraction that homeowners fall victim to more than a roofing disaster. With the hailstorm that occurred in the Prescott area on Sunday, July 11, it is very easy for fraudulent roofing companies to prey on unsuspecting homeowners.
Unscrupulous companies want to make some quick money and hire “boots on the ground” representatives to go door-to-door and try to obtain business. There are local roofing contractors that offer professional and superior service versus those other “roofers” that offer the other end of the spectrum such as frustration, shoddy work, and unethical mannerisms.
The roof is one of the single most important components of a home and it is critically important that homeowners use reliable reputable roofing contractors for repairs and replacement.
Be wary of door-to-door solicitations. Be wary of high-pressure tactics. Do not pay money up front, never pay in cash and never pay for work not done or to buy materials and never pay an individual. It is important to obtain three bids and always be wary of substantially lower bids. Hiring a roofer is not just about the bottom-line price. You should look at the entire contract and service being provided. I have had numerous calls about installation issues and in many of these cases, the homeowner selected the lowest bid. Always check for a current license status and update by calling YCCA.
Be wary of the roofer who tells you it won’t cost you anything and that they work with insurance companies. Do not just go with the guy who is walking through your neighborhood with a bunch of signs in the yards. Be wary of non-local companies. Use local long-standing companies that support the area and the community, where the employees and owners live.
If you feel you have been pressured into signing a contract, call the company back and cancel the contract.
It is important to know what type of shingles are on your roof. Request a written contract with the details of the work, removal of current shingles, or recover, material product and manufacture name, quantity of bundles and check the date on the wrapped shingles. Never install anything that is close to 5 years old. Never install a product that has the date torn off or blacked out.
Avoid the sting and become informed.
Following are the pointers once again:
• Never pay in cash;
• Never pay an individual;
• Contract, contract, contract – get a detailed written contract;
• Never allow the roofer to contact your insurance carrier;
• Verify that a permit for the work may or may not be required;
• Make the contractor pull the permit if one is required;
• Verify insurance for workman compensation and general liability;
• Be wary of high pressure sales and door-to-door sales; and,
• Never allow a roofing company to inspect your roof and say you have hail damage, call your insurance carrier first.
Following these strategies will help you avoid many, if not all of the possible scams or problems that could occur. As they say, “better off not to be penny wise and pound foolish.”
For more information, call 928-778-0040.
Sandy Griffis is the executive director for the Yavapai County Contractors Association.