Homeowners across the United States fall victim of roofing scams every day. We both know that the roof is an important part of every home which is why it needs to be taken care of and maintained properly. In every sector, you’ll find professionals or rather contractors who choose to cut corners and deceive customers. This is something that continues to happen in the roofing sector as fraudulent roofing contractors across the country prey on unsuspecting homeowners every other day. Remember the roof is responsible for protecting your home and possessions from the elements out. Here are roofing scams to always watch out for and avoid when dealing with roofing contractors.
The Disappearing Down Payment
Everything starts out well with the roofing contractor agreeing to replace your roof. However, as part of their requirements, you’re requested to make a down payment before the work begins so that materials can be purchased. The problem is that this down payment never returns as soon as the check is in hand. They will convince you to cash an insurance check or sign over a down payment, and before you know it, everyone has disappeared.
This scam is common for homeowners who are financing their homes as well as those who have their homes paid for by a mortgage company. To stay safe from this roofing scam, avoid working with a contractor who isn’t willing to start working on your project or at least bring materials on site without a down payment.
The Door-to-Door Salesman
The second biggest scam in the roofing industry involves someone who shows up unannounced at your home and promises to offer a free roof inspection. Note that these are salesmen and are well trained to sell. They target every homeowner, from senior citizens to young adults. In most cases, however, they target neighborhoods and areas where there’s a large number of older homes and senior citizens. You may also seem them whenever a major storm hits. The free roof inspection will end up with a photo showing serious damage to your roof. They might use a photo from a different home or even tear off the shingles on your roof to fabricate damage.
Protect yourself from the door-to-door salesman. Don’t sign any paperwork before you’ve had your insurance company inspect your roof. It’s also important to investigate the contractor’s background and reputation before letting them do anything on your roof.
It’s interesting just to see a contractor show up unannounced or even for a scheduled consultation and promises a special deal or a very low rate. It doesn’t stop there. The contractor then pressures you to sign a contract right away and makes dishonest claims. Homeowners often fall victim of this scam. Once you’ve signed the contract and make a down payment, you’ll be legally bound to work with the company even when you’ve got other bids to consider. Always avoid agreeing to make a down payment on any roofing project you have. Don’t hesitate to request the contractor to leave your premises whenever you feel uncomfortable.
The Fluctuating Bid
You’ve probably heard of contractors who offer an extremely low bid at first but, once the project begins, things take a different turn as unforeseen issues, and unexpected costs arise. What seemed like a good deal and a money-saving scheme turns to become a very costly deal. The contractor will either claim to have found more damage on your roof or an increase in the cost of labor and materials. By the time your roofing project is finished, you’re required to pay almost double or triple what you had initially agreed.
Make sure you sign a contract that lists the total cost of materials and labor before the work begins. The contract should also include details on how the contractor intends to deal with or handle damage to your roof’s decking.