What Are Roofing Storm Chasers?
After a storm passes through, salespeople better known as storm chasing roofers, may approach your door trying to sell you a new roof. At first, their pitch may sound legitimate. After a strong storm—and especially if there was hail— there’s a chance your home may have incurred roof damage.
But storm chaser roofing companies have poor overall reputations. They’re also rarely insured and bonded, which could make you responsible for employee injuries or paying for any damage they cause. Be aware of the following tactics:
- Selling unnecessary roofs
- Poor-quality work
- Using substandard materials
- Shoddy work practices
- Charging way too much
- Charging way too little, then demanding more money once they have your roof torn apart
- Demanding 100% payment up front
- Taking your money and disappearing before they install your new roof
This type of contractor scam is common after thunderstorms and during hurricane season. In addition, storm chasers often travel out of state, or wherever a storm has just passed. So, they don’t know you or your neighborhood. They show up to make some quick money, then head on to the next storm-damaged area.
So, before you pay or sign any contract with a roofer, research the company well. Look for any online reviews—or if they even exist at all online. Visit their physical address to see if it exists. And if you want to avoid this common type of roofing scam, watch out for these five red flags.
Worried you may have roof damage?
Stay clear of roofing storm chasers.
Five Signs of Roofing Storm Chasers
1. Door-to-Door Salespeople
This is the main sign of a roofing scam. Legitimate roofers won’t show up at your doorstep demanding to inspect your roof. If a storm chasing roofer approaches your door, simply decline the offer and report them if they don’t leave.
2. Scare Tactics
Roofing storm chasers prey on your fear. They may try to make you worry about your home or the safety of your family. This is their main strategy. So, they’ll focus on what may happen if you don’t let them inspect your roof. Legitimate roofers may mention the hazards of roof damage, but they will not repeatedly try to scare you or use frightening language.
3. Pushy Salespeople
You’ll notice these types of roofing salespeople are relentless. They don’t respect your decision to decline their offer. You may even find it hard to get them off your porch. At this point, you want to stop listening and turn them away immediately. (Often these people are trained not to walk away until they receive three no’s. And some may not stop at that.)
4. Prices Are Too Good to Be True
It’s one thing to offer a deal, but if the price to replace your roof is so low it makes you double guess it, you should probably steer clear of it. Roofing storm chasers also start off with multiple deals, such as free inspections and other add-ons to rope you into buying a new roof.
5. You Pay Upfront
Upfront payment is another sign of a contractor scam. Roofing storm chasers will often demand payment at your home, even before they begin the inspection. They’ll also be adamant that you pay immediately.
What to Do If Your Roof Has Storm Damage
After a storm, it’s normal to feel concerned about your home’s safety. While there’s a chance your home may have roof damage if it’s been hit by a storm, you want to have your roof assessed and repaired by a reputable roofing company. And you’ll want to be sure to choose an established, reputable roofing company in your area with proven work and service records.
Follow these steps after a thunderstorm or hail storm:
● Contact your insurance company to report any damage. They’ll give you next steps for filing a claim.
● Research roofing companies with strong a reputation in the region.
● Contact the company for an inspection.
● Don’t try to assess or repair the damage yourself, as this is dangerous and may worsen the damage. Or you could get hurt in the process.
● Report roofing scams to your local authority if you’re approached by a suspected roofing storm chaser.