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  • Writer's pictureKatie

Roofing Rip-Offs: How to Spot & Avoid Roof Scams

Don't get caught under the shingles! Remember: If it seems to good to be true - It probably is!


In the world of roofing, scams are an unfortunate reality that homeowners often encounter when seeking roof repair or roof replacement services. From deceptive tactics to fraudulent claims, scammers stop at nothing to exploit you and potentially your insurance provider.


In this week's blog post, we'll equip you with the knowledge to identify the telltale signs of roof scams, empowering you to safeguard both your home and finances. Don't fall prey to deceit - arm yourself with the information you need to stay protected!






Storm Damage Scams: 

STORM CHASERS - While storm damage is a common occurrence, larger events such as wind and hail storms tend to attract roof scammers from both local and distant areas. Many of these roof scammers will scope out the track of the storm beforehand, going door to door claiming that you need your roof replaced (even if you only need a repair). They may encourage you to file a claim with your insurance company, offering to "handle everything" and may even promise to cover your deductible (unfortunately in many states this is considered insurance fraud and can have serious consequences).


Oftentimes, these fraudsters will offer a "free" inspection and may even exaggerate or lie about the severity of the damage in an effort to inflate costs and overcharge you or your insurance company. Among the most unscrupulous scammers, are those who might go to extreme lengths, including causing additional damage.


Fortunately, there are ways to expose storm chaser roof scams! Oftentimes, storm chasers lack the proper licensing, bonding and insurance to protect workers, and your property. Many times, they travel from out of town or have not been in business very long.


FUN FACT: According to cin7.com, 50% of all businesses FAIL within the first 5 years.


TIP: Be wary of unsolicited visits or calls from roofing "experts" or contractors offering to do work on your roof - Whether local or traveling in from another location.


Also, pay attention to signs like unprofessional behavior, poor communication, generic contacts or invoices, and even failure to pull the appropriate permits.







High Pressure Sales Tactics: 

AGGRESSIVE SALES PLOYS - Using this kind of unprofessional approach, many roof scammers will attempt to pressure you into signing a contract on-the-spot, oftentimes without proper roof (and attic) inspections. They may try to coerce you into making full upfront payments, possibly even demanding cash - Don't Do It!


Traditionally, reputable roofing companies will ask for no more than 33% - 50% up front, the balance being due upon satisfactory completion of work.



Angela Beasley, a licensed insurance agent in Ohio explains high pressure sales tactics well in the YouTube video below!






Lowball Bids & Cheap Work: 

DECEPTIVE PRACTICES - Roof scammers often present enticingly low bids, sometimes even undercutting both reputable contractors and your insurance provider, in an attempt to lure you with seemingly attractive offers. What you may not know, is that they will most likely use substandard materials and perform shoddy work, oftentimes cutting costs (and corners) to do it for less.


It's also important to note that "stormers" will commonly replace your roof, but not important components like your flashings, which can lead to costly repairs down the road.




Warranty Scams: 

EXAGGERATED WARRANTIES - Warranties are an important factor in choosing the right contractor and roofing system. Unfortunately, even some of your local roofers have been known to exaggerate the length of the warranty by telling customers they have a 25 year or 30 year warranty, not even mentioning a labor warranty. In all actuality, it is the manufacturer's expected lifespan & limited warranty of the shingles.


For example: If the contractor who replaced your roof did not use a certain number of the manufacturer's other components (underlayment, ridge vent etc.) and instead substitutes a cheaper alternative, and later on down the road you have an issue, the manufacturer of the shingles is likely to deny your claim and void your warranty, as you didn't meet the installation requirements.




Preventative Measures: 

RESEARCH - By researching local, reputable companies through organizations like the Better Business Bureau and your local Chamber of Commerce, you can effectively weed out unscrupulous contractors and fly-by-night companies (who may not be around in 5 years to honor warranties given, or worse, even be in business).


VERIFY - While many roofers carry a workers compensation insurance certificate, oftentimes their coverage isn't sufficient. They may have one covered employee, or maybe they don't have insurance that even covers someone being on a roof...


Because roofing is one of the most dangerous trades in the world, the rates are much higher than others. Subsequently, many companies neglect to get the actual coverage needed. Always call the insurance company (not agent) listed on the certificate to verify coverage and limits.


CHOOSE WISELY - Look for a local, well established roofing contractor who has a local office, a reputation for quality, and proper insurance coverage.


More importantly, pay attention to red flags, always get a legally binding contract specifying the work to be done, the materials to be used, the total cost, the terms of the Labor & Materials warranty, and terms of payment.





Thanks for joining me this week! By following these preventative measures and staying informed, you can navigate the roofing landscape with confidence and ensure a successful roofing project. Protect yourself and your home by choosing wisely and staying vigilant against scams.


"The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of a low price has faded from memory" - Aldo Gucci 1938

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1 Comment


susan weeks
susan weeks
Apr 12

You provide such great advice to the public, it helps to be informed about the scams that are happening now.

Thank you for sharing this information with us!

Susan Weeks

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