Beware of These Common Roofing Scams
There’s a knock at your door, and you open it to find someone who begins…”We were just in your neighborhood, and would like to offer you a free roof inspection….” Meet the unannounced door to door salesman. Although not all of them are dishonest, you need to beware, because the person at your door just might be. As they pressure you to accept their free offer, you might think “what could it hurt?” Trust me, it could hurt! There are so many stories of people who have been scammed in this manner…they will go up on the roof and create damage that appears to be caused by a storm. They do such things as:
- Tearing off shingles, making it look like wind damage
- Hitting the shingles with a small hammer to replicated damage from hale
- Sometimes they will show you pictures from actual damaged roofs and represent it as yours…if you’re like most homeowners, you probably wouldn’t go up on the roof to verify it.
This type of scammer frequently targets senior citizens who are more vulnerable and trusting, but scammers are not choosy, they consider everyone fair game. You can protect yourself. Don’t let just anyone up on your roof, insist on getting references that you actually call and talk to. A scammer will try to rush you through the process by telling you they don’t have time to wait, or they can’t come back to do the inspection later – big red flag!
Other Common Roofing Scams
It’s unfortunate, but not everyone is honest, you will find some who will:
- Skimp and cut corners: One way some roofers may try to cut corners to increase their profit is to use less materials than the job requires. They may use fewer shingles than manufacturers recommend, or few fasteners to install the shingles, leaving your roof vulnerable to the next big wind or storm that comes along. Also, when they use fewer materials, they use less time than they bid, but they won’t charge you less money.
- Inflate the cost of the materials: Going along with skimping and cutting corners is the scam of overcharging for the materials they use. Most homeowners don’t know what roofing materials cost, so unless you do a little homework and check with roofing suppliers, you could get scammed. One thing to remember, is that even the honest roofing contractors need to mark the materials up, so not all mark ups are questionable, ask the supplier what would be a reasonable amount.
- The Ole “bait and switch”: Telling the homeowner they will receive a certain quality of materials, but actually using a lower grade when it comes time to do the job. Another bait and switch is to contract with you to buy a certain quality of materials, then at the last minute tell you that those materials are no longer available, which forces you to pay for upgrades.
- The “disappearing act”: This type of scammer comes out after a heavy storm has hit. They represent themselves as new to the area (which may be true), but the scammer will skip town after requiring upfront payment they claim they need to to purchase materials.
Avoid Getting Scammed
New roofs are expensive and your home is important, protect yourself as best you can:
- Get references and call them!
- Talk with your contractor and ask as many questions about the project as you can think of.
- Beware of high pressure tactics.
- If there is an insurance claim, make sure your insurance company approves the new roof.
- Never pay for the entire job up front, a fair down payment should be enough.
- Make sure the work is guaranteed.
- Make sure the company is licensed and bonded.
- Have someone you trust, if you’re not available or able, to inspect the roof after the work is done. Look for things like:
- Neatness of the work
- Spacing of the fasteners
- Make sure all flashings are in place
MasterCraft Roofing Services is here to serve you.
We are the Seattle Area’s Best Roofing Company, measured by the experience of the homeowners and the scope of recent projects. We have been doing business since 2008.
During the Project: We employ OSHA standards for safety, we use the highest quality tools and materials because there is more than just shingles. Along with a quality roof, we intend to leave your property in better shape than when we found it. We police our nails and debris with military discipline.