Storm Chasers and Roofing Scammers
How to identify and avoid them
When a powerful storm wreaks havoc on your home, it can be stressful and overwhelming. To make matters worse, storm chasers and scammers will use it as an opportunity to make a quick buck from your misfortune. Trusted Colorado Springs Roofing Companies like Petrali Roofing have your back! We want to make sure you’re informed and know what to watch out for so you can protect yourself and your biggest investment. That’s why we’ve put together a handy list of signs that’ll help you spot these sneaky scammers and avoid becoming their next victim.
Identifying Storm Chasers
No local number and/or address:
One of the first warning signs of a storm chaser is their lack of a local presence. They may use out-of-state phone numbers or provide vague contact information. Legitimate Colorado Springs roofing companies establish themselves within the community, building a reputation of trust and dependability among homeowners.
Out of state license plates on their vehicles:
Another common characteristic of storm chasers is their vehicles displaying out-of-state license plates. These contractors often follow storms across different regions, making it easier for them to move on quickly once they’ve completed their questionable work. Local contractors, on the other hand, tend to have vehicles with local license plates.
Cannot provide reviews or referrals:
Reputable Colorado Springs roofing companies should be ready, willing, and able to provide references from satisfied customers and positive reviews of their work. Storm chasers, however, may not have any such testimonials to offer. They rely on their ability to move swiftly from one location to another, without regard for establishing a solid reputation.
Not familiar with local building codes:
Local building codes are crucial for any construction or repair project. Storm chasers often lack knowledge of these codes since they are not familiar with the specific regulations of the area. Their lack of understanding can lead to subpar workmanship and potentially costly issues down the line.
Employ high-pressure sales tactics:
Storm chasers are notorious for using aggressive and high-pressure sales tactics to convince homeowners to hire them quickly. They may create a sense of urgency, emphasizing that the work needs to be done immediately. Legitimate Colorado Springs roofing companies understand the importance of providing information and allowing homeowners to make informed decisions at their own pace.
Unwilling to educate or answer questions:
A trustworthy contractor should be willing to address any concerns or questions you have regarding the repairs or construction work. In contrast, storm chasers tend to avoid answering questions or providing detailed explanations. They may simply push for a quick agreement without providing the necessary information to make an informed decision.
Identifying Roofing Scams
They do not inspect your roof:
Reputable Colorado Springs roofing companies will always conduct a thorough inspection of your roof before providing an estimate. In fact, Petrali Roofing offers a free, 21-Point Inspection to ensure all areas are checked thoroughly. Scammers, however, may skip this step altogether or provide a superficial inspection. Without a proper assessment, they may fail to identify underlying issues or provide an accurate estimate.
Will not provide a written estimate:
A written estimate is an essential document that outlines the scope of work, materials needed, and associated costs. Roof scammers may hesitate to provide a written estimate or present vague and incomplete documents. This lack of transparency can lead to unexpected costs and disputes in the future.
Pressure you to sign a contract on the spot:
Beware of contractors who pressure you to sign a contract immediately, especially without giving you enough time to review it thoroughly. Scammers use this tactic to lock homeowners into agreements before they have a chance to research or consider other options.
Ask for money before you’ve filed a claim:
It is highly suspicious if a contractor asks for payment before you have filed an insurance claim or received approval from your insurance company. Reputable Colorado Springs roofing companies will never ask for money until you’ve been paid by your insurance company and in many cases, will be able to work directly with your adjuster.
Ask you to pull the permit for them:
A legitimate contractor will handle the necessary permits required for your roofing or repair project. If a contractor asks you to pull the permit on their behalf, it’s a red flag. This could indicate that they are unlicensed or trying to avoid scrutiny from local authorities.
Are not licensed or insured:
Always verify the licensing and insurance status of any contractor you consider hiring. Reputable professionals will proudly display their credentials and provide proof of insurance coverage upon request. Contractors who lack proper licensing or insurance put you at risk of liability in case of accidents or poor workmanship.
Ways to Avoid Storm Chasers and Roof Scammers
Now that we have discussed the key indicators to identify storm chasers and roof scammers, let’s explore some effective strategies to avoid falling prey to their schemes:
Always check reviews and testimonials:
Before hiring any contractor, take the time to research and read reviews from previous customers. Genuine feedback can provide valuable insights into the quality of their work, their professionalism, and their trustworthiness. Any Colorado Springs roofing companies you choose to work with should have a positive reputation among homeowners they have served.
Ask for references from suppliers and your regional building department:
A reputable contractor will have established relationships with suppliers and local building departments. Don’t hesitate to ask for references or contacts in these areas. By reaching out to suppliers and local authorities, you can gain further assurance of the contractor’s credibility and reliability.
Check their license status with your regional building department:
Contact your regional building department or visit their website to verify the contractor’s licensing status. Colorado Springs roofing companies undergo rigorous assessments to ensure their competence and adherence to local building codes. This step ensures that you are working with professionals who meet the necessary standards.
Verify their business is registered with the Secretary of State:
Legitimate businesses are typically registered with the Secretary of State or a similar regulatory agency. Check the contractor’s business name and verify its registration. This step confirms that the contractor operates as a legal entity and adds another layer of legitimacy to their services.
Confirm they will be pulling their own permit:
Clarify with the contractor that they will be pulling the permit themselves. Responsible Colorado Springs roofing companies will handle all the necessary permits for your project. This ensures compliance with local regulations and reduces the risk of encountering unlicensed or unqualified individuals.
Trust your gut:
Intuition plays a significant role in making informed decisions. If something feels off or you have reservations about a contractor, it’s essential to listen to your instincts. Don’t ignore any red flags or dismiss your concerns. Even if it turns out that nothing was amiss, you are far better off being safe than being sorry. Your home and investment deserve the best possible care, so listen to your gut and proceed with caution.
Protecting yourself from storm chasers and roof scammers requires vigilance, research, and a cautious approach. By familiarizing yourself with the warning signs and following these strategies, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to their schemes. By doing so, you will empower yourself to make informed decisions and ensure that your roof is entrusted to reliable and reputable professionals who have your best interests at heart. As a helpful resource, we’ve included some downloads below that you can print and have at the ready. Just chose which one is right for you. The “stop sign” can go on your door sending a clear message to anyone who comes knocking with ill intent. The other half would look great on your fridge or bulletin board!