We’ve all been there. A big storm hits your area and suddenly you’re bombarded with direct mail advertisements and the dreaded door-to-door salesmen. We call these salesmen “fly-by-night roofers” because they’re notorious for coming into an area after a storm, knocking door-to-door, offering quick and often inexpensive roof repairs or reroofs, and leaving without providing valid contact information in case you need to redeem your warranty in the future.
How can you protect yourself from a roofing scam? Here are a few ways to spot a fly-by-night roofer:
LACK OF ONLINE PRESENCE
Before hiring a roofing company, check to make sure they have a professional website and online reviews. If they lack an online presence, they are probably not reputable.
THEY WORK QUICKLY
After a hail storm or natural disaster, local roofing companies will be busy and may have to put you on a waiting list. Don’t worry – that is actually a good sign. If a company has so many local and loyal customers that they can’t get to you right away, that means they are likely a reputable roofing company. Fly-by-night roofers will promise quick turnaround times and come knocking before you’ve had a chance to do your research.
LACK OF ESTIMATE OR CONTRACT
When a roofing company comes to inspect your roof, they should present you with a formal estimate outlining the scope of work and breakdown of cost. Be wary of any company that wants to start work before they have a signed estimate or contract.
THEY ASK FOR PAYMENT IN ADVANCE
A reputable roofing company should not ask you to pay anything in advance. Avoid paying a company before the work is completed. If you pay upfront, there is no obligation for a fly-by-night roofer to finish the work.
NO PROOF OF INSURANCE, LICENSING OR BONDING
For your protection, it is extremely important that you hire a roofing company that is insured, licensed and bonded. In Oklahoma, roofing contractors are also required to be registered with the Construction Industries Board. Be sure to ask the company if they are registered, licensed, carry workers’ compensation and general liability insurance, and are bonded. If you are skeptical, ask for proof. Better yet – check for yourself at the Construction Industry Board Website. You can search a contractor’s good standing by business name or by company owner.
It is always best to hire local. If you hire an out-of-state company, they are likely going back to their home state after the storm repairs are finished and they are paid. This means they will be long gone when you need help addressing warranty issues or damages.
At Elliott Roofing, we will always be upfront and honest about our work, and you can trust that we will be around when you need us. Get ahead of storm season and call us today for a free roof inspection and estimate.