Like it or not, roof damage, replacements, and repairs are simple fact of life for Connecticut homeowners. Harsh winters give way to a rainy spring, hot summer, and leafy fall. All of that makes for a lot of wear and tear on the roof. Unfortunately, a steep need for roofing repairs is something that a few rotten people try to take advantage of for their own benefit, leading to the despicable phenomenon of roofing scams. Take, for instance, this recent news story out of Maryland, where a man was sentenced to prison for scamming dozens of his neighbors out of over $150,000. His company would sign a contract for roof repairs and take a down-payment, and then never do so much more as put on a tool belt.
Roofing scams aren’t extremely common, but they happen often enough that it pays to be informed and know what to look out for. Here are a few of the more common tactics roofing scammers utilize.
Down-Payment Theft – Like in the news story above, this is when roofers demand a down-payment for materials or services before they start work. Then, once they cash the check they’re never heard from again. Avoid this nasty scam by waiting until materials have been delivered before dropping a down payment.
Storm-Chasing – Storm chasing is a roofing scam where unscrupulous companies travel across the country, seeking out communities that have just been hit by destructive storms or natural disasters. Once they find one, they blanket the area with leaflets or cold calls, trying to lure homeowners into buying their conveniently-timed roofing services. When they get a job, they take the money and run, or do a shoddy job that’s worth far less than the money paid. Then, they’re gone with the wind.
Intimidation – This scam tactic is exactly what it sounds like. A roofer will cold call or arrive at a customer’s home for an appointment, and use hardline intimidation tactics to try and pressure the homeowner into signing a contract on the spot. This one is a little harder to accurately describe in a blog post, but if you feel uncomfortable or intimidated at all by a sales pitch, that’s a good enough reason to ask someone to leave, no question.
The Growing Estimate – Imagine you sign a contract with a company to get your roof replaced for a set amount of money. Once the work begins, they come to you saying that the roof is in worse shape than they thought, that the price of materials has gone up, that they need more help than they thought, and the job is going to cost more than you initially agreed. This is the tactic of many disreputable roofing companies. Some even go so far as to rip up the roof and refuse to fix it until the higher payments are made.
The best way to avoid any of these scams is to avoid the people who do them. Don’t engage with cold callers or people who offer you free estimates. If you need roofing work done, look online for reviews, or ask friends and family what companies they’ve had good experiences with. If something seems shady or too good to be true, it probably is. If someone makes you uncomfortable, find someone else.
If you need a reputable roofer in Connecticut and want to save yourself the trouble, look no further than CT Gutter. They’ve got years of experience, and more happy customers than you could shake a shingle at. Click here to get a quote, and check out some client testimonials here.