Spring and Summer in the South not only bring heavy rains, hail, and other damaging storms, they also bring out the “Storm Chasers”. These are the guys that drive around in their pickup trucks or vans and follow storms as they occur. They go door to door pitching unsuspecting homeowners their “services” in most cases, roof repairs or replacements at prices that seam “too good to be true”.
Sure, there are some honest door knockers out there, but if the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. When researching roofing contractors, these five things will help you differentiate the scammers from the contractors.
Reputable roof contractors have a list of hundreds of references available and ready to hand to the homeowner. If the contractor you are considering cannot provide references or can only provide a few, out of town references, beware. A lot of these guys get friends and family to act as customers, if the references are “fishy” in any way, consider another contractor.
2) Insurance Paperwork
Roofing is the third most dangerous occupation in the world so having proper insurance and workman’s compensation insurance is required in the State of Georgia. Liability insurance covers your home and landscaping while workman’s compensation covers injuries that may occur while protecting you and your homeowners insurance company from being sued.
3) Upfront Costs
No reputable roof contractor will ask you to pay for anything upfront. If they do, this should be a red flag that the contractor may not be stable enough to carry his own insurance and any permits or materials needed for the job. In addition to the danger of running out of money before the project is complete, it is likely the contractor in question won’t be able to honor any warranties should poor workmanship void your manufacturers warranty.
4) Better Business Bureau Rating
Any roof contractor that has been in business for a while and have serviced many customers has a BBB rating, whether they are members or not. Checking this rating will tell you a lot about a contractor. If the contractor you are researching doesn’t have a rating or the rating is less than perfect, continue looking around. It’s easy to maintain an A+ rating by simply treating your customers right, anything less and you could be asking for trouble.
5) Membership in Industry Associations and Certifications
Reputable roof contractors stay on top of what’s going on in the industry and stay apprised of the latest innovations and materials. Roofing contractors that are members of these Associations demonstrate a long term commitment of quality and customer-centric services by qualifying for these memberships. Check with the National Roofing Contractors Association or The GA Roofing and Sheet Metal Contractors Association to see if your roof contractor has qualified for membership, if not, this could be a red flag.
Certifications show that the roof contractor has met very strict criteria for providing expert service and is a strong indicator of the capabilities of the roof contractor. GAF Master Elite Contractors, Certainteed Select Shingle Applicators, and/or Owens Corning Preferred Contractors are roofing industry specific certifications that give consumers confidence that the roofing contractor they use are expertly trained and have proven track records of quality service and expertise.