This winter has proved to be a much busier time than in years past. With appointments with most roofing contractors being booked weeks, even a month or more out, it can be tempting to hire that door to door roofer or the roofers that have been handing out flyers that claim to be able to get the job done immediately and super cheap. Times like these it’s “Buyer Beware” more than usual.
Although not all smaller roofing operations are outright scams, many are and many more are just incompetent or simply do not have the expertise necessary to get the job done right. If you have an immediate need and are shopping around because your preferred roof contractor is too busy to get to you right away be sure to do your homework and make sure you don’t get ripped off!
Here are some things to look out for:
1. Make sure your roofer is local
- Call the Better Business Bureau of Atlanta (404) 766-0875
- Check Kudzu.com or Angie’s list (www.angieslist.com)
- Look in the Real Yellow pages.
- Check the Roofer and Sheet metal Contractors Association of GA (404) 766-1631.
- Check their vehicle tag for an out of state license plate!
2. Know your roofer
- Use a company that specializes in roofing not a construction company.
- If the owner of a construction company has never personally installed a roof, how does he know if the installer is doing it properly?
- Make sure the company you use is qualified to do the job.
- Make sure they have both general liability and worker’s comp. Ask for a certificate!
- The insurance certificate should have the correct billing address, make sure it’s local.
3. NO NAIL GUNS!!!
- Nail guns are good for framing (with wood) but not for a fiberglass shingle!
- Nail guns shoot nails through the shingles or not in deep enough leaving nails sticking up.This is the biggest reason for roof failure today!
- Hand nailing is the only way to assure consistent quality.
4. No “toe-boards”!
- Toe-boards” are boards that are nailed through the shingles on steep roofs so installers can work without sliding off.
- When removed they leave holes in your new roof!
- The correct way is to use toe-board brackets (fastened under the shingles) or ropes and harnesses.
5. Use a company that has a REAL warranty
- How can you trust a company that offers a five or ten year warranty but has only been in business for a year or two?
- What about these “storm chasers” from out of state? Will they be here if you have a problem later? The answer is NO! When the next storm hits somewhere else they will be there!
6. Always get a second opinion
- It is inappropriate and even unethical for your insurance company/adjuster to try to influence your decision on who to use to repair your storm damage.
- Just because a contractor shows up with your adjuster or even for the insurance company, does not mean you have to use that contractor. You have the right to use whomever you feel comfortable with to work on your home. Don’t sign anything!
- Always get more than one estimate. This could save you and/or your insurance company thousands of dollars. It is very common for “storm chasers” to overcharge (up to 25-30 percent). That’s why they want to deal directly with your insurance company, so you won’t even know!
The scammers are out in force right now, do your due diligence and don’t get ripped off!