Beware of Storm Chasers

Knock, knock. “Hello there, I’m so an so with Fly-by-night-Roofing! Are you aware that your home may have severe damage due to a hail storm that recently hit the area?”

That’s generally how it begins, someone knocks on your door and offers to get up on your roof and inspect it for damage. Every year the Southeast has damaging hail storms. Some years are worse than others. If you have lived here for awhile, chances are you have had a roof or two replaced. You have even come to expect that shortly after a damaging storm in your neighborhood, you will be inundated with roofers offering to give you a free roof inspection.

Shortly after these fly-by-night contractors find out about the hail storm that just pounded your neighborhood, the Storm chasers arrive on the scene. They usually are from out of town and will hire canvassing people, sales people and out of town sub-contractors to replace roofs. These people are here to make a quick buck and then head off to the next storm. In their paths they leave a trail of unhappy Georgia  homeowners.

If It’s To Good To Be True…

Don’t sign anything unless you plan on reading all the fine print. This is the most common type of scam. Unethical contracts will bind homeowners to contractors to a percentage of the job, regardless if the work is approved or completed! This can result in fees from the contractor, a possible lien on your home, and headaches you didn’t need in the first place. These “contracts” may not always appear as contracts. Some roofing companies will ask you to sign a waiver granting permission to access your roof. If you didn’t read the fine print, you might have just signed an unethical contract. If you find yourself in a high-pressure situation put the pen down, take a breath and take your time to understand what it is your agreeing to.

Things to avoid:

    • Don’t hire a contractor who asks you to pay for the entire job up-front.
    • Don’t settle for an oral agreement over any work needed. Everything should be documented clearly in writing.
    • Don’t pay in cash. A deposit of one-third of the total price is standard procedure. Pay only by check or credit card.
    • Don’t pay in full unless the work has been completed.
    • Don’t pay in full without a final inspection.
    • Don’t pay in full until material and worker’s lien releases have both been received.

A good place to check out any contractor is the Better Business Bureau, look for an A rating and see if they have any complaints filed against them. Another thing you will want to check for is if they are local. You should also ask for a list of references. Any reputable company that has been in business for more than a year should be happy to provide one.

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If you have suffered hail damage to your home, you’ll want to get the work done as quickly and painlessly as possible. Give us a call at 678.384.7663 and we will come out and professionally inspect your roof for damage and deal directly with your insurance company on your behalf.

 

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