Roof-Hail-DamageJust the other day, a hail storm rolled through the St. Charles County area, dropping baseball sized hail, damaging property everywhere.

If you live in the area, you know the storm was followed by a swarm of roofing company reps called Storm Chasers. These folks descend on neighborhoods recently in the storm path and try to sign as many people as possible.

But some of those roofers knocking on your door are actually there to help. Here’s how you tell one from the other?

What To Watch For

  • Out-of-state license plates. No matter how much you can save, using an out-of-town roofer carries some risk. The repairs might be substandard, and if problems show up later, your contractor isn’t likely to come back to fix them. They’ve most likely left town. If you’re not familiar with a roofing company, ask them if you can stop by their office for a visit. If they don’t give you an immediate answer, chances are they don’t have a local office.
  • Hammering or scraping sounds during the inspection. It’s rare, but some scammers may use tools such as all peen hammers to create “damage.” Make sure you are outside, watching and listening.
  • Asking for a signature at the door. If the sales rep pressures you to sign a contract right now, don’t. Reputable roofing companies don’t ask for that. They give you time to research their company and refer you to their Better Business Bureau profile so you can see their rating. If they don’t offer, check it anyway. Ask if they are licensed in the state. And don’t be afraid to ask to see their proof of insurance.
  • Asking you to sign a waiver to access your roof or a “roof inspection report.” Don’t sign This could be a contingency contract that binds you to hiring that contractor if your insurance claim is approved.
  • Not displaying their solicitation permit. Many municipalities and neighborhoods require a permit to knock on residents’ doors. If the contractor doesn’t have one, they’re not in compliance.
  • A promise to fix your roof for little or no money. This sounds good, right? It’s not. It’s illegal. It used to be a common practice for a roofer to “waive” your deductible. However, in most states this practice is illegal and could get you into trouble WITH the roofing company. Roofing companies cannot offer financial incentives to sign with them. If they do, it doesn’t mean you’re getting a great deal. It could mean you’re in compliance with an illegal activity.
  • Pay you to put a sign in your yard. This is also a financial incentive and against the law. Most reputable companies won’t do this.
  • An offer to contact your insurance agency on your behalf. Most insurance companies require the homeowner to call them unless you’ve signed a document allowing the roofing company to act on your behalf. Most reputable roofing companies will only use this as a last resort, so remember to avoid signing anything at your door.
  • Provide no detail in the contract of work to be performed. Make sure everything is documented, including payment agreements.
  • Asking for the entire cost before work begins – or for you to pay in cash. A deposit of one-third the price of the job is common, not the entire amount. Never pay in cash. A credit card or even a check gives you the ability to track.

Think Local

Many of the sales reps who knock on your door will be representing local, established, reputable roofing contractors, like Olneya. We’re here to help homeowners dealing with storm damage.

Olneya will not only conduct an inspection, we’ll let you know in detail what the damage is. We see just as many roofs with no damage too. Our reputation with homeowners and insurance companies is far more valuable to us, so we’ll never try to push a roofing claim if there is no damage.

If your roof is damaged, our roofing experts will guide you through the claims process and ensure that you get the best repairs possible. Our sales support staff will ensure the job goes smoothly, with as little disruption as possible. And we’ll be here in the months and years to come if problems arise.