Not everyone that calls themselves a roofing contractor can be trusted. There are many scammers, otherwise known as "storm chasers," that wait until after a bad storm and then start visiting homes and businesses, claiming that they offer the best work and lowest prices to fix storm damage. Amazingly, their inspections always turn up a serious problem that needs a fix, even if there's nothing wrong with the roof.
So, how do you recognize these frauds before they get too close? There are several signs that a roofing company is shady. Here's what to watch for, and why these are important warning signs that something is wrong.
There are No References or Proof of Experience
Every good roofing company should be able to offer references and proof of experience. Ideally, you will be able to visit their office or look at their website and see photos of the work they have done in the past. Even if a company doesn't have a very large portfolio, they should still be able to offer references and other signs that they know what they are doing. Be wary of a contractor that can't provide any reviews or testimonials for you to examine; this often means that they don't have a business at all or least not a business that they want you knowing anything about.
The Contractor is Not Certified or Insured
Both certification and insurance are typically required to practice roof repair and installation (there is some variation in state and city codes). If the roofing company cannot provide any evidence of certification (such as from the NRCA) or insurance, avoid them! At best, they are operating illegally. At worst, they don't really do roofing work at all, and are just trying to scam you before escaping.
Cash Payment Requirements - Especially Large Cash Payments
Roofing scammers don't want any record of a transaction to exist, and they don't want any kind of payment that can be reversed or that requires a delay. As a result, scammers will almost always ask for cash upfront. It pays to be particularly suspicious when a contractor demands a large cash payment, and won't accept anything else. That's a danger sign. A true roofing contractor is always prepared to talk about alternatives.
Pushy Sales Tactics
The combination of the points we made above means that roofing scammers need to be pushy. They have to get in your face, tell you that your roofing is failing and make sure you pay them right now (otherwise, the scam quickly falls apart). They don't want you thinking too much or inspecting the roof yourself, and they definitely don't want you to look up any competing companies. As a result, they tend to be rude and will try to pressure you into paying a fee for whatever service they claim to provide or to have already done.
Does your roof need some work – or do you need more information to make the right decision? Contact us at MG Roofing to schedule your inspection today!