Watch Out for Roof Repair Scams after Recent Storms
In light of the recent storms that passed through the area last week, homeowners should be on the lookout for roof repair scam artists. Be particularly careful of home repair companies from out of state that go door-to-door soliciting business to repair hail damage or leaks. Here are a few tips to help you steer clear of roof repair scams.
- Best practice: Hire a local home improvement or roofing company to repair damage to your roof.
- Coordinate personally with your Homeowner’s Insurance Claims representative, rather than allowing the roof repair company file the claim.
- Be sure to obtain written estimates from at least three contractors. The estimates should all be based on the same building specifications, quality of materials, labor and time needed to complete the project. Be certain you understand the reasons for any variations in the prices rather than automatically choosing the lowest estimate.
- Ask for a list of previous clients for reference and call the clients to ask about the quality of work performed. If possible, go look at the contractor’s completed work. Also, contact your BBB to determine how long the company has been in business and if any complaints have been filed against it.
- Check with Alabama’s Home Builders Licensure Board at 800-304-0853 to be sure that the contractor is licensed and/or bonded, if required. A bond may protect you against substandard work that doesn’t comply with building codes; however, it may not protect you if the contractor does not complete the job.
- Ask the contractor if the company is insured against claims covering worker’s compensation, property damage, and personal liability in case of an accident. Then call to verify the contractor’s insurance coverage after obtaining the name of the carrier and agency.
- Before you sign a final contract, be sure it specifies the schedule for releasing payments to the contractor and that all oral promises are also included in the written contract. Be suspicious if you’re asked to pay for the entire job in advance. The down payment should be no more than one-third of the total contract price.
- Don’t sign a completion certificate for the job until after it has been inspected by local building authorities and properly completed according to the contract. Source: BBB North Alabama
For more tips on repairing storm damage without getting ripped off, check out BBB Offers Tips to Storm Damage Victims. To report a scam, go to the BBB Scam Tracker. To find trustworthy businesses, go to bbb.org.