Roofing scams: property owners be wary after storm | The Daily Courier

There is probably no other scammer attraction that homeowners fall victim to more than a roof disaster. With the hailstorm that hit the Prescott area on Sunday, July 11, it’s very easy for fraudulent roofing companies to beat unsuspecting homeowners.

Unscrupulous companies want to make quick bucks and hire “boots on the ground” sales reps to go door-to-door trying to get business. There are local roofers who offer professional and superior service compared to those other “roofers” who offer the other end of the spectrum such as frustration, sloppy work and unethical mannerisms.

The roof is one of the most important parts of a home and it is critical that homeowners use reliable, reputable roofers for repairs and replacement.

Be wary of door-to-door requests. Be wary of high-pressure tactics. Do not pay money upfront, never pay cash and never pay for work not done or to buy materials and never pay a person. It is important to get three bids and always be wary of significantly lower bids. Hiring a roofer isn’t just about the bottom-line price. You have to look at the whole contract and the service that is provided. I’ve had numerous calls about installation issues, and in many of these cases, the homeowner chose the lowest offer. Always check for current license status and update by calling YCCA.

Be wary of the roofer telling you that it will cost you nothing and that they work with insurance companies. Don’t just go with the guy who walks through your neighborhood with a bunch of signs in the yard. Be wary of non-local businesses. Use local, long-standing businesses that support the area and the community, where the employees and owners live.

If you feel you have been pressured into signing a contract, call the company back and cancel the contract.

It is important to know what kind of shingles are on your roof. Request a written contract detailing the work, removal of current shingles, or repair, material product and manufacturing name, quantity of bundles and check date on packaged shingles. Never install anything that is almost 5 years old. Never install a product whose date has been torn or obscured.

Avoid the sting and get informed.

Here are the directions again:

• Never pay in cash;

• Never pay a private individual;

• Contract, contract, contract – receive a detailed written contract;

• Never let the roofer contact your insurer;

• Check whether or not a permit for the work is required;

• Have the contractor withdraw the permit if it is necessary;

• Check the insurance for accidents at work and general liability;

• Be wary of high pressure and door-to-door sales; and,

• Never let a roofer inspect your roof and say you have hail damage, call your insurer first.

By following these strategies, you can avoid many if not all of the possible scams or problems that may arise. As they say, “It’s better not to be penny wise and pound foolish.”

For more information, call 928-778-0400.

Sandy Griffis is the Executive Director of the Yavapai County Contractors Association.

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