Heather Massey is the Permian Basin Regional Director of the Better Business Bureau. Visit www.bbb.org or call 563-1880.
Given the recent bad weather in the state of Texas, many homeowners are turning to their homes, and especially the condition of their roofs. This spring, BBB Scam Tracker received several reports of “free” roof inspections offered by companies that specialize in roof repairs. When a homeowner accepts the free inspection, the “inspector” often insists that the roof is so dilapidated that it needs to be completely replaced. If they can’t find sufficient reason to repair the entire roof, they can tear down shingles to mimic wind damage, or simply show homeowners pictures of another damaged roof and pass it on as their own.
Similar to storm chasers, “free” roof inspection scams take advantage of homeowners who need to be repaired immediately. These scammers often use generic company names, e.g. For example, the name of a state (e.g. Florida or Texas) and “Roofing” or “Construction”. When asked where their business is or how their services work, the homeowner receives vague, non-committal answers. These companies will also hire people from the local workforce and will not compensate them for their time, which affects not only homeowners but those looking for work as well.
A Texas resident told BBB Scam Tracker that a company that claimed to be a large roofing company had come to San Antonio and hired me and some local people. They had us collect over 80 claim numbers from insurance agencies. We picked up insurance checks and never put up a roof. They also refused to pay me for my time. “
Follow these guidelines from your BBB to avoid roof fraud:
Beware of unsolicited inspections. “Free” roof inspection frauds often start with a contractor who “happens to be around” and finds that a roof is in poor condition. Often times, they will comment that they have just finished a job in the area and want to do a cursory inspection of your roof with no obligation on the homeowner. BBB strongly recommends asking several questions to test a company’s credibility, such as: B. “Where is your company headquartered?” or “How long has your company been in this area?” Be sure to ask about your BBB accreditation status and don’t just take your word for it.
Use insurance companies for roof inspections. Before signing any paperwork or contract with a roofer, request an inspection with your home insurance company to see if repairs or replacements are needed. Submitting an insurance claim for roof repairs will be noted on your insurance record and may affect future claims or continued coverage.
Do your research before you hire. Before hiring a roofing company, check BBB.org for previous complaints other consumers may have had. Reputable roofers should have pictures before and after pictures of previous projects to demonstrate their credibility and craft. With an average rooftop project around $ 8,000, it’s important that you take the time to research a selected company before signing any paperwork.
For more information on hiring a roofer, visit BBB.org/Roofers. You can also find valuable information at BBB.org/AvoidScams.
If you have become a victim of roof scam, report it immediately on BBB Scam Tracker. Your report will help alert others to the danger.