Bombarded by Roofing Companies After a Storm? You Are Not the Only One.
What to Look Out For
Have you noticed after a severe hail storm there are 20-30 roofing companies swarming into town trying to find roofs to fix? Well, there’s a reason for this. The roofing business in the United States is a 52.2 billion dollar industry, and many people think they can get a quick and easy piece of the pie. Some businesses even resort to sketchy selling practices such as scare tactics. They may even offer to pay your deductible in order to earn your business. This is called insurance fraud and is extremely illegal. In order for an insurance claim to be legal, the homeowner has to pay their deductible, and if anyone tells you otherwise it is likely a scam. These extremely unethical companies are often called “storm chasers.”
What is a Storm Chaser?
People who track storms to gather weather data, or just for the thrill of it are often called storm chasers (think Twister). However, in the roofing industry, storm chasers are roofing contractors who watch for severe storms such as tornados, hurricanes, hail, or other weather events that may damage homes.
After a storm, these companies will quickly gather their people, pile them in a truck, and head to the affected areas. Once in your town, they will begin to try and get business. They do this by using high pressure and scare tactics to convince homeowners into signing a contract and promising quick repairs.
What they won’t tell you is that before the storm hit they probably didn’t even know your town existed. They will come up with fake names that combine the state or city name with “roofing”, or “contractor”. They will also do shoddy work, if they do any work at all, collect a check and go back to where they came from.
If it Sounds too Good to be True…
The age-old saying goes that if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Storm chasers take advantage of homeowners who have just been through a traumatic experience and just want their homes fixed. A brand new free roof within a month sounds like a great deal for many homeowners, and many will sign the contract right then and there. Again, if It sounds too good to be true, it is.
Mike LaFollette of Angi writes: Storm chasers know how the insurance companies work and based on the square footage of the roof, they can figure out how much it will cost to put on a cheap new roof. The homeowner gets burned because the storm chaser only does the bare minimum to replace the roof, but doesn’t address any other problems, or restore the roof to its original condition…The storm chasers have no incentive to produce high-quality work, and there’s really no way for them to be held accountable because they will be gone by the time a problem arises.
Standing Up to Storm Chasers
After a severe storm, you will likely encounter storm chasers. Knowing how to tell storm chasers apart from genuine local roofing companies is important. The easy answer is to research the company on the internet such as Google or Yelp. Odds are if they are storm chasers you won’t find them. The BBB is also a great tool for consumers to verify local contractors, see ratings, and any complaints filed by homeowners. Don’t forget that friends and neighbors are also great referral sources.
It is important that you do not sign any papers, or give out any information to a company until you have done your research. If they are a valid local company, they will understand and will not pressure you. There are plenty of nightmare stories of people signing documents and then realizing their mistake and wanting to switch companies. The storm chasers then harass the homeowner and threaten legal action against them.
Get Your Roof Inspected by a Real Local Pro
Signature Home Services has been serving Twin Cities Metro residents for 20 years. We have an A+ rating by the BBB, a 4.4 star average on Google, and thousands of happy customers that love to share their experiences. Signature Home Services specializes in storm damage and performs a free 28-point no-obligation inspection. The 28-point inspection covers everything from the roof to your door. This allows us to check every part of the home, and give you a checklist of what we find, with supporting evidence. We are also experts at working with your insurance company and can help you navigate through the process. Don’t trust just anyone with your home, trust a company that has been around 20 years serving local residents, and keeping jobs and money in the state of Minnesota.