As storms move in and out so do Storm Chasers
The friendly guy who’s knocking on your door offering to fix the hail damage on your roof might not have your best interests at heart.
Reputable roofing contractors are so busy these days that they don’t have time to go from door to door looking for work. In fact, even if they weren’t busy, they wouldn’t do that.
Professional local roofing contractors make appointments with their customers—and those appointments are initiated by you, the homeowner. They will send someone to your house wearing a logo shirt and driving a truck with another logo on it and with Missouri license plates. They’ll climb up on the roof and survey the damage, and when they come down, they’ll give you a written estimate or send you one shortly. Then, you can call the company and make an appointment to have the work done.
Those guys knocking at your door are called storm chasers—or travelers or gypsies. They’re usually from out of state, and they make their living by driving from state to state, depending which one has had a big storm lately.
You’ve probably met one or two of them after the spring storms, when they come around offering to fix whatever the rain and wind have damaged. They might have offered you a great deal on labor and materials, or said they had leftover materials from another job and could sell them to you at a cut-rate price. They probably put a little pressure on you to let them do the job right then.
Unless your roof is leaking, any hail damage won’t cause you any problems in the meantime. You do need to have the roof repaired; if you don’t, you could void your warranty and your roof could deteriorate much quicker than a “healthy” roof would. But you don’t have to do it today—no matter what that guy who’s knocking on your door has told you.
Not every storm chaser is a scam artist, but some are. Here are a few typical ruses and some friendly advice:
Some so called roofers will climb on your roof and come down to show you pictures of your damaged roof, the problem is those pictures are not of your roof. Alot of homeowners have no idea what their roof looks like so when the Storm Chasers show you pictures you probably think its true but in reality it is them taking your money.
If you see roofers working on a lot of your neighbors’ homes—they usually post a sign in the front yard showing the name of the company they work for—chances are good that your roof has been hit. If no other nearby roofs suffered damage during the storm, be suspicious when anyone says yours did.
Check out the license plate on the truck the guy’s driving. If it’s from out of state, turn him away. If the sign on his truck is magnetic and removable, turn the guy away. When you have your roof repaired during the spring, there’s no way for you to know if there’s a problem with the work until it rains again—and that might be July. If your roof springs a leak in July, that out-of-state storm chaser is going to be long gone, and you’ll have to pay someone else to fix your leak. Use a local company that guarantees its work and that you can call back for a touch-up if you need one next time it rains.
Having a hail-damaged roof is hassle enough without having to deal with shoddy work, stolen money or repairs that aren’t guaranteed. Shop locally and shop legally for roof repairs. They’re worth the money and they’re worth the wait.
Be aware of who you hire!
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