When working on the roof a construction worker wears a seat belt
When working on the roof a construction worker wears a seat belt

9 Common Roofing Scams to Avoid

Rain or shine, a damaged roof can quickly become a major headache for homeowners in Florida and southern Georgia. Leaks, missing shingles, storm damage – whatever the cause, repairs are likely needed. But before you call the first contractor you find, be aware that roofing scams are common in this region. Unsuspecting homeowners can easily lose money and end up with a roof in even worse condition.

Common Roofing Scams

To help you avoid these scams and protect your investment, here are some common roofing scams to watch out for.

Scam #1: Storm Chasers

A businessman in a boat, holding an umbrella, braving the stormy weather with lightning in the background.

After a severe storm, it’s not uncommon for contractors to go door-to-door offering their services. These “storm chasers” may claim that your roof has suffered significant damage and needs immediate repair. They often pressure homeowners into signing contracts on the spot, without providing a thorough inspection or written estimate.

To avoid falling victim to storm chasers, do your research and only work with reputable local contractors. Ask for references and credentials, and never sign any contract without fully understanding the terms.

Scam #2: Low-Ball Bids

Another common scam is when a contractor offers an unusually low bid for roofing work. While it may seem like a great deal, these contractors often cut corners and use subpar materials to save costs. This can result in a poor-quality roof that will require repairs or replacement sooner than expected.

Always get multiple bids from different contractors and compare them carefully. If one bid seems significantly lower than the rest, be cautious and ask questions about their process and the materials they use. It’s better to pay a fair price for quality work than to get a cheap but shoddy roof.

Scam #3: “Free” Inspections

Free roof inspections can be invaluable in helping homeowners know that their roof is in good condition, but unscrupulous (and often unlicensed) roofers may offer free roof inspections as a way to pressure homeowners into unnecessary or overpriced services.

If you suspect that your roof needs repairs, it’s important to find a reputable contractor for an unbiased inspection and estimate.

Scam #4: Upfront Payment Scams

A person holding a credit card through a hole in a black background.

Be wary of contractors who ask for payment upfront, before any work has been done. This is a common tactic used by scammers who take the money and never complete the job. They may also ask for payment in cash to avoid leaving a paper trail.

Legitimate contractors typically only require a small deposit or partial payment before starting work, with the rest due upon completion. If a contractor asks for full payment upfront or in cash, consider it a red flag and find someone else to do the job.

Scam #5: Unnecessary Repairs

Some contractors may claim that your roof needs extensive repairs or replacement when it really only needs minor fixes. They may also create fake damage during their inspection to justify unnecessary work.

To avoid this scam, always get multiple opinions from reputable contractors before making any decisions about repairs or replacement. And don’t be afraid to ask for proof of the supposed damage, such as photos or videos taken during their inspection.

Scam #6: Insurance Fraud

In some cases, dishonest contractors may persuade homeowners to file an insurance claim for roof damage that doesn’t actually exist. They may even offer to handle the insurance paperwork and negotiations for a fee.

To protect yourself from this scam, always verify the need for repairs with multiple reputable contractors before filing an insurance claim. And if a contractor offers to handle the process for you, make sure they are licensed and reputable before agreeing to their services.

Scam #7: Bait-and-Switch Tactics

Bait-and-switch tactics involve offering a low price for roofing work, only to change it once the job has started. This can happen when the contractor “discovers” additional damage or claims that the original price did not include certain materials or services.

Scam #8: Discounted Materials

A worker in a hard hat and safety vest on a house roof, ensuring safety during construction.

Some contractors may offer discounted or leftover materials from previous jobs to save money on your roof. While this may seem like a great deal, these materials are often low-quality and not suitable for long-term use.

Always make sure that the materials being used on your roof are of high quality and come with a manufacturer’s warranty. It’s worth paying a little extra for durable materials that will protect your home for years to come.

Scam #9: Unlicensed and Uninsured Roofers

Be cautious of hiring unlicensed and uninsured roofers. Not only is it illegal for them to work on your roof, but it also puts you at risk if anything goes wrong during the project.

Always ask for proof of licensure and insurance before hiring a roofing contractor. This will ensure that they are qualified and covered in case of any accidents or damages.

How to Find a Reputable Roofing Company

Two men working on a roof, one holding a wooden plank while the other assists.

When you’re looking for a roofing company to help with a home renovation or repair project, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that you find a reputable and reliable professional.

  • Ask for recommendations from people you trust, such as friends, family, and neighbors. They may be able to provide valuable insights into contractors they have worked with in the past.
  • Research potential contractors online to read reviews and ratings from other customers. This can give you a good sense of the contractor’s track record and reputation.
  • Verify that they are licensed and insured. This helps protect you and your property in case something goes wrong during the project.
  • Get estimates from multiple contractors, and make sure to compare them carefully and ask for clarification if you have any questions.
  • Ask for references and contact them to get a better understanding of the contractor’s work.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions and clarify any doubts or concerns before signing a contract. It’s important to fully understand the scope of the project, the timeline, and the costs before committing to anything.

What Should Be Included In a Roofing Proposal

Roofing contractors should provide a written estimate for any work that you need to have done. This should include:

  • Detailed description of the work to be done, including materials and labor. This should include a breakdown of costs for each item, so you can easily compare with other proposals.
  • Timeline for completion of the project, including start date and estimated end date.
  • Payment schedule, which should include a deposit or initial payment and subsequent payments upon reaching certain milestones or completing specific tasks.
  • Any relevant warranties for materials and labor.
  • Terms and conditions, including information about cancellation policies, change orders, and dispute resolution procedures.

Make sure to thoroughly review and understand the proposal before signing anything. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to ask the contractor for clarification.

Avoid Scams – Hire Stronghold Roofing & Solar

As a licensed, insured, and experienced roofing contractor, we are pleased to offer a full range of roofing services to homeowners and commercial property owners throughout Sarasota and Lakeland.

Whether you need a new roof or just a free roof estimate, you can rely on the legitimate experience and service of our Lakeland roofers to do the job right.

FAQ’s – Roofing Scams

What are some signs that a roofer may be running a scam?

Telltale signs of a roofing scam include asking for full payment upfront or in cash, offering low prices that suddenly increase once the job has started, and using pressure tactics to convince you to make quick decisions about repairs or replacements.

How can I protect myself from roofing scams?

Do your research, get multiple quotes, and verify licensure and insurance before hiring a roofing contractor. Don’t feel pressured to make quick decisions and always ask for clarification if you have any doubts or concerns.

What should be included in a roofing proposal?

A roofing proposal should include a detailed description of the work, timeline, payment schedule, warranties, and terms and conditions. Make sure to thoroughly review and understand the proposal before signing anything.

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