You may have heard of a storm chaser before and instantly thought of those adventurers who seek the thrill of chasing and watching severe storms.
But the storm chasers we’re going to be talking about are - Roofing Storm Chasers!
Roofing storm chasers also seek after storms, but they chase making fast money on roofs by taking advantage of people right after severe storms. Storm chasers show up after a severe storm, stop by any damaged property, and then take advantage of people’s urgent need for a roof replacement or repair.
They are dangerous since they work fast, use poor-quality material, and leave your house in bad shape.
So in today’s blog post we’re going to discuss how to spot a storm chaser, the damages of hiring a storm chaser and the difference between a storm chaser and professional roofing company!
Storm chasers are a type of roofing “salespeople”. They go state to state “chasing” after big storms. These salespeople find the neighborhoods that were hit hardest and go door-to-door offering free inspections. They almost always tell you to file a claim and pressure you to do it on the spot.
They are not established in the area. Usually, they haven’t been in business very long and do not have a solid team of roofers. Instead, they utilize subcontractors who may not even be certified or skilled in roofing.
The result? Poorly installed roofs that don’t last long and develop issues within a few years of installation. Just like what we saw in Monday’s video of Co-Owner Michael on a current customer’s roof(you can find the video on our Facebook page) When those problems do come, the roofing company is no longer there to help.
That’s why, even when it’s an insurance job, you want to make sure you pick the right roofer. Otherwise, you could be paying for the contractor’s mistakes out-of-pocket.
So, how do you spot these storm chasers?
1. They go door to door uninvited.
They show up after a recent storm and go door to door in a neighborhood looking for jobs.
2. They have a “lifetime” workmanship warranty.
When they say they have a lifetime workmanship warranty, that is a HUGE red flag. NO business can promise that, because no business can guarantee they will be around that long.
3. They make you sign something before going on the roof.
Be very wary of what you sign. If a roofer asks you to sign something before they go on your roof, it could secretly be an agreement to use them as your roofer, and then you’re stuck.
4. They push you to file a claim right away.
You ALWAYS have time to do your research. Even if your roof is leaking, there are ways to temporarily fix leaks so you can take your time to weigh your options. Storm chasers are not around for very long, so they will push you to decide right away so they can get the job and go.
5. Their crew does not have any company gear.
When a crew doesn’t match the company, chances are they are subcontractors.
6. Their license plate is from another state.
If your roofer has a license plate from another state, it’s a tell-tale sign they are not local.
7. They won’t provide you a quote without seeing the insurance paperwork.
Many storm chasers insist on seeing your insurance paperwork. Yes, insurance paperwork is incredibly helpful for a roofer. It has all your roof measurements, making it easier and faster to put together a quote. Storm chasers require your insurance paperwork so they can match their quote to it to maximize their profits–even if their job doesn’t actually cost that much.
8. They offer to “pay” your deductible.
Number one, this is illegal. Number two, they probably will just add the cost of your deductible to the roofing quote to make up for it.
Each of these clues should act as a “stop” sign for you. If you notice any of these things, you’ll want to pause and do some research before moving forward with that contractor. Go online, google their company, read some reviews and try to find out if they’re a legit company or not.
So how can you tell the difference if you’re in a rush and need a roof replacement fast? Any proper roofing professional should have licenses, accreditation, and insurance to work on a roof properly and safely. These details should always be easy to find on a company website but you can also ask for proof over the phone or in person. Patience is also a virtue here. You don’t want to go with the lowest bidder or the first person who comes to your door after a storm. Gather estimates from a few local contractors first.
If you want a proven, trusted, reliable, stable roofing company to come out and give you a free home inspection give Mills Roofing, LLC a call! We’re family owned and operated, licensed and insured and have been in business since 1976 faithfully serving Fredericksburg, VA and the surrounding areas. We can answer any and all questions you may have, work with your insurance for you and help you stay relaxed and at ease during your roof replacement/repair process.