The aftermath of a severe storm can leave homeowners vulnerable to opportunistic salesmen looking to take advantage of their misfortune. In Tulsa, Oklahoma, the recent storm in mid-June caused significant damage to roofs across the area, making it a prime target for storm chasers. These fast-talking individuals may knock on your door, claiming to provide insurance coverage and roofing services for a new roof. However, it is crucial to be aware of their deceptive practices and protect yourself from falling victim to roofing storm chasers.
Understanding Storm Chaser Roofing Scams
Storm chasers are companies that follow severe weather events, offering home repair services, primarily for roofs damaged by hail and wind. They often move from one storm-ravaged location to another, collecting insurance claim checks from homeowners and completing the work hastily before moving to the next location. It’s important to note that the term storm chaser can also refer to individuals who follow severe weather for research or personal interest, unrelated to homeowner concerns. However, in this article, we will focus on roofing storm chasers, which you may have seen in your neighborhood.
👉 The Dangers of Roofing Storm Chasers
Engaging with roofing storm chasers can lead to numerous problems and potential loss of control for homeowners. Here are some key reasons why roofing storm chasers should be avoided:
1. Roof Inspections and False Claims
Roofing storm chasers often offer free roof inspections. However, allowing them on your roof can be a huge mistake as they have been caught damaging roofs and falsely claiming storm damage. Conducting your own due diligence and working with reputable local roofing companies is essential.
2. Signing Contracts and Waiving Decision-Making Authority
Storm chasers frequently request homeowners to sign contracts granting their company negotiation rights with the insurance company. By signing such documents, homeowners may inadvertently waive their decision-making authority regarding repairs or replacements. It is crucial to maintain control over the insurance settlement and ensure that you are making informed choices about your roof.
3. Quality of Work and Materials
When working with storm chasers, homeowners often relinquish control over the insurance settlement, and the entire payment check may need to be signed over to the storm chaser. This can lead to subpar workmanship and materials that do not meet the homeowner’s preferences. Storm chasers frequently cut corners to maximize their profit, compromising the quality of the roof repairs or replacements.
4. Warranty Repairs and Unsatisfactory Service
Obtaining warranty repairs from storm chasers becomes extremely challenging as most of them leave the area as soon as the storm subsides. Some storm chasers even use local company names, leaving unsuspecting homeowners with warranty issues that the local company is responsible for but cannot handle due to an overwhelming volume of work. This can result in frustration and a lack of accountability for any future issues with the roof.
👉 Spotting Roofing Storm Chasers: Protecting Yourself
Identifying roofing storm chasers is important to protect yourself from falling into their traps. Here are some signs to watch out for:
1. Door-to-Door Sales
Roofing storm chasers often go door to door, pressuring homeowners to sign something immediately. Be cautious of anyone who approaches you at your doorstep with unsolicited roofing services.
2. Mail and Flyers
Storm chasers may send cards in the mail or tape them to your mailbox. Be wary of these marketing tactics and thoroughly research any company that contacts you through such means.
3. High-Pressure Sales Tactics
Storm chasers employ high-pressure sales tactics to convince homeowners to sign contracts or make immediate decisions. Remember, reputable roofing companies will give you the time and information you need to make an educated choice.
4. Promises of Free Roofs or Avoiding Deductibles
Beware of storm chasers offering a free roof, or proposing ways to avoid paying deductibles. These actions constitute insurance fraud and can lead to legal consequences for both you and the storm chaser.
5. Out-of-State License Plates and Identification
Storm chasers often have out-of-state license plates or driver’s licenses. It is entirely appropriate to ask for identification and verify their credentials before considering their services.
6. Lack of Local References
Storm chasers may not be able to provide recent local references or references from before the storm date. It’s crucial to check contractor-supplier references to ensure timely payment and quality workmanship.
7. Missing Manufacturer Certifications
Reputable roofing companies often have manufacturer certifications, such as GAF Master Elite® or CertainTeed ShingleMaster™ certifications. If a storm chaser cannot present proof of these certifications, it may be a red flag.
8. Lack of Valid Insurance and Liability Coverage
Ask storm chasers to provide a valid certificate of insurance with matching identification information, including liability and workers’ compensation. It is essential to ensure that they have the necessary coverage to protect you and their workers in case any accidents occur.
9. Unsatisfactory Ratings and Complaints
Check with the Better Business Bureau for any complaints filed against the storm chaser. Additionally, look for local reviews on platforms like Google, Angi, or Facebook to gauge their reputation.
10. Subcontractor Payment Issues
Storm chasers may fail to pay subcontractors or underpay them for the labor involved in installing the roof. This can lead to subpar workmanship and potential legal issues down the line.
Trustworthy and Reliable Roofing Experts in Tulsa
In the wake of Tulsa’s storm on June 18, it is crucial to work with trustworthy and reliable roofing experts who deeply understand the local area. At A. Fricker Roofing & Waterproofing, we pride ourselves on being a locally-owned and operated family roofing company committed to delivering high-quality service to our community.
We understand the challenges homeowners face when dealing with storm damage, and we are here to help you confidently navigate the process. Our team of experienced professionals is trained to handle insurance claims, and we will work with you every step of the way to ensure that your roofing needs are met.
If you have been affected by the recent storm and are in need of roof repairs or replacements, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We won’t come knocking on your door like storm chasers, instead, we’ll be available to provide honest and reliable roof repairs when needed.
Protect your home and your investment by choosing a reputable local roofing company like A. Fricker Roofing & Waterproofing. Call us today to experience the difference at (918) 402-7167!
Note: “In the wake of a storm, it’s important to be cautious of storm chasers who may try to take advantage of homeowners. By being aware of the signs and working with a reputable local roofing company, you can protect yourself and your roof from potential scams.”