How Missouri Storm Victims Avoid Roof Repair Scams
Updated: Apr 14
The sky darkens, setting the stage. There's an ominous stillness in the air and a sense that something is coming. Weather watches turn to warnings, and the local forecaster's predictions come to pass. You seek safe shelter – the storm quickly rolls in. It exits just as fast, leaving a path of destruction in its wake. You hope for the best, but as you survey your home, you realize an unwanted outcome. Your property sustained damage. High winds removed several roof shingles, and hail dents are everywhere. You know you need to hire a professional to help with your repair, and you want to feel confident in your choice. Eureka Contracting and Roofing has been assisting homeowners with storm-damaged roofs for thirty years. We understand how overwhelming the selection process can be and, we've written this blog intending to lighten the load. Many homeowners are unaware that roofing scams exist or that they primarily happen after inclement weather. Don't get swindled. Read on to learn how you can protect yourself from fraud after a storm damages your roof.
What is a Storm Chaser?
Twister, the 1996 epic disaster film, brought the term "Storm Chaser" to American minds. The movie features a group of storm-chasing scientists trying to deploy a tornado research device during a severe outbreak in Oklahoma. There is, however, another group of storm chasers, and their intentions are far less admirable. We're talking about a subset of roofers who follow severe weather incidents hoping to repair and replace damaged roofs. Also known as hail chasers or roofing gypsies, these scam artists prey on homeowners eager to fix their residences and get back to normal.
How do Storm Chasers Scam?
Storm Chasers canvas neighborhoods hardest hit by storms. They leave door hangers and fill mailboxes with literature, and they'll be most courageous with their face-to-face marketing effort. Sometimes, they indicate that the insurance company sent them, and often they make a persuasive pitch using pictures of your damaged roof to compel you to schedule your repair as soon as possible.
Once hired, these scammers collect homeowner's insurance claim checks in payment for their services, but their repair work is inferior, and in the worst cases, they take the money and run. Please be a well-informed consumer and never pay the full amount of the repairs upfront. It is customary to only pay 1/3 or 1/2 as the down payment, then only pay the balance when the work is completed to your satisfaction. Help protect your elderly neighbors too.
Learn to Identify a Storm Chaser
"Storm Chaser's" are notorious for drumming roofing work after violent weather, but there may be a handful of quality roofers knocking on doors too. Below are some red flags to help you differentiate between the two.
Storm Chasers May:
Drive cars with out-of-state license plates.
Have a heavy accent.
Offer to submit your insurance claim.
Request monies to be paid directly to them.
Make you feel uncomfortable.
Seem too good to be true.
Have a cell phone with an out-of-state area code.
Use a P.O box for a mailing address.
Claim to be in the neighborhood by another's invitation.
Be unable to present a business license.
Perhaps the most obvious marker of a questionable roofer is a promise to pay or rebate all or any portion of your insurance deductible. Per Missouri Senate Bill 101, it is unlawful for them to do so. Protect yourself from being defrauded and run from anyone who pledges allowances for insurance deductibles.
Tips to Find Legitimate Roofing Contractors
The more you learn about the typical characteristics of a storm chaser, the better you'll be able to identify them when they come knocking on your door. But, of course, the very best way to protect yourself from fraud is to search for a qualified roofer proactively. Follow these tips when seeking a roofing repair company and increase your odds for a positive outcome.
•Use Local Contractors. Ask your friends, neighbors, and co-workers for referrals and perform internet research. Companies with verifiable Google reviews and Better Business Bureau profiles make excellent choices.
• During a crisis, it's natural to want a quick fix, but it's worth it to be patient. Take time to get at least two estimates. By comparing quotes, you'll gain peace in pricing.
•Contact Your Insurance Company. Insurance companies can recommend reputable contractors when you're unsure who to hire. They'll also be able to help you understand your coverage benefits.
•Maintain Records. Get estimates in writing. Repair contracts should include a working timeline, payment schedule, and transparent pricing.
Get Help Now!
If you're a Missouri homeowner with storm damage to your home– don't be dismayed! Eureka Contracting & Roofing is a local company you can trust! We have over thirty years of experience, and we want to use our knowledge to help you and your family! Contact us today to schedule your FREE INSPECTION!
Give us a call at 636-938-ROOF before storm chasers start calling you, and let us show you how much we appreciate the opportunity to earn your business……the Proof is in the Roof!
Want more roofing repair tips? Check out these other blog posts by Eureka Contracting & Roofing:
About the Author:
Eureka Contracting & Roofing is a top-rated, Veteran owned, fully licensed, and insured roofing business located in Eureka, Missouri. By putting 30 years of experience to work, we ensure that our residential and commercial customer's roofs, gutters, shingles, soffits, and siding are expertly installed, maintained, repaired, or replaced. We make properties better– the proof is in the roof!