Any inclement weather event may lead to a significant roofing issue – which necessitates immediate professional help. The problem, though, is that sometimes we are so desperate for a fix we turn to roofers who are not the right fit for the job. One of the most blatant examples of these is when a homeowner hires a storm chaser, which is a tragedy in and of itself independent from the roofing problem.
What are storm chasers, though?
Storm chasers, in a roofing sense, are people who follow the path of a storm from state to state, to offer their services to homes with resulting damage. Typically, they keep themselves updated with reports from the Weather Bureau and then they blanket an area since they know insurance companies will allow roofing repairs after a severe storm or typhoon.
What damage do they do?
Most storm chasers know how insurance companies will price your roof if you were to schedule a repair, by the square footage. They charge you, but they only do the minimum requirements to fix the issue. They do not make the effort to restore your roof to its original condition. As a result, you have a roof that is poorly constructed – and a problem with your insurance company.
How do you spot one?
- They are usually not local contractors. Most storm chasers are from out of state, and they will not have the necessary credentials required by your locality to provide roofing services.
- They offer their services at discounted prices. Their services will also be cheaper than the services of other contractors. Be especially wary of roofers who say they need a significant portion of the payment to buy supplies. Also be careful of roofing professionals who come knocking at your door.
And how do you protect your home?
Inspect credentials. Different states have differing requirements regarding licensing. In some states like Virginia, contractors must be licensed; in other states, they must be registered. Getting a license, in most cases, involves having liability and workman’s insurance policies – as well as posting a bond. We recommend looking into the credentials of any roofer offering his or her services.
Check the office. Another helpful thing to do when a roofer comes knocking at your door is to ask to see their office. A physical office is a sign that the roofer is, at least, established in your area. If there is only a post office box, don’t even consider hiring them.
Consult references. A previous list of satisfied clients is also important to determining the quality of work you can expect from the contractor. As much as possible, ask for references.
Commissioning any roofing project should not be done without the proper research – about the scope of the project, the possible costs, and your choice of professional roofer. And this holds true, even in the most desperate of roofing cases. Take time to study your options carefully so you can make an informed decision. Schedule a consultation before agreeing to anything, and ask for a written contract.
Chad Williams grew up in local military family in Northern Virginia. While attending college in Texas 23 years ago, he started in the home remodeling industry. He returned to Virginia in 1995, and has since then happily raised five children and a grandson. Chad is proud to announce that this 2016, All American Home Services celebrates its 13th year in the business through the years earning the following distinctions: BBB (A rated & Certificate of Commendation), Angie’s List (5 Star Rated & Super Service Award Winner), Home Advisor 5 Star Rated, Certainteed Shingle Master Certification, and GAF Certified Approved Installers.