If your home has been impacted by a hurricane or storm, and your roof or other parts of your home are damaged, you may be anxious or even desperate to have repairs. With your roof damaged and more rain likely, there will be even more damage as the roof leaks. Being desperate leaves you open to being preyed upon by unscrupulous people.
After a storm tears through a town, it is only natural for roofing companies in Columbia, SC to offer their services, because they know there is a strong need. Some are qualified roofers and some may be what is commonly referred to as – “Storm Chasers.” No, not the guys you see on TV now following tornadoes. We are talking about people who say they are going to fix your roof or siding – but the only thing they are going to fix is their pockets!
How can you tell the difference between a qualified contractor and one who is a flim flam artist? What kinds of things should you look out for? Here are some telltale signs of a storm chaser.
• They have an out of state license plate and driver’s license. This means they most likely won’t be staying around to do any repairs on work that was done poorly. Ask to see a driver’s license to verify identity and see where they are really from.
• They go door to door in your neighborhood and use high-pressure sales tactics to try to get you to sign a contract immediately. This obviously is not a smart thing to do and a very good sign that they aren’t legitimate.
• The contractor isn’t able to produce any recent references from before the storm date.
• They have no certifications from large manufacturers such as GAF or CertainTeed that offer their own certifications to legitimate established contractors.
Not every out of town contractor is necessarily an unreliable provider. However, if you do chose to use a non-local roofing contractor, make sure that they are licensed to provide service locally. Also, look to see if they have current workers compensation certificates and liability insurance. This is to protect you if any mishaps occur during the work.
It is always best to use established local roofing companies in Charleston, SC, as they will be around to service their work afterward. Whether you choose an out-of-town contractor or a local one, quiz them very carefully. Get in writing a promise of return for further repairs, even if the contractor leaves the state. Long-term warranties won’t mean much if your contractor has left town.