Roofing Scam Awareness
- Each roofer should be able to provide the names and addresses of three previous clients. Make sure you follow up by calling the clients regarding the services and professionalism of the contractor.
Signs Of Insurance Fraud
- If a roofing contractor is offering to pay an insurance deductible.
- Don’t let anyone convince you to agree to an inflated price with the promise that the contractor will overbill your insurance company to get enough money back to reimburse you for your deductible. That’s insurance fraud.
- If a contractor is offering a no cost incentive to the home owner.
- Insist on a written contract before work is performed and request a detailed, written estimate as well.
- Do not pay in cash.
- Don’t pay more than 10 percent of the job’s total as a down payment or more than $1,000. Roofing scammers will take the money and run.
- Schedule the work for a time that’s convenient. Schedule payments, not paying up front. Reputable companies don’t need any seed money to buy supplies. Instead, pay in increments as the work is completed.
- If possible, pay down payment charges by credit card. That way charges can be disputed.
- Always get documentation of the completed work, warranty of the product and a copy of payment to be filed to the insurance company.
- Only employ a licensed roofing contractor
- Permits protect the resale of your home and are required by lending institutions.
- Unpermitted work can void insurance coverage.
- Permits add value to your project and require that inspections be performed to verify that work was done correctly.
- Have your contractor pull a permit.
- The permit holder is responsible for compliance with the Building Code.
- Scammers sometimes offer to do a free inspection (as do many reputable contractors), the scammer reports more damage than there really is (sometimes creating the damage themselves) and then offers to repair or replace it at no cost to the homeowner.
- Be wary of door knockers, especially after a major storm event. While many reputable contractors use this to generate business make sure the above tips are used in conjunction with this tip.
- Have a written contract detailing that the contractor will pull a permit and outlining the work to be performed, cost associated with each task and timeframe with estimated start and finish dates.
- Always get a receipt for payments made to contractors.
- Make payments beyond a deposit to your contractor only when you get something in return, such as materials delivered to your address.
- For large projects, before each payment, ask for a walk through with the contractor explaining the work done so far and what will happen next.
- Never pay in full until the job is complete, has been inspected and the building permit has been closed.
Common Projects That Do Not Require a Permit
- Replacing a like electrical fixture with a like fixture
- Replacing a like plumbing fixture with a like fixture
- Floor tile
Projects That Require a Permit
- Bay windows
- Patio Covers
- Car Ports
- Basement Remodels
Down Payment Scam
In this case, a roofing contractor will bid extremely low on roofing estimates, charge a hefty down payment, and then desert the job site with the roof incomplete. Not only do you lose the money you pay as a down payment, but you need to hire another contractor to fix the roof.
Roofing Theives Scam
This scam involves door-to-door salesmen. Usually, one person will come to your door and offer a free roof inspection or repair. Once inside and consuming your attention, another person will come into your home searching for valuables such as money and jewelery they can put into their pockets.
Mandatory Inspection Scam
These scam artists target manufactured homes because the homeowners often do not know who installed their roof. They will call or come to your door claiming that your home is due for a mandatory inspection for your roof warranty. They will then report the need for a large (unneccessary) repair that “the warranty does not fully cover”.
Free Roof Scam
In this situation, a roofing company claims to be able to offer you a ‘free roof’. After a hail-storm, they will come offering a free inspection for damage. They will then report that your home needs a large repair or new roof. However, they claim to be able to waive your home insurance fees, so in essence you will be getting a free roof. This is not true, and you will end up paying every unnecessary penny.
Ball Peen Hammer Scam
This scam takes place when a roofing company offers a free inspection. They will gain access to your roof and use a Ball Peen Hammer to create holes that look like hail damage and then offer to repair it. This scam is usually used in conjunction with the free roof scam.
It is important to understand that if a contractor exercises one or more of these tips does not necessarily indicate that a scam is taking place. In an ever changing competitive landscape legitimate roofing companies must adapt to those changes which include traditional and non-traditional means of generating leads. The participants in this program have each made a financial commitment to CBS4 and this program in order to educate consumers on the possible signs that scam may be taking place. Each participant has been screened with the Attorney General’s office, the Better Business Bureau, the City and County of Denver, the Secretary of State among other methods. It is still up to the consumer to do their due diligence when it comes to selecting a contractor. These pages are created to inform and educate the public only. They are not and should not be considered legal opinions.
Contact Mark Breen at 303-830-6324 for details on program.