Storms and hurricanes are rampant in Florida. This means, a lot of houses will be seriously affected and will need repair. This is where the “storm chasers” find their chance for advancement.
Who are storm chasers?
After a strong storm in Clearwater, Florida that has damaged multiple roofs in your area you may experience roofing companies appear on your doorstep offering their services. If you are relieved that you do not need to search further and are happy to do business with them you may fall into their trap. Having said this, it should also be mentioned that not all such people are frauds but a lot of them are.
1. How do these people operate?
When there is a possibility of a storm or hurricane in the country, the weather bureau will broadcast the areas that will be affected seriously. Then some people rustle up a few people who know the bare minimum about roofing and form a company. These companies travel to the affected areas and offer help. Most homeowners will be thankful that the headache of searching for a roofing company during a time of emergency is lifted from them. These companies will offer free roof inspection and if you are not very careful they will fake damages. Some of them even go to the extent of creating damage or even add to the existing damages. They may even hint that your insurance company has sent them to you. It is for you to do detailed research before falling into their traps.
2. How do you recognize them?
They may have a few tricks up their sleeves. The first strategy of these companies is an aggressive marketing tactic. They may offer you fabulous propositions with a stipulation that they are limited for a certain time and you will have to act quickly to take advantage of this. This often puts pressure on you. Another strategy is to offer you a free roof repair or roof replacement. They will convince you that your insurance company will bear the expenses of the replacement or repair. Some of them even offer to pay for your deductibles. The cashback offer is another red herring to trap you.
3. Why is it necessary to avoid them?
The first reason is that these people may not be experts. They offer a surprisingly speedy work. At the same time, they usually do sub-par work that will cause serious trouble for you in the future. Since they are not very familiar with the industry, their choice of the roofing materials may be sub-standard. Some companies demand payment, part, or the whole upfront. If they abscond after that, you will be in a helpless position as these people will not have a permanent address or phone number. Furthermore, you will be in a fix, if the suppliers of various materials contact you for payment, once the roofers have left after the completion of the work.
4. What should you do to make sure that you are dealing with genuine people?
It will be unfair to say that all these people are frauds. There may be quite a few that are not. If you consider the following points you can rest assured that you have not fallen prey to a storm chaser
• Ask for reference
You should ask the company to provide references to their previous jobs. This way you can know whether they are trustworthy or not. Ask about the materials they plan to use. If they are using quality materials you can be sure that they know the industry and have been in it for some time. This means that they can be entrusted with the job.
• Ask about the workforce
Find out the details of the workforce and its training and experience. If the working team comprises experts and experienced workers the company should be good enough to be trusted with your roof.
• Ask about the warranties
If the roofers give you a reasonable warranty on their work and if they are available to do the corrections, if any, afterward, you can trust them.
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5. What other precautions should you take?
You have to put everything in writing before you start the job. All the stipulations and conditions should be written down clearly. You will also do well in getting an estimate from your own insurance company beforehand. Another thing you should be careful about is not to allow any of these so-called storm chasers to get on to your roof before anything is decided.