With the recent batch of foul weather that has afflicted the state of Texas, many homeowners are turning their attention to their houses and, in particular, the state of their roofs. This spring, BBB Scam Tracker has already received multiple reports of “free” roof inspections being offered by businesses “specializing” in roof repair. When a homeowner accepts the free inspection, the “inspector” will often insist that the roof is in such disrepair that it will need to be fully replaced. If they fail to find enough of a reason to repair the entire roof, they may tear off shingles to mimic wind damage or simply show the homeowner pictures of another damaged roof, passing it off as their own.
Similar to storm chasers, “free” roof inspection scams take advantage of homeowners who are in need of immediate repairs. These con artists often use generic business names, such as including the name of a state (e.g., Florida or Texas) plus “Roofing” or “Construction.” When questioned on where their business is located or how their services work, the homeowner will receive vague, noncommittal responses. These companies will also hire individuals from the local workforce and fail to compensate them for their time, impacting not only homeowners but those who are seeking jobs as well.
One Texas resident reported to BBB Scam Tracker that a “business came to San Antonio claiming to be a major roofing company and hired myself and a few people from the area. They had us gather over 80 claim numbers from insurance agencies. We picked up insurance checks and never put up a roof. They also refused to pay me for my time.”
To avoid roofing scams, see the following guidelines provided by your BBB:
- “Free” roof inspection scams often begin with a contractor who “happens to be in the area” and notices a roof is in disrepair. Often, they will comment that they have just finished a job in the area and would like to perform a cursory inspection of your roof, with no commitment required on the homeowner’s part. BBB strongly recommends asking several questions to establish the credibility of a company, such as, “Where is your business headquartered?” or “How long has your business been working in this area?” Be sure to inquire as to their accreditation status with BBB, and don’t just take their word for it.
- Prior to signing any paperwork or contracts with a roofing company, request an inspection from your home insurance company to verify the need for repairs or replacements. Filing an insurance claim for roofing repairs will be noted on your insurance record and may impact future claims or continued coverage.
- Prior to contracting a roofing company, make sure to check BBB.org for previous complaints other consumers might have had. Reputable roofing companies should have before and after pictures of previous projects to demonstrate their credibility and craft. With a median cost around $8,000 for a roofing project, it is important to spend the time to research a chosen business before signing any paperwork.
If you’ve been the victim of roofing scam, report it on BBB Scam Tracker immediately. Your report will help alert others to the danger.