There are a couple of roofing scams that have been circulating in Southern Alberta for a number of years. Unfortunately, every year Canadians across the country fall for these sometimes not easy to spot con artists. We do not want to scare you away from contractors, most local contractors are good, honest men and women doing good quality work.
However, there are the bad apples, like in anything. We took to pen some of the most common scams so you, your friends, family, and neighbors are better equipped and able to prevent a substantial financial loss.
This is perhaps one of the oldest in ‘the book’, Under the disguise of a trained professional, this door to door salesmen will come knocking on the door offering free roof inspection. The con artist will go up on the roof of the homeowner and could fabricate damage to mimic storm damage or come down showing a photo with roof damage from a different home and claim it came from the homeowner’s roof.
How to prevent it?
First, we recommend not to open the door to such salesman. However, if you do, make sure not to sign any paperwork until your insurance company or a second reputable roofing company has inspected the roof.
The roofing contractor will offer a low bid that is far less than any other construction companies in the area. Most of these shady contractors know that the homeowner doesn’t have a lot of experience dealing with a roof replacement and since it can be an expensive project, to begin with, the homeowner jumps at the low bid.
Unaware that most contractors in a given area have similar or one provider for roofing supplies and that the job will basically vary by the cost of labor, the homeowner thinks it made the right decision.
Once the job begins, unexpected costs and unforeseen problems suddenly appear. The roofing contractor then might claim an increase in the cost of materials, or ‘find damage’ that wasn’t addressed on the initial inspection or when the contract was agreed upon. some of these contractors will remove the old roof and blackmail the homeowner threatening to leave the roof bare if additional payments aren’t made.
How to prevent it?
Always get a couple of quotes from reputable companies before deciding onto one. If one company offers the same job for a price ‘too good to be true’, it is probably too good to be true and you found yourself a shady contractor.
Make sure the payment structure is clear from the beginning, ask about all the steps of the project and completion time. Request a full disclosure of the project cost and about any ‘worst scenario case’ that could arise during the project.
The old say ‘you get, what you pay for’ applies in roofing all very too often.
These ‘nomad roofers’ go across the country chasing hail storms or other of mother nature’s disastrous works. Like the first type of scam they can show up to your door right after the storm or even ( the smarter ones ) leave a leaflet at your door steps, on the exact right moment.
These contractors know how insurance companies work and can calculate easily how much it will be to put on a very cheap roof, ‘cover’ the damage, charge a hefty amount, close your file with the insurance company and sayonara you never hear or see them again.
3 or 4 years later you find yourself with a leaky roof, broke or curled shingles or worse. You try to reach them, and no one answers the phone or email.
How to prevent it?
Do your research before doing a roof repair or replacement that involves your insurance company. Make sure you check the company on Google, Homestars, or even the BBB to make sure they have a good rating, a good standing in the community.