It is fairly common for a roof to develop damage after a heavy storm hits, especially on older roofs. The repair of this damage is frequently left in the hands of a Houston commercial roofing contractor. In most circumstances, it is the building owner who will initiate contact for inspection and a repair quote. There are also times when someone comes directly to the building owner and offers their services. Although both approaches are acceptable, any building owner should be very careful when dealing with a ‘salesman’ going door-to-door offering the services of a little-known roofing company because that group may be “storm chasers.”
What are storm chasers? They are “fly-by-night” operators who in most cases are not licensed contractors. They flock into areas struck by storms and go door-to-door offering their immediate services. This is appealing to many since most local contractors are going to get quickly booked after a storm and storm chasers can take advantage of this opportunity. Everyone wants to be the first to get their roof repaired which makes them more susceptible to this ‘quick fix’ offer. The sad thing is that the job is seldom done correctly or economically – and when problems do arise, these people are long-gone with a disconnected telephone number and no way to be tracked down.
With the entire local Houston commercial roofing contractors booked for weeks or months, the storm chasers can easily pressure a homeowner to use their services. When the roof is leaking water into the building, common sense can take a back seat to wanting to get the damage fixed right away. Unfortunately, the quotes are often high and workmanship quality low, leaving an owner with the worst possible scenario of poor repairs and no recourse.
A different kind of deceptive practice happens when this type of roofer offers to inspect the roof and claims to find damage even when there is none. The most important thing that a building owner can know is how to determine a reputable Houston commercial roofing contractor from a storm chaser.
Separating Fact From Fiction
When someone approaches an owner and claims to be a roofing contractor, the first and most important thing to determine is whether they are a local roofing contractor. Request company name, address, telephone number(s) and contractor’s license number in order to consider their services. This act alone will scare away many disreputable contractors. In addition, a logo on their service vehicle as well as on the shirts/uniforms being worn is a good indication that they may or may not be legitimate.
Be aware that reputable and local Houston commercial roofing contractors are not going to go door-to-door to find business, so this is a good indication that they are not a local company. Do not feel pressured into making an immediate decision and tell them that fact. A professional roofing contractor will simply estimate the damage, provide a quote and await a decision.
Be aware of activity in the immediate vicinity of the building. Usually the first teams out inspecting structures are insurance adjusters as all insurance companies require inspection by their employees in order to process a claim. Also be aware of whether the damage in the immediate area was severe enough to ‘total’ a roof or if most local buildings are being adequately repaired. If a contractor claims the roof to be a total loss and others in the area are being repaired, this may indeed be a scam. The best way to confirm if a company is legitimate is to verify any quotes with a local roofing contractor.
For non-urgent repairs, the best way to avoid a scam is call a local Houston commercial roofing contractor. Any potential wait for service will be well worth the time it takes. A local Houston commercial roofing contractor will provide a quote and await a decision – and be reachable before, during and after the completion of repairs. Be wary and be wise – don’t be fooled by the storm chasers!