Roofing storm chasers trail severe weather around the region, installing new roofs or repairing roof damage caused by hail, wind, tornadoes, etc. These non-local roofers take your insurance claim checks as payment for roofing services, finish as many roofing jobs as they can (often carelessly and cheaply as possible) before moving on to the next storm damaged neighborhood.
In Missouri and Kansas, we are no strangers to storms and roof damage. But a lot of homeowners aren’t prepared for the storm chasers that follow. These companies send sales people door-to-door, blanket the area with signs, and sometimes even advertise as insurance recovery experts or restoration specialists.
Storm chasers will insist that you sign a contract allowing their company to negotiate with your insurance company. Beware. Signing these documents puts you at risk of waiving any rights about decisions regarding repairs or replacement. It also means you lose power over your settlement if the contract legally binds you to turning over payment to the storm chaser, even if you’re not satisfied with your roof. Loss of control applies to materials too, allowing the company to cut corners and quality to increase their profit.
Remember, once the roofing work is gone, so are the storm chasers. Sure, they’ll offer a warranty, but they’re long gone before you notice any problems. Even if the storm chaser is a reputable company in their home state, you’re going to have an impossible time getting the roofer to return from Texas to fix their roofing work.
Just because the company is local and you recognize the name doesn’t mean you’re dealing with that company. Some of these companies will establish local phone numbers and office addresses to use in their signs and marketing. If the area code is local, it’s a local company, right? Wrong. Ask if they do business in different states and to see a driver’s license. Also check with the local BBB.
Some local roofing companies perpetuate the problem by leasing their names to these storm chasers so they legitimately appear local. They leave when the work is done and the local company is responsible for the warranty. No regular, local contractor can keep up with the sheer amount of these repairs for free and stay in business. They can bankrupt quickly, leaving you without a warranty and a bad roof.
Knowing how to spot a storm chaser is the best defense. Typically:
- They come to your door, using high pressure or fear sales tactics to convince you to sign something right then and there
- They offer to show you a way of not paying your deductible (constituting fraud) or offer you a “free roof”
- They drive trucks with out-of-state plates and driver’s licenses (ask to see identity)
- They can’t give you local references
- They have no proof of manufacturer certifications or references
- They do not carry liability and worker’s comp insurance or if they do, the names don’t match
The re-roofing process isn’t something homeowners are familiar with until the time comes to repair or replace their own roof. The key is to separate the qualified, professional roofers from the rest. Visit our roofing testimonials page for more information on why Redhammer Roof Group is your smart choice for a new roof!