Here is an excerpt from an article in The Dallas Morning News about how to avoid a bad roofing contractor, in blue are some extra tips based on the experiences of Lone-Star Roof Systems. To read the full article, “Follow these tips to stay away from roofing scams”, click here.
First steps after suspected damage
Take steps to stop any leaks that might damage interiors.
Call the insurance company.
Ask the agent or adjuster what the process will be and take notes or ask for an email or fax. Take any steps suggested by the insurance representative.
Take pictures of your roof, even if you don’t see any damage. Leave that determination to the adjuster, not to a roofing contractor.
- One point to keep in mind here is that the majority of insurance adjusters do see a lot of roofs but are not roofing experts. They have usually not spent the time learning about product materials and construction or taken installation courses. In our experience the best thing to do is try to have a roofing contractor come walk your roof with the insurance adjuster.
Wait to get estimates until your adjuster has examined your roof.
Avoid door-to-door solicitors.
Don’t sign any document until you’re sure you’ve chosen the contractor you want.
Avoid contractors willing to help “save your deductible,” which is unlawful.
- This is a GREAT point! There are a lot of “roofers” out there who will help you defraud your insurance company and knock hundreds or thousands off their fee but ask yourself how they are recovering that loss. For more information on the “deductible saving scammers”, read our blog “Think Before you Sign…”.
Ask for referrals from neighbors and others you trust.
- This is a good tip, any reputable roofing contractor will have a lot of referral business, we certainly do.
Make sure the company actually exists by looking them up on a third-party directory, such as a printed telephone or business association directory. The number provided by the contractor may just be for show, and scam artists may even set up websites with false information about their operation.
- This is always a good idea, use sites such as BBB but remember the BBB is a business too so some companies are reputable but work in several different markets but don’t pay all of the fees to be listed in every BBB market. You can also check for certified contractor’s on roofing manufacturers sites such as GAF and Certainteed.
Check with the city of Dallas (or the jurisdiction where the house is located) to make sure the contractor is registered and can apply for a building permit, which is required in Dallas for roofing work valued at $500 or more.
Check the reputation of the contractors by looking at service-referral websites such as the Dallas-area Better Business Bureau (free) or Angie’s List (free information and contractor listings but a paid subscription is required to view contractor ratings and reviews). Look for a local street address, not a post office box. Check how long the company has been in business and look for memberships in local and national trade associations.
If a subcontractor identifies as being with a large company, call the contracting company to make sure the sub is being truthful.
Ask all contractors to confirm they have proof of general liability insurance and workers-compensation coverage. Once you choose a contractor, ask to see proof.
- Definitely find out about insurance, you don’t want to end up paying for someone else’s carelessness.
Ask contractors you’re considering for references to other jobs they did 12 to 24 months ago so you can determine whether the work has held up.
- This tip is two-fold because you will know the company has been in business for a while. With the high turnover of companies in the roofing industry, you want to make sure they will be around to honor your warranty 2 years from now.
Get three estimates in writing, which gives you an opportunity to check for consistency in the scope of work. Avoid bids that are either much higher or lower than the other two.
- This is a little tricky, if you follow the previous guidelines you will be ok but if you get 2 estimates from bad companies and only 1 from a reputable company, chances are the reputable company will be significantly higher but you get what you pay for. You also need to make sure that all of the bids are for the same scope of work, don’t compare apples to oranges. It may benefit you to do some research, there are a lot of resources where you can learn about roofing materials and systems on the internet.
Contact Lone-Star Roof Systems, LLC. at one of our 3 offices today!
Mailing Address for All Offices
1511 South Texas Avenue, #172
College Station, TX 77840
College Station Office
722 Peach Creek Cut Off, Ste. 100
College Station, TX 77845
5040 Grisham Dr., Suite 103
Rowlett, TX 75088
15219 Stuebner Airline, #12
Houston, TX 77069