Roofing Experts

How To Avoid Common Roofing Scams in Colorado

After a storm or adverse weather, most people are at hand to help others in a crisis. Sadly, while it’s a minority, some of those offering help are scammers looking to make money for little or no work.

In the height of panic, you might accept the first offer of help that comes your way, but you must take your time to assess if it’s a scam or not.

Read on to discover Colorado’s most common roofing scams and how to avoid them today.

What Are the Most Common Colorado Roofing Scams?

Storm Chasers

It might seem unbelievable, but sadly, some people will try and take advantage of recent damaging events, such as storms, and these people are known as ‘storm chasers,’ meaning they follow storms to find damage. Even when there is no actual damage, people who have lived through a storm will often be afraid that there might be damage, and storm chasers will take advantage of this.

Storm chasers will often sell themselves as roofing contractors, but they won’t be licensed or insured, meaning they are far from qualified to work on your home. However, when people are afraid or their adrenaline is high, some can forget to check for the necessary qualifications. As such, these storm chasers will produce poor-quality work with low-quality, cheap materials.

Don’t think that you could fall for this? Make sure that if someone approaches you following a storm, you first check to see if you think you have roof damage or not. If you don’t believe you do, question the motives of those suggesting you need repairs. Be aware that storm chasers also “employ” people in the guise of “just passing by” to comment that they think your roof might be damaged.

To altogether avoid this scam, it’s best to never let anyone on your roof without checking that they are appropriately qualified or insured; nobody who is will have an issue with showing you the evidence.

Scotts Roofing J. D. Baird

Door-to-Door Scams

Typically, in Colorado, storms will be of a higher frequency in fall and winter and rapidly dissipate in spring. So it would be best to watch out for door-to-door scams in the spring months, where scammers will make the rounds when you’re most likely to have suffered damage from the storms earlier in the year.

Door-to-door scammers will generally prey on more vulnerable members of the community who may not have the confidence to question their motives or are generally more trusting. For example, scammers online or over the phone will typically try to target older people, and door-to-door scammers are no different, offering roofing, house repairs, or paving repairs, and more often than not, these “repairs” are entirely unnecessary.

The primary method to avoiding a door-to-door scammer is first to question whether or not it seems too convenient. If the answer is yes, then look out for the following other signs – if you notice them, they may be a door-to-door scammer:

  • They drive new pick-up trucks or out-of-the-state license plates
  • They make you feel pressured or scared
  • They might say they have “leftover materials” from a previous job they’d like to offer you.
  • They put pressure on you to get building permits
  • They demand more money once the job finishes

The last point is hard to notice until it’s too late, so it’s best to remain vigilant before it gets to that point.

Up Front Payments

If we say that requesting upfront payments is a clear sign of a scam, you might think that’s obvious. However, scammers are very good at asking for money upfront without seeming like a bad idea; scammers are often well-versed and practiced.

Whether they are a storm chaser, a door-to-door scammer, or a roofing contractor you’ve found online, if they ask for a deposit or full upfront payment, they’ll likely take your money and not return with it. Sadly, while most people want to trust those they’re working with, if you offer upfront payment, you’re giving the contractor money without a single bit of work done. Again, scammers are great at making you feel like this is a good idea at the time.

Alternatively, they might not ask for the total cost (in case you think that’s suspicious) and will instead ask for a deposit, usually quite a sizeable one. Often, they won’t need a deposit for any reason, so they’ll take your money and leave again. Ensure that you always check that your contractor is insured and qualified, and then if they ask for money upfront, question it – if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

However, if all other credentials check out and you aren’t sure, ask for a written contract binding them to do the job. You can also request to speak to clients they’ve worked for before, but remember that they can fake this, too. Most reliable contractors will understand why you hesitate to hand over your money.

Discounts Too Good To Be True

Everyone loves a discount; after all, saving money is very appealing; however, if a discount seems too good to be true, you’re likely dealing with a scammer. Remember that to do a good job, a contractor must get paid for their time, skill, and good-quality materials, which will come with a cost, but this doesn’t mean only using contractors who charge a significant amount.

Instead, ask if the price of the work is reasonable. If you aren’t familiar with the typical cost of the job you require, and after using all the usual methods to check the contractor is legitimate, ask friends and family how much past work has cost them. Also, check the contractor’s website.

Ensure you never accept an offer if a contractor offers to pay for your insurance deductible; it’s illegal in Colorado as it puts you and them at risk of committing insurance fraud. So again, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

How to Protect Yourself From Colorado Roofing Scams

Choose a Reputable Roofing Contractor

Choosing a reputable roofing contractor is the foremost way to avoid scams in Colorado. After a storm, don’t jump at the first offer you have to fix your roofing problems (if you even have any). Instead, seek a reputable contractor, such as Scott’s Roofing, with a proven history of top-quality work.

Reviews and recommendations are crucial to knowing if you’ll get a job well done, so seek a reputable contractor who is happy to prove their qualifications.

Don’t Be Pushed Into Signing a Contract

Are you feeling pressured into giving money or signing a contract? Remember that while the money is still in your pocket and you haven’t signed the dotted line, you haven’t gotten scammed yet. It’s better to take your time by researching the contractor and asking plenty of questions so that if you are dealing with a scammer, it’s only time you’ve wasted. And even then, it isn’t a waste if you’ve saved yourself from being scammed.

Know Your Rights

It’s a myth that you must be stupid to fall for a scam. Scammers are increasing in skill, and fraudulent contractors are adapting to new scamming methods, such as using social media to their advantage.

Make sure that you’re aware that it’s well within your rights to:

  • Ask for proof of insurance
  • Ask for proof of qualifications
  • Seek recommendations from others
  • Not sign a contract until you’re happy
  • Not hand over any money, either the total cost or a deposit

You’re allowed to ask questions and research, so take your time.

Need a Reliable Roofer? Contact Scott’s Roofing Colorado!

Do you know that your home needs a new roof? Get in touch with Scott’s Roofing in Denver, Boulder, Lafayette, Longmont, Lakewood, or any of the other areas we operate in today. We’re a leading roofing contractor in Colorado, offering help with storm damage and residential and commercial roofing, roof inspections, and more.

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