How to Avoid a Storm Chaser in Lynchburg, Va
You may have heard of storm chasers before and immediately thought of those who seek the adventure of chasing and witnessing severe storms.
Roofing storm chasers are very different.
These roofing contractors chase quick and easy money by taking advantage of people right after severe storms.
They come in after a severe storm, drive by any damaged property, and then use people’s urgent need for a roof replacement or repair to get work.
Storm chasers are dangerous as their work is poor-quality, leaving your house in bad shape.
Table of Contents
- What are storm chasers and fly-by-night roofing companies?
- How to spot storm chasers and fly by night roofers
- Steps to take if you come across a storm chaser
- Can storm chasers get insurance, and are they legal?
What are storm chasers and fly-by-night roofing companies?
A storm chaser and a fly-by-night roofer are terms used for roofers who use bad situations to make money by doing shoddy work.
They usually use fake advertisements to seem more legitimate and show up after severe storms.
They sometimes work at night, trying to avoid any police activity.
Once they finish their work, they disappear, leaving you with a poor quality roof and taking your money without any way of reaching them again.
Some of them are just outright scammers who do not have much experience at all with roofing.
Now that you know what they are, how can you spot them?
How to spot storm chasers and fly by night roofers
The goal is to know how to spot a fly-by-night or storm chaser roofer in Lynchburg, VA, so you can avoid hiring them.
You want to ensure quality work is done on your roof by a professional roofing contractor.
So here are some things to keep an eye out for.
- Storm Chasers typically wait for severe weather, which can mean anything from tornados to hail storms.
- They usually work alone or with a few employees. After big storms, storm chasers will travel to the affected area and begin trying to get business by going door to door.
- They can come across as aggressive, shady, and sometimes scary. Remember that a trustworthy and professional roofing contractor will rarely use the tactic of going door to door.
- Storm chasers will then try to persuade you with great rates or may claim they are running a “special” to get your business.
- They can give better rates because they use cheap materials.
- They are also professionals at convincing you to use your house insurance policy.
- They may encourage you to use your home insurance policy by saying it’ll be free of cost.
- They could also try to convince you to pay entirely in cash, saying it will be an easy process to fix your damage quickly.
- Storm Chasers usually use cheap material that doesn’t last as long and show up with unprofessional equipment.
- They may not fully complete their work before taking off with your money.
- Their job is usually done in a rush leaving many mistakes behind.
- Then there is no way to get in contact with them when you are dealing with these roofing problems.
Steps to take if you come across a storm chaser
1 – Stand your ground
It may sound like a great deal, especially if your roof is damaged from a storm, but anytime a salesperson comes to your door, stand your ground.
Salespeople are great at their job and usually know their information well, sounding like experts on their topic.
Storm Chasers may try to impress you by saying they offer siding and window services when they do not perform other types of renovations.
2 – Do research
Ensure you get a business card or their company name and website, and tell them you first need to do some research.
A company website and online reviews greatly help knowing if someone is reputable.
You also want to ask to see any licenses and certifications and make sure they are valid and up to date.
Get a written warranty for any future repairs and a number to contact.
3 – Take control of the conversation
You want to be the one asking for all the information.
Do not give a storm chaser any of your information, and avoid signing any paperwork.
Do not give out any deposits unless you are sure you are working with a reliable company.
Storm chasers will usually ask for a large deposit before starting any work.
You will also want to know what materials they use and how much experience the contractor and crew have.
Can storm chasers get insurance, and are they legal?
Storm chasers can get you to use your insurance policy and leave with the extra insurance funds.
It is easier for them to convince you to pay cash. Still, if they can get insurance, they can make even more money by overpricing their labor.
Storm chasing is a scam and is illegal, so report any suspicious activity to the police immediately. The Better Business Bureau realized the growing number of storm chasers and warned consumers about these scams.
They gave many helpful tips when it comes to hiring a contractor. To ensure you are not dealing with a scam, contact your insurance company and ask them about your policy coverage and if they have any recommended contractors.
If a contractor comes straight to your door after a storm, that already is a huge red flag.
If you are still unsure about the contractors, call a reputable local roofing company for a second opinion. You should always get two or three estimates from different roofers. If a storm just hit, and it’s hard to get a second estimate, do not be afraid to ask another company about the contractors who came to your door.
The Better Business Bureau also recommends always getting everything in writing and paying with a credit card. It is easier to track credit cards, so storm chasers may offer you a discount if you pay in cash. Another sign of dishonesty is asking for complete payment upfront.
Regarding reputable roofing companies in Lynchburg, VA, Cenvar Roofing is a licensed professional company, and we have high standards by being an Owen’s Corning Platinum Preferred Contractor. We also use materials from Owen’s Corning, which are known to have excellent quality.
If you have any damage on your roof or need a roof replacement in Lynchburg, VA, give us a call! When it comes to getting multiple estimates, we offer a FREE ESTIMATE!
If you have any concerns, give us a call, and we would love to help answer any of your questions.