How to Avoid Roofing Scams


Do you know how to identify roofing scams? Unfortunately, there are roofing scammers that may engage in shady practices just to get your money. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of what to watch out for and how to avoid roofing scams, especially after any significant weather event that may bring these roofing scammers out of the woodwork. So, before you say yes to that roofer knocking on your door, you will want to read this to protect yourself and your home. 

Why Do Roofers Keep Coming to My House?

Storm chasing roofing contractors, or what we call “stormers,” often flock from out of state to areas in Tennessee after a significant weather event. Stormers are one of the reasons why roofers can have a bad reputation; they often make false promises about quick cheap fixes but then can leave homeowners in a worse predicament, especially if they leave town and/or completely disappear.

While the concept of stormers may be new to you, it is something that our team at L&L Contractors has unfortunately seen a lot of throughout our 17+ years of serving the Middle Tennessee area. In our opinion, no homeowner deserves to be involved in a roofing scam. But, at some point, you may come across a “stormer,” and it is best to be prepared.

Stormers can exhibit the following questionable, red-flag qualities:

  • Unlicensed 🚩
  • Improperly trained 🚩
  • Lack of physical address 🚩
  • Out of state 🚩
  • Not insured 🚩

They are frequently unlicensed, inadequately trained, and could even disappear with your hard-earned money. Let’s go into more detail about what storm chasing roofing contractors, or stormers, are. 

How to Identify Roofing Scams After Storms

Storm chasing roofers typically temporarily infiltrate areas hit by storms, seeking to prey on storm victims and neighborhoods in need of roofing repair and replacement services.

According to a notice issued by the FTC, scammers will use door-to-door tactics and even phone, text, mail, and email alerts to target residents of affected areas after a strong or damaging storm. 

Often from out-of-state, these fly-by-night operations are the bane of reputable roofers and the reason for the industry’s unfortunately tarnished reputation. So if you’re wondering why roofers can have a bad reputation, stormers is indeed one reason why. 

Fortunately, there are ways to identify a stormer and be cautious from the various tactics that they can entice you. We will now go into more of the details of these tactics. 

1) Be Skeptical of Extremely Low Bids

To start off, one of the tell-tale signs of a storm chaser is an unbelievably low bid for your home’s roof work. Storm chasers usually prey on homeowners’ desperation and offer enticing deals that significantly undercut market rates. 

Therefore, you must be aware of unrealistic guarantees and promises of storm deals or special offers that seem too good to be true.

It is always best to consult with a trusted roofing advisor who is well-established in the community to ensure others do not take advantage of you. Follow these practices:

  • Avoid companies that say they can wave your deductible.
  • Avoid companies that only offer brand shingles sold at box stores.
  • Avoid companies that require a deposit before they start work.
  • Avoid companies with online reviews that are all within a year.

Now that we briefly covered lower extremely low bids, we now will discuss what can happen if you unfortunately let a stormer walk on to your roof… 

2) Watch Out for False Claims

If you let a stormer onto your roof, they could 1) falsely claim that there is damage on your roof, or, more nefariously, 2) create damage themselves in order to drum up business. 

In fact, storm chasing roofers might exaggerate or fabricate issues during their inspection to convince homeowners that immediate repairs or replacements are necessary. This tactic can lead to unnecessary expenses for the homeowner and might involve the use of scare tactics to rush the decision-making process. 

In more extreme cases, unreliable roofing operations may resort to creating damage themselves. This could involve anything from purposefully causing leaks, loosening shingles, or damaging the roof structure to make it appear that extensive repairs or a complete replacement is urgently required. 

At L&L Contractors, it’s our job to warn homeowners of stormers, and, if you happen to think you’ve come across one, we offer a free 2nd opinion for any estimate that you have already received. Our licensed and trained roofing advisors can perform a free written roofing inspection that documents  what is indeed going on. 

Next, we’ll discuss being cautious of stormers asking for upfront payments. 

3) Avoid Upfront Payments Before Work Has Started

Another red flag to watch out for is a roofing contractor who insists on receiving payment upfront, often before any work has started.

Stormers are adept at playing on homeowners’ fears, highlighting supposed damage and urging immediate action. Collect as much information as possible about the roofing company and seek a second opinion from a reputable local contractor before making any payments.

Take these steps to prevent losing money in upfront payments:

  • Verify the legitimacy of the roofing company.
  • Check for licenses, insurance, and certifications.
  • Review the contract thoroughly before signing.
  • Never pay the full amount upfront.
  • Avoid cash payments; use traceable methods.
  • Request a payment schedule tied to project milestones.

Having a stormer take your money and run can be truly devastating. Before engaging in any roofing contractor, always be sure to check the tags of the roofer’s truck, which we will discuss next. 

4) Be Wary of Out-of-State License Plates

A good rule of thumb is to be wary of a roofing contractor with an out-of-state license plate knocking on doors in your neighborhood. If you can, check if the vehicle they are driving has Tennessee tags or not. 

Out-of-state tags could indicate that the contractor lacks the necessary licenses to operate in your area. It can be a tell-tale sign of a roofing scam. Not to mention, a roofing contractor from out of state might be challenging to track down if issues arise.

Contractors from out of state might be challenging to track down if issues arise with the work they’ve performed. Local contractors, on the other hand, are more likely to have established roots and a reputation in the community, making it easier for homeowners to hold them accountable for any problems that may arise.

Never entertain a contractor who suggests pulling construction permits on your own—trustworthy professionals can work with local authorities to obtain the required permits.

To avoid falling for this scheme:

  • Understand the permitting process in your area.
  • Request proof of the company’s qualifications and licenses.
  • Contact your local building department to confirm permit requirements.
  • Never provide policy numbers, coverage details, or other sensible information to companies if you have not signed a contract with them.
  • Seek advice from trusted sources or legal counsel if you’re unsure.

By paying attention to the details such as vehicle tags and a contractor’s approach to permits, you can take proactive steps to safeguard your family from potential scams and ensure that you are hiring a reputable and professional roofing professional.

5) Verify Their Reputation 

Before engaging a roofing contractor, there are several factors to consider including credentials, company reputation, and experience. 

For instance, ask for the roofer’s licenses, certifications, and accreditations. See if they have a physical brick and mortar location and where. Conduct a basic search of the company on Google, and see what you can find. 

A reputable roofing contractor will have the proper credentials, brand reputation, and experience in the community. Explore their Google My Business Profile, and see if there is the right contact information, business hours, and 5-sar customer reviews. Additionally, physical offices with verifiable addresses, photos, and positive reviews signal a commitment to customer service and community engagement. 

When using Google Search, follow these steps to assess a company’s profile:

  1. Search for the roofing company’s name on Google.
  2. Review the company’s website and online presence.
  3. Check for customer reviews and ratings on Google.
  4. Verify the company’s physical address and contact information.
  5. Look for any news articles or press releases related to the company.
  6. Check if the company has a Google My Business profile.
  7. Verify the authenticity of customer testimonials and reviews.
  8. Look for any complaints or scam reports associated with the company.
  9. Check the company’s social media profiles for activity and engagement.
  10. Compare the information found online with other sources to ensure consistency.

This proactiveness in researching and confirming key information serves as a safeguard against potential scams, unscrupulous operators, and gives you the peace of mind that you are working with a trustworthy and credible contractor.

Why You Should Get a Second Opinion from a Reputable Roofer 

When in doubt, seek a second opinion. By consulting with trusted local experts like at L&L Contractors, you mitigate the risk of falling prey to stormers’ deceptive tactics. 

Our roofing experts are familiar with the unique challenges and requirements of your local area and can offer personalized recommendations tailored to your specific situation.

They can help you navigate the complexities of the roofing process, including assessing damage, obtaining permits, dealing with insurance claims, and selecting the right materials and contractors for the job.

By seeking guidance from a reputable roofing contractor, you can avoid potential pitfalls and make informed decisions that protect your home, your investments, and your future. 

Schedule a Free Inspection with L&L Contractors Today

Protect yourself against stormers and scammers by seeking a local and trusted roofing contractor with deep expertise and a commitment to the local community. 

L&L Contractors is a premier roofing company in Murfreesboro, TN, proudly serving Middle Tennessee since 2006. We are local, family-owned and operated with a showroom on the historic downtown Murfreesboro square. When it comes to roofing, our roofers nail it.

Schedule an appointment today. If you need immediate assistance, give us a call at (615) 617-3189.

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