Many people in bell county are now dealing with roof damage after Sunday's hail storm. Established roofing companies like Tanner Roofing in Belton have already received a torrent of calls and are working hard to keep up. That means some home owners may not get their roofs looked at for at least a week. They might want to think twice however, about hiring the first roofing contractor that comes along.
According the the Better Business Bureau, hail storms bring in a lot of "storm chasers," or small contractors that go town to town looking to do a quick roofing job. And some of those contractors are willing to scam people in order to make a quick buck.
"You have folks coming into town, making large promises, often going door to door. The red flag is they want a lot of money of front," BBB Regional Director Adam Price said. "We get complaints from folks where that happens and they never see the guy again."
Price said some contractors will also use scare tactics - claiming the roof or chimney is about to come down. Others will might claim they can give you a cheap deal because they have extra material from a previous job. Other red flags include:
- If a contractor claims they need money up front to buy materials
- If a contractor claims the customer must sign a contract for them to do an estimate or pay for the estimate.
- If a contractor claims they will contact your insurance company for you
Price said to make sure you get squared away with your insurance company before taking any further steps.
"You want to talk to your insurance agent first, everyone has a different policy," Price said. "Talk to them before you give money to anybody or sign with any roofer. Check two or three different sources. Get bids."
You can find a list of BBB accredited roofing contractors on the BBB website.