Why Should You Avoid Storm Chasers Replacing Your Roof?

A pandemic is no time for door-to-door sales. Police in Cleveland warn about scams perpetrated by fraudsters. Yet storm chasers are precisely the type of unscrupulous contractors who will knock on your door after a storm, eager to provide their roofing services. Here’s how to avoid storm chasers and still make your home whole again after storm damage

What is a Storm Chaser?

Generally, contractors for building services are local, reliable, and honest business folks. They are your neighbors and friends, people you call for electrical, plumbing, roofing, and carpentry work. 

Storm chasers are different. Hallmarks of storm-chasing roofers are:

  • No physical, local address
  • No permanent office
  • Almost no equipment; a storm chaser may appear as Chuck-With-a-Pickup-Truck or Dan-in-a-Van (reputable roofers invented these spot-on industry insults)
  • No permanent work crew — they hire day crews from the parking lots of big-box home improvement stores
  • Pressuring sales tactics — You must sign today or the “deal” will not be valid tomorrow!
  • A rush to get the work done so the storm chaser can collect up-front insurance money
  • Demands you sign an Assignment of Benefits (AOB) to transfer insurance claim money straight to them, not to you
  • A refusal to return telephone calls after the job
  • A refusal to make a callback to correct an issue

Quality

The strategy storm chasers employ is to swoop in after a storm, often through door-to-door sales, and try to rush you into signing a contract with them to complete a full roof replacement. 

They have no interest in receiving full payment. They have no interest in doing a good job. They will do something to your roof, take whatever money they can get from your insurance company, and then disappear. 

A day, week, or month later, your roof will leak. You will begin noticing missing drip edges, or re-used flashing, or loose gutters. Problems will arise and you will never find the storm chaser for follow-up. Your insurance company will not pay out twice on the same claim.

You. Are. Stuck. 

A much better, safer, wiser strategy begins with a search for quality. You do the calling, do not wait for a door-to-door salesman and a slick brochure. You call around to local, well-known roofers. Get three estimates. Search for quality roofers who can work directly with your insurance company to get your full roof replacement done quickly and done well. 

Storm Damage Roof Replacement

Storm damage roof replacement begins years before any storm damages your Cleveland-area home. Build a strong relationship with a local roofer by requesting annual inspection and maintenance, routine repairs, and other services. Many excellent roofers handle other building components:

  • Siding
  • Windows and Doors
  • Gutters

By having a local contractor perform a fairly small job — gutters, for example — you get to know the contractor’s crew, quality, and customer service. Then, when a storm does strike, you know who to call. And your roofer knows you!

Local is Best

You probably like to buy fruits and vegetables raised locally. Most of us have a favorite local florist. For many parts of our lives, local is best. This holds true with residential roofers, too. A local roofer has many things a storm chaser does not:

  • A permanent, physical, local address you can visit
  • A front office fully staffed with helpful, friendly workers
  • A permanent, reliable, highly trained roofing crew
  • Complete equipment, including material hoists, trucks, and proper safety gear 

A local, reliable roofer has something no storm chaser will ever have: a local reputation to uphold. If you are unhappy with some minor detail of your full roof replacement, you can ask for a callback, a quick visit to set things right. You will never get this with a storm chaser. 

When you establish and nurture a relationship with a local roofer, you also can make sure the roofer does not subcontract aspects of the job. After a storm, every roofer is busy. Many try to satisfy every client at once by farming jobs out to out-of-state subcontractors of questionable skill and reputation. 

What Does a Full Roof Replacement Look Like?

After a storm, your roof has to be thoroughly inspected, starting at the deck. The roof deck is your home’s rafters, the wood supports which are the foundation for the rest of the roof.

If a storm dropped a heavy limb or, worse, an entire tree onto your roof, the rafters may be splintered. They need replacing before worrying about the roof itself. 

Reputable roofers will replace rafters, sheathing, underlayment, flashing, vents, and more. Storm chasers will install a cheap, inferior roof without worrying about fixing underlying damage. 

The best way to get a great new roof after a storm is to work with a local, reputable roofer. Contact Exteriors Plus today to find out all we can do for you. 

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