How To Avoid Contractor Scams & Get A Free Storm Damage Inspection For Your Roof & Property

Between hail, high winds, and even a few tornadoes, Northwest Houston is in need of more than a few home repairs. Even minor roof damage can lead to slow leaks and eventual mold. So how do you know whether your damage is cosmetic or something more serious?  For that matter, how do you even know if your roof is damaged if you can’t see a good portion of it?

How To Get A Free Roof & Property Inspection

Before you call your insurance company it’s a good idea to contact a local reputable storm repair or roofing contractor to do an inspection. Many companies offer complimentary inspections, including 1st Choice Roofing & Construction.

Your inspector will provide you with a report detailing your storm damage, recommendations for repairs, and the estimated cost to complete them. Of course, if you’re worried about more than just your roof, you’ll want to work with a contractor who can also handle damage to areas such as gutters, windows, siding, AC units – and if you have a leak – interior repairs as well.

It’s wise to get several estimates before hiring a contractor, and when filing an insurance claim it’s in your best interested to hire – not the cheapest – but the best possible contractor. You want the highest quality work and materials your insurance will cover. It’s not in your interest to accept a reduced settlement, or work with an insurance “approved” contractor who has an incentive to save your insurance company money, potentially at your expense.

Storm Damage Repair Tips

  • Act fast. Most insurance policies limit your time to file a claim
  • Exposure to the elements can make storm damage worse, or result in leaks or mold, resulting in even more cost to you
  • You can’t be singled out for a rate increase due to storm damage
  • Hire the best contractor, not the cheapest
  • Beware of insurance company “approved” contractors who may have incentives to save your insurer money at your expense
  • Always do your homework and understand your rights

Avoiding Scams

Every year, homes and businesses are damaged by severe weather, and every year, owners fall victim to unlicensed, uninsured, inexperienced contractors and scam artists looking to profit off someone else’s misfortune.

Besides doing a bad job, these individuals can exacerbate the damage to your property, steal your money, and put you at personal, legal, and financial risk. Plus, no one needs that kind of headache in their life!

Many scammers begin with a knock at your door or an unsolicited phone call, so that right there is your first red flag. Scammers are skilled at mimicking legitimate contractors, so protect yourself by doing plenty of research online before you agree to schedule an inspection or any repairs.

Scam Contractor Red Flags & Warning Signs:

  • You didn’t find them; they showed up at your door or called you out of the blue
  • They’re not properly licensed
  • They’re not insured, or they’re under-insured
  • They don’t have a local office; they use a P.O. Box, have an out-of-state phone number or license plate, or don’t seem familiar with your area
  • They can’t provide at least three local references
  • They demand cash up-front or a deposit
  • And this one is a no-brainer … Don’t hire anyone who shows up on convicted criminals or sex offenders list!

H/T The National Storm Damage Center & National Storm Damage Center

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