Free ‘Roof Inspections' Can Actually Be Scams

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Spring is here and that means home improvement is on the top of everyone’s minds as they get ready for nice, warm weather. Unfortunately, this time of year also brings unsolicited offers like a “free roof inspection” that could lead to paying for unnecessary, subpar or even nonexistent work.

Leslie Gaydos and Rob Michaelson explain why you should think twice before accepting an offer that comes to your door.

Why You Should Think Twice About Unsolicited Roof Inspections

Rob: You know  Leslie, I had a guy come by my house the other day offering free roof inspections. I, of course, said no, because first of all, it seems kind of suspicious. And I just like to ignore all my problems.

Leslie: Tis the season when spring arrives. You do get some of these unsolicited offers and companies that swing by to see if they can take a look or do something around your house. And you always want to be cautious of any kind of unsolicited offer of help or work. The Better Business Bureau is issuing an alert about free roof inspections. So someone is going to come to your house and say, We're in the area, we're doing work in the area, we can do a free roof inspection and then they're going to tell you you have all these problems with your roof.

According to the Better Business Bureau, they might show you photos that are not of your roof, but another roof that has damage. To say that you need to pay for all of this work to be done, or they could actually damage your roof, pull some shingles up to simulate some wind damage or something like that, and tell you that you need to pay to have a fix.

What to Look Out For

Rob: I never go on to my roof because why would I do that? So they could just tell me something either? Yeah, that makes sense. So what are some other signs to look for that a company or a person might be a little shady?

Leslie: So obviously you would want to do your due diligence before you hired anyone to do any work on your home, and that would include finding out what the name of the company is doing. A Google search about that company, putting in the name of the company with the word complaints or scams. See what pops up According to the Better Business Bureau, some of these companies use a generic sounding name, with the state tacked on the front of it. So Massachusetts, something something repair. So you want to be cautious of that.

You always want to get estimates if you're ever going to have work done on your house. So you want to have several companies come in and say, this is what we found and this is how much it's going to cost for you to repair it. And you never want to have pressure on you to make a decision about a home repair or a roof repair. So if someone shows up at your door, we're in the area, we need an answer back off of that. Always be suspicious, take your time, do your research and make a really good educated decision about who you're hiring. If you hire a company that you don't know anything about, a lot of these are scams, and they may do damage to your roof or do shoddy work or no work at all and take off with your money.

Why You Should Involve Your Insurance Company

Rob: Yeah, Leslie, I make it a point to never take unsolicited offers or really answer my door or phone in general. But what are some more tips to really help people avoid this? Because it can be tempting somebody is calling you or at your door. You might fall into it, you might fall into their trap.

Leslie: And they also say they can get the work done quickly because they're in the area. They can have it done by the end and that next week they can give you a discounted rate. All of those things to make you make a quick decision, which is never good. You also want to involve your insurance company. If you actually do have legitimate roof damage, you want to file a claim, you want them to come out to take a look at it, to see if there's a fix or a repair or replacement that is needed.

Similar Scams to Look Out For

Leslie: Also, beware of similar scams of people showing up at your door, saying they're in the area. They have some extra asphalt left over from a paving job. They can redo your driveway. That's one that we hear about frequently or a painting scam or some other kind of a work that they can do on your house and they're going to walk around and point out what you need to have fixed. Again, always take your time research companies and get some different quotes from different companies to see if everybody's telling you the same thing and never make a quick decision, especially with any kind of home repair.

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