Home Improvement

5 Roofing Scams To Look Out For (And Avoid)


Your roof is arguably the most significant part of your home. It protects it from the elements, ensuring you’re warm and comfortable all year round. That’s why it’s so important to pick the right company to mend or replace it when the time comes. Sadly, there are plenty of roofing scams out there that will leave you without your money. Some will even damage your roof further.

Here are the most common scams to look out for, and how you can avoid them.


5 Common Roofing Scams

  1. The Door-To-Door Salesman: this salesman promises low, or free roofing if you have any damage.
  2. The Disappearing Act: your roofing company suddenly disappears after you’ve paid or put a deposit down.
  3. The Rising Costs Scam: once your contractor begins work, they suddenly need more money for various reasons.
  4. The Storm Chaser: these contractors suddenly appear in your time of need, after a major storm. Yet, they don’t actually repair your roof.
  5. The High Pressure Scam: these salespeople give you extreme deals and promises in hopes you will sign right then and there.

These five roofing scams are unfortunately more common than you’d like to believe. However, in this article, we explain these common roofing scams, and how you can avoid them.


1. The Door-To-Door Salesman

Now, not every door-to-door salesman is untrustworthy. However, many of them are from companies you have every right to be wary of.

These salesmen will come to your door and claim to offer a free inspection of your roof, right there and then. They’ll often target senior citizens, but honestly everyone is vulnerable to these people. If you have an older home, or there’s just been a major storm, you’re more likely to see them.

They say if there’s damage to your roof, they can get you a new one for free. If you let them in and let them inspect the roof, that’s where the trouble starts. If they can’t find any damage, they’re known to create it themselves. They’ll tear shingles off, hammer at the roof to mimic hail damage, or even present a photo from another home’s roof damage, claiming it is yours.


How To Avoid This Scam

If someone comes to your door, don’t let them in right away. They may be persistent, but you don’t have to let anyone into your home. Look up the company, and see what others are saying about them. If you see anything that makes you uncomfortable, avoid them.



2. The Disappearing Act

Another one of the most popular roofing scams is known as the disappearing act. The roofing company may look legit, but then you’ve got to put down a deposit. You’re told it’s for labor or parts, which sounds reasonable. You give the roofers the check, and they’re never seen again. In the meantime, you’re out the money and you still have a roof that needs replacement. It’s a homeowner’s worst nightmare.

This often happens when roofers know there’s been an insurance payout to fix damage to a roof. They’ll cash the insurance check you were given, and disappear with your money.


How To Avoid This Scam

Do not give any money until the company has shown they’re going to do the work. This means that they either have to come and complete the work before you hand over the money, or at least drop off the supplies first. You need to know they’re going to do the work you’re paying for, so hold onto the check until they show willing.


3. The Rising Costs Scam

Many roofing scams will use what is called the ‘elevator ride’. This tactic involves giving the homeowner a lower than average quote for the work, which they will jump at. After all, they’re inexperienced in what a roof should cost, and the job is an expensive one.

Once they start working, they’ll claim that they need more money from the homeowner. Maybe the price of materials has increased, or they’ve found more damage once they started working. Either way, they’re going to get more money out of you. Some scam artists are even known for stripping the roof down, then threatening to leave unless you pay up.


How To Avoid This Scam

Check the contract with this service carefully before you agree to any work. In most reputable roofer’s contracts, they will include a section on what happens if they find any damage. They’ll list out a fair price if they need to extra work, usually to the decking, as it’s often not possible to check it before starting work. If the contract doesn’t have this, walk away.



4. The Storm Chaser Scam

There are plenty of roofing companies that travel the weather, following storms. If there’s been a large storm in the area, they’ll swarm it. They’ll hand out leaflets and even show up on your doorstep, offering help with your damaged roof.

If you allow them in, they’ll do the bare minimum to fix the damage. Often cosmetically your roof will be fine, but they’ll have done nothing to help you get any lasting damage fixed. Often, victims of this scam will find that they need a whole new roof, just 5 years after having it replaced.


How To Avoid This Scam

Again, look into the company before you agree to any building work. Visit their offices if you can. If their address is just a PO box, then that’s a major warning sign that you should steer clear of them.


5. The High Pressure Scam

The problem with having your roof replaced is that you only do it once or twice in a lifetime. Less than scrupulous roofers know that this is the case, so they’ll pressure you into a sale any way they can. After all, you won’t know until you’ve already handed over your money.

Pay attention to the way a roofer talks to you about a potential sale. Someone using high pressure tactics will lean on you if you show any reluctance to buy from them. They’ll promise things they can’t possibly deliver, or use scare tactics to make you give in there and then. It’s intimidating and worrying for a lot of homeowners.


How To Avoid This Scam

If this roofer is on your doorstep and you feel uncomfortable for any reason, you can ask them to leave. They may not want to, as they know you’ll do your research once they’re gone and you may not go with them. Stand your ground, though, and don’t let them intimidate you. In the worst-case scenario, you can call the police if they refuse to leave your home.

Unfortunately, there are roofing scams all around us. However, these tips will help you spot a scam roofing company before they get their hands on your roof. Do your research before you sign on the dotted line, and you’ll have a roofer that’s reputable.

Blog Roof Repair

What You Need to Know About Roof Restoration

If your roof needs some work done to it, then you’ll be wondering whether to replace the whole thing, or simply patch it up where it’s needed the most. Do you really need to replace the whole roof, or can you get away with simple roof restoration? It very much depends on the state of your roof, and what needs mending or replacing. Here’s a guide to picking the right option for your roof, and what you should be looking out for.

4 Considerations of Roof Restoration and Replacement

Before determining whether you should opt for roof restoration or replacement, there are four things you should always consider.

  1. Preventative Repairs: Can you prevent potential damages and issues with simple roof restoration repairs?
  2. Partial Re-roofing: Is it worth it to replace the whole roof, or should you consider partial re-roofing?
  3. Roofing Materials: What type of material is your current roof? Depending on your material, is roof restoration or replacement a better option?
  4. Patching a Roof: Can patching the roof restore it, or do you need a full replacement?

These four considerations will help you to determine whether you can solve your problems with roof restoration, or if you will need a full roof replacement.

Preventative Repairs

With most things in home care, preventing issues later down the line can save you a huge amount of time and money. Sometimes, a smaller repair may be all you need to keep your roof in top condition. For example, if some of the shingles are missing, you can simply replace them to keep the roof secure and water tight.

If you’re going to do this, it’s best to call in an expert first to inspect your roof. If shingles are missing, your roof may have suffered damage. If it hasn’t, then you just need some simple roof restoration to replace those shingles. If you have a box of them left over from the last time the roof was replaced, be aware that the colors may no longer match up, due to wear and exposure on the roof.

Partial Reroofing

Your roof may have suffered damage from a storm or other event, but only on one side. When this happens, many homeowners decide to just replace that section of the roof. In theory, this makes sense. The rest of the roof is fine, and it would cost less, wouldn’t it?

However, as noted in this Bob Vila article, that often isn’t the case. It cites the example of a four sided hip roof. The price for replacing one side was $2,800, which seemed reasonable. However, the cost of replacing the whole roof was $9000, which comes out to $2,250 per side. This means that it was actually cheaper on a cost per square basis to replace the whole roof. Not only does the cost become cheaper, it also saves you from other potential issues from partial re-roofing. These include colors that don’t match, lopsided ridges and gaps, and more.

If this is the problem you’re looking at, look into how much it would be to replace the whole roof rather than just the one side. It may well be worth the money.

Roofing Materials

The materials your roof is made of will have an effect on your decision to replace or repair. Different materials have different properties, and some can stand up to damage more than others.

For example, if you have a slate or tile roof, then you may be better off doing extensive repairs, rather than replacing the roof. This is because these materials can last for up to 70 years before needing to be replaced. Replacing can be expensive, so repairing is the better option in this case.

Metal roofing is known as one of the hardest wearing roofing materials out there. If it takes impact damage, it can be repaired and keep on going. If it does need replacement, it’s usually after decades of service. Replace it with another metal roof, and it’ll keep going for years to come.

Asphalt shingles are less hard wearing, but they’re also more versatile as a roofing material. If a couple are missing and there’s no damage, then you can just replace them. However, if many have taken damage and there’s damage to the roof below, then the whole roof will have to be replaced.

In all of these cases, it’s much better to call in an expert and see what they think, before you make any decision about your roof.

Patching An Entire Roof

In some cases, you may be able to patch over the entire roof, applying new shingles over the existing ones on the roof. If you only have one layer of shingles currently, then you can consider this as an option. It’s a lot cheaper than tearing off and replacing a roof, and you are allowed to have up to two layers of shingles on your roof.

However, there are some downsides to this approach. Firstly, shingles are heavier than they look. Having two layers of them on the roof can actually cause damage to it, in the long run. As well as this, having an extra layer means you can’t check for damage effectively. There may be damage to the first layer of shingles, but if you have another layer on top, you won’t be able to see it.

How To Know When To Replace A Roof

So, how can you tell if the roof needs to be replaced entirely? There are a few warning signs to look out for:

  • Sagging roof: If your roof is starting to sag in the middle, that’s a clear warning sign that it needs to be replaced. This usually happens over time, so a sagging roof is one that’s reaching the end of its lifespan.
  • Water damage: Water is your roofs number 1 enemy. If it gets under the tiles, the damage it can cause is immeasurable. If you’ve spotted water damage on your roof, then now may be the time to replace the whole thing.
  • Recent storms or bad weather: If you’ve had a bad storm recently, then the damage it’s caused your roof may be enough to require a full replacement. Even a harsh winter can do this, as frost and snow can take its toll on your roofing.
  • Age: The age of your roof will play a large factor in whether it needs replacing. The average roof lasts for around 20 years, or longer depending on the materials used. If an older roof is leaking or damaged, it may be better just to replace the entire thing.

As you can see, there are a few things that will affect whether you replace your roof or just repair it. You’ll need to take into account the age of it, the damage it has sustained, and the materials its made of. If you want help, you can call in a roofer to take a look at it for you. They’ll give you their expert opinion, and help you decide.