Common Roofer Scams & How to Avoid Them

By HomeAdvisor

Updated January 16, 2019

Common Roofing Scams

Though there are scams to be found in nearly every business imaginable, con-games in the home improvement industry are some of the most hated. Not only can home improvement scams put unsuspecting homeowners out thousands of dollars, they can also leave you with problems that will cost thousands to fix the right way. Of the various home improvement disciplines, roofing is one of the most prone to scams. Understanding the signs of roofing scams is not only helpful for individual homeowners, it is a benefit to those roofers who are out there every day providing good, honest service, too!

Roofing Scam #1: Inadequate Repair

Inadequate repair roofing scams are particularly difficult to spot until after the guilty party is long gone. If you know you have a problem and you find the number of a roofer who gives you a cheap quote, you may be very happy with the results for months before you realize you’ve been taken! The reason for the extra-long delay in identifying this roofing scam is camouflage: since many of the problems that occur with roofs are actually below the surface, it is easy for someone to make a show of putting on new shingles without remedying the actual issue at fault. This type of scam leaves your roof looking great, but performing nearly as bad as it was before, though you might not notice any problems until a heavy storm comes through.

Roofing Scam #2: Unnecessary Repairs

Some less-than-reputable roofing companies scam homeowners not by skimping on work, but by performing too much of it! Unfortunately, because roofing issues are notorious for causing sub-surface damage in addition to the problems that are easily identified, this is a difficult one to spot, too. The difference between unnecessary work and thorough service is huge, but extremely hard for the average homeowner to distinguish; in many cases, a homeowner may never know if he or she has fallen victim to this one!

Roofing Scam #3: Overcharging for Service

While other roofing scams are very difficult to spot, this one is very easy to avoid. Roofing companies can charge whatever they want for their services, but good ones will give you a reasonable price. How do you tell a reasonable quote from an outlandish one? Get estimates from four or five contractors and the average cost should be easy to spot!

Areas Prone to Roofing Scams

Roofing scams can occur in any area of the country, but certain places are more likely targets than others. In general, densely populated cities that are prone to severe weather (high winds, heavy downpours, and/or very snowy and icy winters) are easier prey for dishonest roofing contractors. Not only does the large space offer more room for scam artists to disappear, in cities with severe weather, the high demand for roof work often keeps the honest companies extremely busy, leaving the dishonest roofers plenty of opportunity to find business.

Avoiding Roofing Scams

One of the best things you can do to avoid roofing scams is to speak to multiple contractors before you actually hire one. This will give you a good idea of what the project will entail, how long it will take, and how much it will cost, often leaving any dishonest roofing companies you may have contacted sticking out like a sore thumb.

Another thing you can do to prevent falling victim to a roofing scam is to keep close tabs on the condition of your roof. If you wait until a problem is out of control to call in a roofer, the company who says they can be there the fastest is often the most appealing; but by contacting multiple roofers the day you notice a problem starting, you’ll give yourself time to filter out the roofers you feel less comfortable with.

HomeAdvisor understands that any home improvement project could turn out poorly if you hire contractor. When you put in a request through our company, not only are you likely to be matched with multiple contractors from the beginning, you’ll also know that each of those contractors has passed through our ten-step screening process to make sure they are known for providing good service!

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  1. Sally Smooth, December 5:

    This may be a repeat. What is the average age of a roof needing repair?

  2. Andrea, December 5:
  3. Mike Gentry, March 30:

    What is the normal life of a house roof?

  4. Melody, January 14:

    What should the average cost be to take 15 minutes to only clean the snow around two skylights on your roof?

  5. Dan Dykstra, March 13:

    one scam that I hear about quite often is of roofers telling homeowners that the black streaks on their roofs is the tar leaching out of the shingles and that they need to replace them. This is a complete misstatement, the black streaks are an algae that is growing on the shingles and can be cleaned safely and effectively.

  6. Helen Marek, September 26:

    Are architectural shingles the same as asphalt shingles?

  7. R Duncum, October 8:

    I was contacted by my insurance co and advised the industry is changing their roofing policy to limit repairs and or replace to 15 years from installing so what does a home owner do?

  8. andrea sherman, December 7:

    Architectural shingles and 3-tab shingles are the two most common types of asphalt shingles.

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