Maple Grove, MN – Minnesotans have experienced several severe hailstorms this spring, and thousands of homes throughout the state have hail damage. In the aftermath of storms like these, unregistered roofers from all around the country come in and canvass the areas that were hardest hit.
“Hailstorms in Minnesota are always followed by a flood of storm chasers who come in from out-of-state hoping to cash in on all of the roofing jobs,” says Keith Chenvert, founder of United Building Contractors. “But working with fly-by-night outfits like these is not a good idea, because you don’t know if they will stand behind their work.”
Out-of-state “storm chasers” often go door-to-door hoping to make a quick buck off of unsuspecting homeowners. This is why Chenvert says to be wary of roofers that show up at your door unsolicited. Chenvert offers some tips to help homeowners avoid hiring an unscrupulous contractor.
How to Avoid Roofing Repair Scams During Hail Season
- Ask contractors for proof of their license to work in Minnesota.
“Contractors are required to be licensed, bonded, and insured to work in the state before they get up on your roof. When they come to your door, they should gladly be willing to provide their credentials, so you can verify them.”
- Verify their credentials before you do business with them.
“Do not simply take the contractor’s word for it. Cross-reference their license with the state’s database at https://secure.doli.state.mn.us/lookup/licensing. By simply entering their license number, you can verify that they are legitimate. It would also be a good idea to look them up with the Better Business Bureau to ensure that they don’t have any complaints against them.”
- Be wary of contractors who pressure you to decide immediately.
“Choosing who you want to work on your roof is a big decision, and you should not feel pressured to sign all of the paperwork right away. Some of the storm chasers will come to your door and insist that you need to sign up immediately. I would not recommend signing up with a contractor who you just met until you at least verify their credentials, and you know that they are on the up and up.”
- Watch out for the “special rate” scams.
“Sadly, some of the storm chasers out there are not just unlicensed, they are outright scammers. One common scam is when a contractor offers you a heavily discounted rate if you pay for 100% of the job upfront in cash. They might claim that they have ‘leftover materials’ from a job they just did in the neighborhood, and they are willing to do your roof at an unbelievably low price just to use them up. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
Chenvert offers one final thought:
“Hiring a ‘storm chaser’ from out-of-state is risky even under the best of circumstances. The reason is that they are only in the area for a limited amount of time, and they want to get as many roofs done as they can while they are here. This vastly increases the chances that they are going to do shoddy work and/or use cheap materials; and by the time you realize this, they will be long gone and nearly impossible to get a hold of. This is why it is always best to hire a locally established roofing contractor who will stand behind their work.”
About United Building Contractors:
United Building Contractors, LLC (UBC) is a locally owned roofing company that was founded by Keith Chenvert in 2008. UBC has established a reputation for providing quality work at a reasonable price while providing friendly customer service throughout the process. Over the years, UBC has handled a wide range of projects for both residential and commercial customers.
For more information about UBC, go to https://www.ubc-mn.com/