How to Spot a Roof Storm Chaser: 6 Identifiers to Avoid Scams

Roof Owner's Checklist | May 21, 2021

An extreme weather event rolls through your area – hail, rain, wind, snow. You, along with your neighbors, notice storm damage to your roof! Depending on the extent of the damage, you may be able to file an insurance claim for the damages. It’s possible that your roof can be fixed with smaller repairs, but if the roofing material is aged, you may need to pursue a full roof replacement. 

Once seeing you have roof damage from a storm, you decide it’s time to reach out to a roofing company. Many roofers, like Joyland Roofing, maintain a pretty good booking timeline and quick responses even during storms. However, they may not be able to come out as soon as you’d like. Then – a salesman shows up at your door who can inspect your roof right away and give you a quote on the spot – how convenient!

Who is this person and how do they happen to know you need a roof repair or replacement? It’s very likely this person works for a storm chasing company. 

 

What is a roofing storm chaser?

Storm chasers flock to neighborhoods that have been recently hit by a terrible storm. This way, their team is able to hit up every house in multiple neighborhoods since they were all hit by the same storm and could have damage. 

They are predatory contractors looking to capitalize on local roofing companies being overwhelmed with calls. Their success often relies on their services being the quickest option!

How to identify if a roofer is a storm chaser?

Local roofing companies may have outside sales people canvassing after a storm, so you can’t assume everyone knocking on your door offering roofing services is a storm chaser.

What you’ll want to look out for:

  • Name of the company. Do a quick Google search and see if the company is legit and if they have any reviews. Read the reviews! If it’s a mixed response of reviews, it’s possible that the company tried to cover up their bad reviews by stuffing good ones in themselves.
  • Home city and state. Check out their license plate for a quick read on what state they’re from! You can also identify where their main office is located when looking up their company online.
  • Limited-time offers. Storm chasers often put you in a high-pressure situation where their roof price is only valid “for a limited time.” They want you to feel the urgency and act fast so you don’t consider other roofers.
  • Bottom-end pricing. Sure, the price tag means a lot! But if they are offering you a replacement at a crazy low price, take another look at the company and what’s included in the replacement. They make their money by performing the bare minimum to your home then moving on. They could be missing important elements to the roofing system, providing low quality products, lack quality workmanship, or little to no warranty life.
  • Only offer a roof replacement. Often, storm chasers convince you that the extent of your damage isn’t salvageable with only repairs and that you have to replace your roof. They create fake damage to make it seem worse than it is! Ask for evidence, like pictures and videos, to back their recommendation.
  • Ask for credentials. The roofing contractor needs to be insured and licensed in your state. Most states, including Pennsylvania, require contractors to maintain a state license. If they don’t offer information about their business license and certificate of insurance, just ask! Make sure they are registered and insured properly because this could impact what your insurance company is willing to cover.

 

Should I avoid hiring a storm chaser roofing company?

Not necessarily – not all storm companies are created the same! Reputable storm restoration companies exist and could even be local to you. They do have experience working with insurance companies, but they could be a more expensive option. 

Make sure to do your research and don’t jump the gun on the first company roofing company that shows up at your door. One of the best things you can do is make sure the company has a legit, long-term office locally. Most storm chasers come in from out-of-state, and hire subcontractors who they may or may not have ever worked with before. They stay until the storm work is done, and then move on. Warranty issues come up and there’s nobody there to guarantee the work.

Waiting for a reputable, local roofing company to have the availability to visit your property is frustrating. In the long run, it’s worth the wait! If you’re having an active leak from the damage, ask a local company for an emergency repair to fix what’s absolutely necessary before they can further assess the damage. 

 

Work with Joyland Roofing

Located in southcentral or southeastern Pennsylvania? Joyland Roofing has you covered. We can inspect your roof’s damage and provide pictures and a video to discuss the issue and what we recommend to fix it! 

Get in touch today.