LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- A warning for homeowners, experts are warning to be aware of free roof inspections. With the warmer weather and summer storms come roofing scams.
“We’re getting horror stories. Mrs. Boudreaux, 80 years old, gave $15,000 to this roofer, and we’re there the next day changing the roof, and she’s just in tears,” Darren Domingue, with Lafayette Roofing and General Contractors, said.
Domingue said within the last six months, there have been over 50 new roofing companies pop up in Acadiana. So it’s important to research who’s legitimate and who’s not.
“What they’re doing is they’re going around knocking on doors saying hey we’re offering free roof inspections,” explained Domingue.
“In these free inspections, they come in indicating that they are in the neighborhood doing some inspections and that they’re here to offer free inspections,” Laurian Clause, with the Better Business Bureau of Acadiana, said. “They will either come door to door or call you by phone, and the name they use is whatever state that they’re in.”
The Better Business Bureau of Acadiana is already receiving reports on Scam Tracker of shady “free” roof inspections.
“You want to involve your own insurance company to make sure that they are sending their own roofers so then that way you know that you’re protected under those guidelines,” explained Clause.
The person may claim their company is working on a neighbor’s home and is offering inspections to those living nearby. If you ask questions about where the business is located or how their services work, they answer vaguely in person or over the phone, they’ll hang up.
“They’ll have a 337 number. They’ll have an office or location, could be their house, but their crews aren’t local so they’re using fly-by-night roofers that aren’t going to be here to serve as a warranty,” Domingue added.
Domingue stresses to make sure you do your research, call the BBB, and get at least three bids when getting a roofing estimate.
“What they do is they’ll call the office,” said Domingue. “We’ll schedule an appointment. We’ll go out there and assess the damage, provide real-time pictures, and if there is damage, then certainly we can work with your insurance, but we also want you to get other bids. We want you to want to do business with us.”
Here are some tips from the Better Business Bureau on how to avoid roofing scams:
- Beware of unsolicited offers. Most scams begin with a contractor who just happens to be in the area and notices your roof or home has the appearance of needing repairs from the outside.
- Get your insurance company to inspect your roof. Filing a claim with your insurance company goes on your record and could affect future claims or your continued coverage.
- Research roofing companies before you hire.
If you have a scam you’d like me to investigate, feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.