You hear a tapping on your roof, against your windows, and then comes that moment of dread....HAIL. Yes it is peak hail season in North Carolina and that means it is peak hail claim season as well. After a hail storm the damage is difficult for the layman to assess. It's not like a tree has fallen on your roof, it's not like there has been a fire in the house, it's different and that is why it is imperative to know what TO do as well as what NOT to do. Not all roofing companies are equal, not all are fair and square and here are a few tips on how to spot these kinds of roofing contractors.
Arriving unannounced: Many "storm chasers" make their way from door to door, letting homeowners know there has been hail damage in the area and offering to assess the damage. If a contractor shows up at your door uninvited, be wary of the offers that follow.
Coming from out of town: There's a good chance that there are plenty of reputable contractors in your local community who are more than happy to help with hail damage. If a contractor has an out of state license plate or otherwise seems not to be from the area you might be speaking to a "storm chaser".
Not looking the part: A contractor who is working from an unmarked vehicle or who otherwise appears unprofessional might not represent a legitimate business. Always ask to see a contractor's license, proof of insurance, and references for anyone who might do work for you.
Promising big: Beware of any contractor, even a well established local one, who describes an offer that seems too good to be true. Some boast of being able to help homeowners get a whole new rood at their insurance company's expense, even if the damage doesn't seem to warrant it. Steer clear. That's insurance fraud.
Demanding payment upfront: While reasonable down payment is typical before work begins, avoid anyone angling for full upfront payment or who seems overly focused on a down payment. They may be planning to pocket your money and never return.
Getting pushy: If you feel like you're being pressured into making a decision right away, that's a bad sign. dishonest contractors will often aim to seal the deal on the spot, pocketing money or getting contracts signed as quickly as possible. A reputable contractor will provide an estimate and give you time to consider.
Wow, that is a lot to think over isn't it? But it's far better to think about and process this information before that knock at the door comes, so you are ready to make a wise decision. You also need to know that the quality of workmanship for any roofing contractor is never covered by your Homeowner policy. At the end of the day you should want good quality work from a good honest business and we hope these tips help you should you need to file a hail claim.