After a storm, the first thing many homeowners do is assess the damage to their roofing, vinyl siding, and other exterior elements of their home. This is a smart first move; after all, even the most minor damage can cause long term problems with leaks, mold, and more. Homeowners know that they can avoid this hassle with a simple check of their property after a major storm.
However, some unscrupulous companies will try to prey upon the good intentions of these homeowners by convincing them that they require additional repairs or replacements that are not necessary. These people follow the storms across the country, contacting homeowners as they go. This behavior has earned them the nickname “storm chasers” and they are quickly becoming one of the biggest hazards to home value and welfare of homeowners across the country.
What Is A Storm Chaser?
A storm chaser is someone who claims to be a roofing, vinyl siding, window replacement, or other form of storm damage specialist, but is in fact only looking to collect money while leaving shoddy or incomplete work in their path. One of the most common behaviors for these unscrupulous individuals is to come into town just after a major storm, and position themselves as weather damage experts to convince homeowners that repairs are needed immediately. The homeowners, believing that these people are the experts they claim to be, become convinced that they must make the repairs that are suggested.
The company will then want money, usually before the work starts, and usually in full. This is the first warning sign. In addition, they often will try to get their clients to sign over any right to insurance proceeds from possible damage to the property. This is always another warning sign that the company is in it for profit, not for your legitimate benefit. Finally, these companies are known for poor quality work, using bad products, and leaving jobs incomplete. They are able to make a profit only because they move from town to town quickly, so no one knows their history of poor work.
The Best Way To Avoid The Danger Is To Choose Local Experts
A storm chaser cannot install roofing in the same town for more than a few weeks. As soon as one bad window replacement reveals its flaws, they will be exposed and forced to flee. Thus, if you want to avoid having these people touch your home, all you need to do is choose a local company with an established reputation. Ask to see examples of the vinyl siding they’ve installed elsewhere. Ask to talk with references who can speak to the quality of their work. A good contractor will have many references to show you, and will be glad that you asked. A storm chaser won’t be able to show you anything, because they’ve never worked in your neighborhood before.
Some unscrupulous companies may try to argue that local roofing, vinyl siding, and window replacement specialists don’t have the knowledge to properly care for a storm damaged building. While it is absolutely true that your home requires specialized care, your local company is usually the one most qualified. You should always verify that any contractor you would choose is licensed, certified, and has done good work on houses before yours. If you go through this certification process, you’re virtually guaranteed to avoid the danger of money-hungry scammers and find a good, local company that will be truly good for your home.
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