How to Spot Contractor Scams and Avoid Getting Taken Advantage of After the Storm
In the coming days, you are sure to come across unfortunate stories of those in need who were taken advantage of by people who presented themselves as expert contractors. While, our chosen trade is commercial roofing, the following five questions can be applied to any trade or contractor that provides disaster relief services.
1) Are they licensed and insured?
Never let an unlicensed or uninsured roofing company on your roof. Make sure they’re license is current and in good standing. You can also ask for a copy of their 2018 Certificate of Insurance. Review the insurance to make sure it provides adequate coverage should any issues or claims arise.
2) What is their safety record?
The cardinal rule for any seasoned commercial roofing company is “Safety First.” The best contractors also provide routine OSHA safety training for their crews. It’s also a good idea to check and make sure the contractor’s EMR (Experience Modification Rate) matches any verbal assurance. A solid EMR history under the industry average standard of 1 is a good indication that the contractor follows the rules and does their best to ensure a safe working environment.
3) Can they provide accurate commercial roofing quote for your unique roof?
No two roofs are like. Likewise, no roofing contractor can give you a reliable scope of work without a complete understanding and technical analysis of your building’s roof. If your local roofer near you is the best in town at residential shingle roofing, great! That still doesn’t mean they’re certified commercial roofing installers of GAF, Johns Manville, Firestone, Carlisle or any of the other major manufacturers.
4) Do they communicate often and hold themselves accountable through on-site supervision?
Lack of communication and accountability are the most common complaints contractors receive. A negligent contractor might show up twice. Once, on the first day and then to deliver the bill when the “job’s done.” A reliable contractor will report back to you often, be upfront with unforeseen issues, and have solutions at the ready should unforeseen problems arise. They can do this because their jobsites are overseen by on-site supervisors who ensure the process goes smoothly and to the customer’s benefit.
5) Do they have the resources right now?
Even if the contractor you’re considering adequately answers the first 4 questions, they still might not be up to the task. The last thing you need is to discover the contractor you hired is ill-equipped to finish your project in a timely manner because they lack having enough materials or labor available.
On any given day, we usually have the luxury of time to investigate and discover whether or not a roofing contractor’s skills and values align with our own. However, in the days after a hurricane or other severe weather event, many building owners and facility managers find themselves forced to make quick decisions. It’s in those times of crisis, where these questions and insights can provide clarity and peace of mind.
For upfront commercial roofing service rates and peace of mind, call your North American Roofing Account Manager. You can also reach us directly or submit an online request using the buttons below.