Predatory Practices of Storm Chasers
Beware of Storm-Chasing Contractors
Storm chasers are companies that complete home repairs and solicit business from homeowners after large storms occur such as heavy rains, high winds, hailstorms, and tornadoes. Iowa recently experienced a hail storm on Thursday, May 19th, 2019. These contractors often exploit vulnerable homeowners with money-making scams that can end up costing them and their insurance companies hundreds to thousands of dollars. Some of their scamming tactics include offering to pay your deductible, performing inefficient low-quality work, and creating fake or inflated damage and prepayment. After a storm has hit and damaged your home the last thing you want to worry about is the reliability of your contractor. Here are some things you can do to prevent storm chaser scams.
How to Avoid Storm Chaser Scams
- Look at their license plates, if they are out of state the contractors are most likely just in town temporarily to perform work from the aftermath of the storm. Most have no intention of sticking around to follow up with customers, help with maintenance and upkeep or fix any repairs.
- Go see the company’s office, if they only have a P.O. box, that’s a big red flag.
- Pay attention to their licensing, be sure to ask to see the paperwork. When hiring a contractor you will want to make sure they have licensing to work in your state and that they are properly insured.
- Always create a written contract, including cost, time frame, and itemized list about the type of work agreed upon. Do not feel pressured to sign anything you have not looked over carefully or don’t feel comfortable with.
- Avoid paying with cash, personal check, or before the work is completed. Paying in cash has no paper trail and is very difficult to get back. A credit card would be a safer option than something linked directly to your personal account such as a personal check.
Hiring a Safe & Trusted Contractor
Look local, a great resource to use is the Better Business Bureau or local Chamber of Commerce. Businesses that take time to be a part of the community are often a good indicator of a local business. Another way to look local is to ask friends and family for recommendations. Gather many estimates, always get at least three estimates from different contractors. Compare them, do your research, look at reviews, and ultimately decide what would be the best choice.
Home Solutions of Iowa is your trusted community contractor, we are licensed, local, and ready to help. We have been in business with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau since 2003. We have Haag certified contractors on staff with a vast knowledge of how severe weather affects the different types of materials used on roofing, siding, windows, and gutters.
For the 5th year in a row, Home Solutions of Iowa has received the most prestigious contractor award that GAF offers: The GAF President’s Club Award. The GAF President’s Club Award distinguishes roofing contractors dedicated to premier service, reliability, and performance for their residential or commercial customers. As a 2 Star President’s Club Steep Slope Award winner for the second year in a row, this highly coveted award recognizes Home Solutions of Iowa as one of the “elite of the elite” residential roofing contractors in the United States. We are Iowa’s number one roofer.