Ask anyone who does professional roofing in Evergreen Park IL what their biggest pet peeve is and chances are you’ll hear about storm chasers. Storm chasers are out-of-town fly-by-night contractors who, as the name suggests, turn up shortly after storms or similar severe weather. Capitalizing on homeowners’ fears, they’re known to trick people out of their repair or insurance money, often performing shoddy repairs and quickly leaving town to chase after the next storm and sucker.
It’s natural to be concerned about the state of your house after severe weather. Losing your head and panicking, however, is the worst thing you can do. It’s those people who are worried out of their minds who usually end up getting victimized by storm chasers. Keep a cool head, and mind these pointers, and you should do fine.
Here’s how to spot a storm chaser:
- Going door to door – It’s rare that a reputable roofer in Chicago (or just about anywhere else) will have to go up to your door looking for work. After a storm, chances are that they’re already getting swamped by calls to fix stuff.
- Use of high-pressure sales tactics – beware anyone who insists on offering you a “great deal” that they really need you to sign up for now, or will no longer be available shortly.
- Offers of a “free roof” or “free siding” – This includes statements that your insurance will pay for a new roof.
- Out of town license plates – Also, unmarked vehicles and out of town driver’s licenses.
- Lack of recent, local references – if no one in your neighborhood can recommend them, then they’re probably not from around here.
Cell phone only – Also, look out for anyone who doesn’t have a local land line, or who works out of their home, or whose work address is a P.O. box.