What Is a Fly-By-Night Roofer?
Everyone needs a roofer eventually, but unfortunately, not everyone who claims to be in the business is reliable.
This is especially true after a major storm where a bunch of houses have obvious signs of roof damage, as it’s when you will be most likely to encounter a fly-by-night roofer. If you’ve never heard the term, it’s not some special kind of contractor who works after the sun goes down.
No, fly-by-night roofers are bad news. At best, they are a plague on the roofing industry who offer terrible services and make roofs that don’t last. At worst, they may be looking to commit fraud/theft.
It’s important to understand how this works. When you know about fly-by-night roofing, you can avoid it altogether. Then, you can be sure that the next time you get roofing work done, it will be reliable.
It’s a Scam
Here’s how the scam tends to work. These “roofers” show up after a major storm. They go to a neighborhood with obvious roof damage, and they ring doorbells. They offer to fix the roof for a shockingly low rate. You’re tempted by this rate because replacing a roof can be an expensive endeavor. But when they get to work, they do a terrible job, and they offer no warranty on any of it. In the end, you’re worse off than if you hadn’t hired them.
There are variations of the scam, but it’s the same story. Fly-by-night roofers target areas that are desperate for roofing work. They undercut professional roofers, and they do subpar work (or sometimes none at all) so that they get a quick buck, leaving you with the consequences.
How Do You Identify a Fly-By-Night Roofer?
If you’re worried about falling victim to this scam, then you’re already off to a good start. A little bit of healthy skepticism goes a long way.
There are also some key red flags that can help you spot scammers in the roofing industry.
Fly-by-night roofers are pretty much always uninsured. They can’t get insurance for their business because they aren’t running a real business in the first place. So if they don’t have insurance, you shouldn’t hire them.
This actually goes beyond fly-by-night roofers. The truth is that you should never hire an uninsured roofer, whether they are trying to run a scam or not. Even the best roofers have accidents sometimes, so insurance is vital in this industry.
Strange Down Payments
This comes in two forms. On the one hand, fly-by-night roofers often ask for an extra large down payment. Getting more cash up front helps protect the scam. If you notice that they are doing shoddy work somewhere along the way, they’ve already pocketed that large down payment, and you definitely won’t get a refund. In some cases, they’ll just take the down payment and run.
A weird inversion of this sometimes helps with the scam. Some fly-by-night roofers will offer to pay your deductible for you. Then, when you get an insurance check, they can pocket that whole check. This is also a scam. Real businesses would never need to pay a deductible for you.
Good roofers might help you with your insurance claim, but they’re providing a service for a fee, whether your insurance covers it or not. Paying the deductible for you is a massive red flag.
If It’s Too Good to Be True . . .
In the end, spotting a scam boils down to the old phrase – “If it seems too good to be true, then it is.” If the roofer’s rate is incredibly low, you’re going to get bad quality at best. If they make all kinds of wild promises, then they clearly aren’t grounded in the reality of roofing.
This holds true for everything in life. Anyone making promises that seem a little off is very likely running a scam.
Get Real Help
If you want real roofing expertise that you can trust, look to Alpine Sheet Metal Systems. We can fabricate the metals for your roof right here in Dallas. We also have experts who can install your metal roof to ensure that everything is done properly.
You’ll have a beautiful new roof, and it will be extremely durable. The next time a big storm rolls around, you won’t be worried about whether or not your roof can handle the elements.
Contact us today. We’ll take a look at what you need and give you a quote. Your new roof is just a phone call away.