Q. We have had some windy days lately. I really didn’t think the wind was unusual, but a roofing contractor knocked on our door and wanted to inspect our roof for damage. I didn’t think anything of it at the time and allowed him to go up on our roof. When he came down, he said that I had experienced hail damage and showed me pictures. At this point I called my husband and he talked to him on the phone. He basically told him to leave a quote and get back to him later. The fellow seamed very clean and nice. What should I have done different? — Leslie
A. What you did was fine and thank goodness you called your husband, and he defused the situation. First off, never open your door to someone that you don’t know or who doesn’t identify themselves. And you should never let someone in your house or on your house without a pre-scheduled appointment that you have made.
All professional roofing companies will never walk the neighborhood knocking on doors asking to look at your roof. Established roofing companies that have been in business for years are busy following the calls from previously satisfied customers or good referrals.
Most of the time these are what we call storm chasers, and their idea is to inform you of storm damage and then have you sign a report that lets them deal with your insurance company on your behalf. What they’re wanting to do is submit an estimate for damage against your homeowner’s insurance for replacement.
Keep in mind that making a claim on your homeowner’s policy will make you more of a risk and you will stand the possibility of your rates increasing.
These companies’ roaming roofing contractors are rarely a good deal; most if not all the time the pricing is inflated and the workmanship subpar. They normally work one neighborhood to another and when they’re done, they leave the area, leaving all the work they have done with no warranties and nobody to take care of service.
If you do get one of these companies to knock on your door its OK if you trust the situation to let them take a look but watch them from the ground and don’t let them pull a shingle or touch the roof in any way. Let them take pictures only and never sign anything without getting a second professional estimate and inspection.
Jeff Deahl is past president of the Builders Association of Northeast Indiana. Questions for the Square Corners column may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.