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With its strong winds and even stronger heat, Florida property owners find themselves needing roof repairs and replacements every year. But an unfortunate side effect of this is that many scam roofing companies have come into existence, and they prey on home and business owners who don’t know better. We hate to see this happen to people in our community, which is why we’re telling you how to identify bad roofing contractors and roofing companies to avoid.
We’re Classic Roofing & Construction, and we’ve been fixing and replacing roofs in central Florida for 20 years. Over that time, we’ve seen a lot of untrustworthy roofers come into Tampa Bay, and while they tend to burn out quickly due to repeated roofing complaints, it’s hard for us to watch people pay for improperly installed roofs and shoddy patch jobs. So here’s what you need to know about shady roofers in central Florida.
5 Signs of Roofing Companies to Avoid
With bad roofing contractors, there’s almost always more than one problem. This is because they’re often inexperienced and only out to make a quick buck with your money. To make sure you’re not falling for a bad Florida roofer, let’s look at common red flags to watch out for.
1. They’re New in Town
In roofing, reputation is everything. It’s how potential customers know who they can and can’t trust. So if you find a company without reviews that claims to have recently started in the area, you should be skeptical.
A roofing company’s longevity is the surefire sign that they’ve been able to successfully complete hundreds of jobs while keeping their customers happy. Roofing companies to avoid rarely make it far before their shoddy work ends their business, so a company that has been in business for decades is much more likely to be reliable.
Of course, every roofing company starts somewhere, so being new isn’t proof that a business is a roofing business is untrustworthy. That’s why you should look out for other signs of roofing companies to avoid.
2. They Want to Handle Your Insurance Claim
Despite what some roofers may tell you, handling an insurance claim is not difficult. By trying to step in and work with your insurance company directly, scammers may be trying to get extra money out of your company.
For example, they might offer to handle the insurance claim, use that money for your roofing project, then give you back $1,000 under the table. And at first, this may sound like a good deal! But it’s important to remember that your insurance claim is your money, not theirs to give back to you. And if a roofing contractor is willing to cheat your insurance company, how can you trust that they’re not going to do the same thing to you? Many roofing companies to avoid will offer you that sound like good deals, but when they’re shady or underhanded like this, it’s a sign that you can’t trust them or the quality of their work.
3. The Roofers Aren’t Local
When you hire a local Florida roofer, you know that you can hold the company accountable for the quality of their work. There is someone local and present to account for whether or not your job is done to your satisfaction.
This is not necessarily the case with national roofers, though. Often, they’re chasing storms and providing quick, slap-dash work before moving on to the next area before you can come to them with complaints. This is especially true if you have a shingle roof, which is relatively simple to work on and especially vulnerable to wind damage. For these reasons, you should keep an eye out for national roofing companies to avoid that pretend to be local Florida roofing contractors.
4. They Won’t Provide a Written Roofing Estimate
If you’re looking for roofers to fix or replace your roof, then you’re naturally going to want several estimates to choose from. But roofing companies to avoid might be hesitant to provide a written number. They might give you one in conversation, but often, they’ll specifically avoid giving you anything in writing that details how much your job is going to cost.
Untrustworthy roofers do this so that you can’t hold them accountable when they bill you for more than you expected. This is also another way they try to defraud insurance companies—by exaggerating the costs of the job, they hope to get more money from your insurance provider.
This strategy also provides roofing companies to avoid with a chance to avoid specifying details like the materials being used, warranties, etc. By never providing written specifics, it’s much easier for them to get away with providing sub-par roofing services.
5. They Use Roofing Subcontractors
A trick that shady roofers use is propping up one person on the crew with years of roofing experience. And that person may indeed be an experienced roofer, but the company secretly uses subcontractors, so the people actually working on your roof may easily be on their very first job site.
This doesn’t just mean your roof could be improperly installed—although that could cost you thousands to fix. But another concern is that subcontractors are frequently not insured. So if there’s an accident on your property, you could be liable for paying damages.
Clearly, there are a lot of red flags with roofing companies to avoid. So what does a real, reliable roofing company in Florida look like?
Finding a Florida Roofer You Can Trust
At Classic, we prioritize making sure that our customers know they can trust us. And in our 20 years of service, we’ve created a lot of good faith in our community. That’s evident by our hundreds of five-star reviews, which let Floridians know that we take our work seriously and are not one of the many roofing companies to avoid.
How seriously do we take our roofing services? Serious enough to work to receive GAF Master Elite certification every year. Fewer than two percent of roofers hold this prestigious certification, and it proves that we follow the best roofing practices in terms of quality, efficiency, and safety. It also allows us to provide the best GAF products and warranties to our clients, which can greatly extend the value and life of their roofs.
Finally, as a licensed and insured Florida roofing company, we do not use any subcontractors for our work. As a property owner, this means you can trust that everyone working on your roof is experienced, insured, and has a reason to care about your job being completed well.