Watch out for crooked roofers this storm season

Watch out for crooked roofers this storm season
Tuesday, June 3, 2014 - 10:14pm

As we head into the stormy season, many East Texas will be looking at roofers for either maintenance or repairs on their house.

But this time of year also brings out contractors who are more interested in filling their wallets than fixing your roof.

Texas house Bill 1183 went into effect this past September, stating anyone who roofs a house, cannot also insure that house, it's a conflict of interest.

As the storm season gets closer, the phones at the Better Business Bureau begin ringing, with calls from people looking to sort out which roofing contractor to hire.

"We'll have lots of people calling about roofers coming into our area, contractors coming into our area basically chasing storms.  We want people to be on the lookout for those storm chasers that come into our area," said BBB president Mechele Mills.

Wyley Smith is a BBB certified roofing contractor, who has been roofing houses in Tyler for more than twenty years.

He says a common practice for fooling customers into allowing a contractor to also insure the work is by making it seem convenient for the homeowner.

"I can be your adjuster and your roofing contractor at the same time and I'll just make it really easy for you and that way they could kind of almost entrap you into something like that.  That makes it so much easier but it's against the law," said Smith.

it's against Texas House Bill 1183 which prohibits that practice, and keeps homeowners from being had.

"Insurance adjuster would probably load up the claim so that he could make extra money," said Smith.

Extra money, going to an illegal policy.

Many of these "storm chasers" get away with scamming homeowners during stormy periods, because in most cases, people just want their roof fixed, and don't ask enough questions.

"Don't let those emotions get the better of you.  Make wise decisions because it could be a very expensive decision as well," said Mills.

It's an expensive decision, which is often made, in the most desperate of times.

"It's just not in our best interest to get involved in a conflict of interest situation with somebody that doesn't have the best morals," said Smith.

Many of these issues can be avoided by doing just a little bit of research on a contractor before you hire them for a job, such as checking in with the Better Business Bureau.

According BBB president  Mills, 25% of roofers in East Texas are accredited.

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