After major storm damage, don’t get hit a second time by a repair scam.
The aftermath of a seasonal storm often brings out unscrupulous contractors who move into a hard-hit area and do shoddy work or leave as soon as they get their hands on your money.
Here are some things to watch for and think about to avoid becoming a victim of what are sometimes called ‘storm chaser’ contractors.
Beware of …
• An unsolicited contractor who comes knocking on your door.
• High-pressure sales tactics.
• An out-of-state license plate and a vehicle that has no business markings.
• A contractor who has no local office, no business card, and no references or licenses.
• A repair deal that sounds too good to be true.
Here are some things to do after a storm blows through …
• Check with your insurance company to see what damage is covered and if they have a list of recommended, trustworthy contractors.
• Get more than one estimate to get a feel for a fair price.
• Ask a contractor for references and license information.
• Check the web to see how a contractor is rated by former customers.
• Get everything in writing and read the contract before signing anything.
• Ask about warranty work and who will do it after the job is done.
• Don’t pay the full repair amount up front – a crooked contractor could disappear overnight.
• Don’t pay in cash or pay the bill until all work is done and you are satisfied.
• Get receipts for proof of payment.
When it comes to fixing storm damage, don’t let a repair scam cloud an already bad situation.