16 Investigates: Tips to avoid roofing scams

Published: Apr. 4, 2023 at 10:08 AM EDT
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(WNDU) - It’s the time of year for home improvement plans, which means it’s also the time of year for home improvement scams.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) Serving Northern Indiana tells 16 Investigates homeowners should be wary of anyone who shows up at your doorstep unsolicited offering a free roof inspection.

“They’re going to get up on your roof and try to find any wear and tear that’s going to merit a whole new roof,” says Jan Diaz, vice president of BBB Serving Northern Indiana. “A lot of times these scammers are literally tearing shingles off of a roof and taking photos of it, coming back down off the roof and showing it to the homeowner and saying, ‘See, you know, you have a lot of wear and tear here. You’re going to need to replace your whole roof.’ Or they may simply show you pictures of someone else’s damaged roof that’s not your own.”

Legitimate roofing companies may also do door-to-door marketing, and it can be hard to tell someone who works for a real company from a scammer. That’s why the BBB says you should look out for companies you have never heard of before.

“According to our BBB scam tracker reports, if it’s a scam, the con artists are often using a generic name of a business — like Indiana Roofing Company or Indiana Construction Company — in their business name,” Diaz says. “And so, this is something that first of all most likely would cause a red flag. If you hear Indiana Roofing or Indiana Construction, it’s a very generic name.”

The BBB advises homeowners to get information from whoever they talk to, then do their own research before agreeing to have work done.

You can check the BBB’s scam tracker or do a Google search to investigate the roofer. You can also have your insurance company do an inspection before hiring anyone.

For more details on red flags to look out for if someone shows up and offers you a free roof inspection, watch the video below:

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