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What Is a Storm Chaser? Plus, How To Keep Them Off Your Roof

How to avoid storm chasers? The best way is to avoid them altogether. Read on to learn who storm chasers are, how...

What Is a Storm Chaser? Plus, How To Keep Them Off Your Roof
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After a major storm, there are often a significant number of homeowners who will need roof repairs or new roof installation. But, unfortunately, some people will take advantage of this dire situation. These people are called "storm chasers."

So what is a storm chaser? In this article, we will discuss who they are, how they operate, and some tips on how to avoid being scammed by these people.

What Are Storm Chasers?

You probably heard of the term "storm chasers," used to describe people who willingly chase storms, tornadoes, and hurricanes. With their cameras and other equipment, they'll try to take images or videos of the storm from the ground. And although the act can be dangerous, these people chase storms for adventure, to gather data for scientific investigation, or just for curiosity.

But in the roofing industry, a storm chaser is someone you wouldn't want to meet. Roofing storm chasers present themselves as roofing experts, but they still need to be fully qualified. Yes, they also chase storms. They look for severe weather patterns just like meteorologists do. However, the purpose of this kind of storm chaser is to scam people.

Storm chasers will take advantage of the confusion and desperation of a homeowner who recently suffered from storm damage. Unfortunately, this makes them easier to lure into signing a roofing contract without fully understanding the costs involved.

Storm Chasers' Modus Operandi

Storm Chasers' Modus Operandi

Storm chasers' mode of operation usually goes like this:

  • The contractor keeps an eye out for severe weather conditions to strike. These conditions could be thunderstorms, strong winds, hurricanes, tornadoes, or hail storms.
  • The contractor, along with his crew, will follow the storm to the affected area. They will then use aggressive tactics to sell roof repairs or installation in the neighborhood. They will try to convince you that your roof needs to be fixed on the same day before the rain starts falling again.
  • Many storm chasers will offer roof repairs that cost little to nothing to the homeowners. How does this happen? Storm chaser roofing companies often encourage victims to use their home insurance policies. Some contractors will even offer cash back or pay the homeowner's deductible.
  • The storm chaser will then complete a rush job on the roof. These cheaply repaired or installed roofs will have a shorter lifespan than a roof done by a professional. That means you'll need to spend money soon to fix a storm chaser's botched job. Worse, some storm chaser companies will just run away with your money, leaving you with a damaged roof.

Tips To Avoid Being Scammed By A Storm-Chasing Company

Tips To Avoid Being Scammed By A Storm-Chasing Company

Storm chasers usually come knocking on your door right after severe weather strikes. They can often be seen in areas commonly affected by thunderstorms or hurricanes, such as Florida.

The idea of losing lots of money on a failed roof is disheartening. But now that you know what a storm chaser is and how they operate, the next thing to learn is how to avoid being scammed by one.

Don’t Pay Upfront

Although there are instances where you might be required to give a deposit of 10% to 30%, a professional roofing company will only ask you to pay the entire balance after a job is complete. Storm chasers, on the other hand, might force you to pay in cash or by insurance check with the pretense of hiring more personnel or purchasing the needed materials.

If you pay the insurance, you are financing the storm chaser roofing company's payroll. Unfortunately, this often results in two things: either the company runs away with your money, or they do their job haphazardly as they no longer need to impress you with quality work.

Do Not Sign Any Document

Storm-chasing companies will offer services at a lower price compared to the local roofing companies in your town. This cheaper pricing can be tempting, especially when they combine that with their scare tactics and your stress from the damages caused by the severe weather.

But no matter what the storm chaser tells you, never sign any document they present. Also, don't let them get on your roof. Many storm chasers are unlicensed. So allowing them to work on your roof is dangerous to your home and might put you in a liability situation. As a storm chaser roofing company is not covered by insurance, you might be held responsible if they suffer an accident on your property.

An honest roofer will never force you into signing anything. So if you feel pressured by a storm chaser, politely decline and thank them for their time.

Ask For A Local Office And Local Phone Number

Nowadays, it can be suspicious if you can't search a roofing company's website. This is true if the roofing company needs a physical address, a business license, a history of good works in the area, or even a local phone number.

A roofing contractor that doesn't have a local business address and phone number is a major red flag. This means they're probably out of state and need the proper license or insurance to work in your region. On the other hand, a local roofing company knows the paperwork required, the installation codes, and everything else needed to ensure that your roof is installed in compliance with your state.

Don't Be Scared By Bad News About Your Roof

After a severe weather event, you'll often notice storm chasers knocking door to door in your area. And the nature of these visits? To scam homeowners into buying a roof.

Upon opening the door, these people will immediately tell you that you have storm damage and need a new roof. And if you panic, it will just give them a greater chance to take advantage of you.

Yes, it might be true that you have roof damage from tornadoes or thunderstorms. And yes, it can be scary. But would you trust a company that you have no information about?

Get a Second Opinion

The first step to take if you think you have storm damage is to contact your insurance company. They will then send an adjuster to check if the thunderstorms did damage your roof. After that, they will let you know if your policy covers the damage.

However, insurance adjusters are not professional roofing contractors. As a result, they might miss problems that only an experienced roofer will catch. So it's always a good idea to get a second opinion from a reputable, local roofer about the condition of your roof.

What Are Storm Chasers

Call Affordable Roofing Systems If You Suspect Roof Damage

In the roofing industry, storm chasers are not people who follow storms to gather data for science. Instead, storm chasers travel to different regions in hopes of selling low-quality roofing services.

It's not a secret that thunderstorms and tornadoes can cause much destruction and could even endanger the lives of your loved ones. So when help suddenly comes, most people would readily accept it. However, due diligence is needed, especially when problems like roofing storm chasers most likely accompany the supposed benefit.

It's always best to get the help of reliable professionals regarding roof problems. So if you want an honest approach to storm damage repair, call Affordable Roofing Systems immediately at (813) 542-8462 and get a free estimate.

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