Living in the DMV area means dealing with fierce winter storms every year, like snow blizzards and lightning storms. We also get our fair share of intense wind events and bouts of hail, both of which can be very damaging to our home exteriors, mainly our siding and roofing. 

When major storms pass through and cause damage to many homes within a large metropolitan area, contractors can stand to make a lot of money repairing and replacing home exteriors. Because there’s so much work to be done, inexperienced, unlicensed, and even scam artist contractors quickly set up shop and seek out business wherever they can get it. At DreamHome, our DC roofing company has worked with many homeowners that have lost their valuable time, money, and patience to bad roofing contractors, or in this case, to what we in the industry call “storm chasers”. In this article, we’re going over some important red flags to look out for when hiring roofers after a storm—along with some tips on how to find and contract the best roofing company in your area. 
Types of Contractors to Watch Out For After a Storm Hits

When hailstorms and blizzards, high winds, and other inclement weather hits the DMV, it’s inevitable that roofing damage will occur at a very high rate. The problem is that when there’s money to be made, the number of people hoping to cash in on a piece of the pie gets much, much larger—and the home remodeling industry is suddenly filled with “expert” roofers and home remodeling specialists. There are typically three types of contractors that will emerge after a storm hits:

  • Inexperienced Contractors: After a storm, contractors with experience in other areas of construction or home remodeling—like electricians, plumbers, painters, and others—will consider switching over to roofing to take advantage of the money to be made. While they may have experience building other parts of the home, they’re not necessarily expert roofers and might not be able to offer the quality or dependability you need for your project.
  • Storm Chasers: Storm chasers are contractors that follow storms to find easy work. When a massive storm hits an area, the storm chasers move to that area and quickly set up shop, installing as many rooftops as they can. Once the work dies down, the roofer will leave the area, which usually means that you also lose your warranty.
  • Scammers: Unfortunately, plenty of scam artists come crawling out from under the woodwork after a storm hits. These people claim to be contractors and often aren’t—and offer very low prices for roof replacement work. What usually happens is that these individuals come knocking on your door and ask if you’d like a roof inspection. Be wary of contractors that don’t even inspect your roof at all, and begin offering you all kinds of deals on their services for roof replacement without even knowing for sure if there’s damage. Chances are, these people are trying their best to scam you or your insurance company into covering their services for an unnecessary new roof.

How to Hire a Good Roofing Company 

Finding the right roofing company after a storm isn’t hard to do. With the right research and a bit of patience, it’s relatively easy to find a trusted and dependable company to handle your roofing needs. After a storm hits, it’s likely that the best roofing companies in your area are going to be very busy. It’s also likely that you’ll need fast services to repair the damage that’s been done to your roof. This is why it’s so easy for bad contractors and storm chasers to find work so easily by visiting neighborhoods on foot, using the advantage of the long wait times that reputable companies are likely to have to rope in desperate customers. Instead of trusting the first person that knocks on your door, take a moment to learn how to find an honest, trustworthy roofing professional in your area with the following tips:

  • Ask for References: Make sure that you ask for references and check the work they’ve done in the past on roof projects in your area. Ask to see a portfolio of past projects, and note how many they’ve done in neighborhoods near yours. You can also ask friends, family members, co-workers, and neighbors to give you recommendations on excellent roofing companies in your area.
  • Avoid Lazy Inspectors: It’s impossible to get a good idea of what your roof actually needs from the ground. If the contractor doesn’t bother to climb a ladder and take a look, it’s likely that they’re just trying to scam you into buying a new one. Instead, find a contractor that will actually give you an honest evaluation of your rooftop. During the in-home visit and pricing estimate, make sure that the contractor actually inspects your roof by climbing on top of it.
  • Check Their Online Presence: There’s a huge difference between an established company in your city and storm chasers that are only in town to make money. Search the internet for roofers in your area, and check to see whether each of the options you find has an established website, active social media pages, and plenty of high reviews. If there’s no mention of the company online, chances are it doesn’t really exist. Alternatively, you might find that a contractor has a basic website or social media pages that don’t seem very active. This is a sign that the site has been set up quickly and will likely not exist after a while.
  • Ask About Warranty Coverage: A good, honest, and reputable company will back their work and products with excellent manufacturer and labor warranties. Find out what the contractor offers and read the fine print. Avoid companies that don’t offer fair warranty plans for their customers or that use complicated words to explain their coverage programs.
  • Ask for Licenses, Insurance, and Training Certifications: Your contractor should have the proper license to work on roofs in your area, along with insurance coverage in case of injury on the job. While this is a must for legal purposes in the DMV area, many unlicensed contractors and scam artists will attempt to find work illegally anyway. Protect yourself by only hiring certified, licensed, and insured roofing contractors. Ask for a copy of their license and verify the information online by searching for your city’s business verification website. 

Your Best Choice for Exterior Renovation Services in DC, Maryland, and Virginia

After a storm, or at any other time of the year, DMV residents can depend on DreamHome for all of their exterior home remodeling needs. Whether you need siding or door replacements, window renovations, roofing work or attic insulation, the DreamHome crew is at your service—offering the best solutions at the most affordable prices in the industry.If you’d like to learn more information about our DC roofing company, or to seek advice on how to handle your roofing needs after a storm, we’d love to hear from you. Give us a call to speak with one of our friendly team members over the phone, or fill out our online form to request a free, in-home pricing estimate now.