(SAVANNAH, GA) The hail that battered roofs in
Southeast Georgia recently did more than just damage shingles and gutters. It
left homeowners vulnerable to scam artists who prey upon people who want their
roofs repaired quickly and cheaply.
“Roofers in the state of Georgia are not required to have licenses,”
explains John Reynolds, president of RPI, a roofing
company that serves residential, commercial and industrial clients. “As a
result, many out-of-state roofers will descend upon storm-battered areas with
professional sales teams to convince unwitting homeowners that they can repair
their roofs for less. Unfortunately, what oftentimes happens is that the work
is completed without warranties and the storm chasers leave town with no one
left to stand behind their work.”
According to the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, hail is one of the
costliest natural disasters facing Americans each year. In the U.S. alone, hail
causes an average of $1.6 billion worth of damage per year to residential
Most homeowners are understandably eager to have their roofs repaired after
a hailstorm. But before hiring a roofer who makes promises that sound too good
to be true, the Roofing and Sheet Metal Contractors Association of Georgia
offers the following tips:
-Ask for Referrals. Ask friends and associates for the name
of a roofer with whom they have had a good experience.
-Hire a local contractor if at all possible. Contact your
local, state or national roofing association for referrals.
-Get a written estimate, and be sure to read the fine print.
Always get estimates from several reputable roofing contractors before making a
decision and insist on the details. Don’t accept a price alone.
-Obtain references and check them. Ask for references from
the roofing contractor and a listing of jobs he has done in your area in the
last year or two.
-Check years in business. Ask how long the roofer has been
in business and verify the information with the Georgia Secretary of State
Corporations Division at: www.sos.ga.gov/Corporations.
-Obtain Proof of Insurance. Make sure your contractor
carries general liability insurance, workers’ compensation and is bonded. If
the contractor does not have property and casualty insurance (general
liability) and workers’ compensation insurance, you may be liable for damages
he may cause or injuries to himself or his employees. Ask for a Certificate of
Insurance with you named as the Certificate Holder.
-Get guarantees in writing. Ask for a copy of the roofing
contractor’s warranty for materials and workmanship—usually one to two years.
This binds the contractor to repair any leaks caused by his workmanship or the
failure of the materials for the most critical period. Most problems with a new
roof will show up in the first year or two.
-Ask for a written contract. A complete contract should
clearly state all the work to be performed, all associated costs, the payment
schedule and obligate the contractor to pay for all materials ordered for the
-Pay by check. Avoid paying in advance and making payments
in cash if at all possible.
-Make final payments only when the work is completed. Do
not sign completion papers or make the final payment until the work is
completed to your satisfaction. A reputable contractor will not pressure you to
sign if the job is not properly finished.
RPI (Roofing Professionals, Inc.) has served
residential, commercial and industrial clients for more than 11 years,
providing professional roofing solutions from standard maintenance to
restoration and replacement. In addition to offering traditional roofing
services to customers in Southeast Georgia and South Carolina, RPI specializes in green roofing initiatives. RPI has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. For
more information, please call 912-756-ROOF (7663),
email email@example.com or visit www.rpiroof.com. For tips on how to hire
reliable roofers, please visit the Roofing and Sheet Metal Contractors
Association of Georgia’s website at www.rsmca.org.
Additional information about disaster-related repairs may be found at FEMA’s
website at www.fema.gov/rebuild.