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Beware of Storm-Chasing Contractors

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We’ve been working on behalf of consumers for a long time now, and we’ve noticed that there are two types of restoration contractors out there.

The first type is the storm-chaser. They show up at your house after a weather event and say they're going to fix it. But in reality they will just throw up a bunch of materials and leave. After a short time, things start to come apart and you notice the shoddy work. But by then, the contractors are long gone. 

The second type is the trusted local business. They work in your area regularly, have local references, and high standards for the quality of their work. They are a part of your community, and have earned the trust of thousands of satisfied clients.

If you had the choice, which would you choose to repair your home?

Obviously, you’d want the trusted local business. Unfortunately, the storm-chasers won’t tell you they’re storm-chasers, so you need to know how to recognize them.  Read on to learn how you can avoid being one of their victims.

Look Out for These Red Flags

One of the main emotions that storm-chasing contractors exploit in their victims is fear or anxiety. If your home has been damaged by severe weather, you may be worried about further damage to your home, the safety of your family, and the looming expense of the repairs. So storm-chasers show up and offer to solve all your problems. They claim to offer quick service to get your home back in order, which can seem like a welcome relief. But look out for these red flags:

Showing Up at Your Door

The first red flag is when a contractor shows up at your door offering their services. Normally, contractors arrive after you’ve called them to arrange service. If someone shows up at your door, be careful. It isn’t always the case that an unannounced visit and offer of service is illegitimate, but it should be a first warning to be on guard.

High-Pressure Sales Tactic

The next big red flag is a high-pressure sales tactic. Storm-chasers know that their business and their services won’t stand up to close scrutiny, so they try to close a deal quickly without giving you time to investigate. Take note of any attempts to pressure you into signing a contract. Are you being asked to sign something right here, right now? Ask to speak to your partner, roommate, or someone else you can confer with. Storm-chasers will typically discourage this and insist that you make a decision right now. But if a contractor is unwilling to let you talk to someone before hiring them, you can be pretty sure that something isn’t right.

Do Your Due Diligence

Before hiring any contractor, do a little research. If the contractor won’t give you the chance to do that, there’s probably a good reason, and you don’t need their services. Take the time to ask for proof of licensing, and make sure that they are licensed to work in your state. Ask for references, and make sure they are local. Finally, don’t feel pressured to make a decision before getting two or three quotes. Competition is good, and even if you feel like you’re getting a good deal, it pays to get three quotes before starting any major work on your home. It’s the only way to really tell who is overcharging you. Just don’t get sucked in by the lowest bid. If one contractor promises to do the job for a lot less than other contractors, find out why there is such a discrepancy. Some storm-chasers will do shoddy work and use cheap materials so that they can deliver the lowest price, but you may not want that.

Finding a Reliable Contractor

If your home has been damaged in a severe weather incident, it can be tempting to take the first offer to get it fixed. But you can get your home back to normal again without appealing to these less-than-upstanding contractors. Instead, contact a TrustDALE certified restoration company or TrustDALE certified roofer to get top-notch service and competitive pricing. And remember, every TrustDALE certified business is backed by Dale’s trademark $10,000 Make-It-Right™ Guarantee.