How Not to Be Caught Up in a Leaky Roof Scam

The roof may be the most important area of your house. Well, one of the most important after the foundation that keeps it standing. It keeps rain and other undesirable forms of precipitation off you. For that reason it is not surprising that one tactic of con artist contractors trying to scam the unwary is to say your roof is leaking. Before agreeing to an expensive repair job that can run five grand or more, the wary home owner might want to see if it is something he can take care of by himself.

Most leaky roofs are caused because the sealing around the vent pipes needs replaced, metal flashings around the chimney have decayed, or because of erosion between the sections of the have worn away. If a roofing contractor tells the homeowner that he needs a new deck, the consumer should be especially wary. While decks, the wooden sections underneath the roof do sometimes need replaced, most often only the sections of the wood underneath the roof that have rotted away need to be replaced. If the roof sealing or chimney fashion causes unwanted precipitation in the home, these can be replaced simply and cheaply without the need for a whole new roof.

An asphalt roof can last through two decades of use before it needs to be replaced. If you see the shingles curling, then it is time to call the roofer. Homeowners will want to check the local zoning laws in their community. Many places allow two or three roofs to be built before saying the old one needs torn down. Try not to let a roofing contractor talk you into having the roof torn down when it is not needed. The price can nearly double if the roof does get torn off when only the shingles need replaced. A few unscrupulous con artist will work on your roof with a simple silver paintbrush to look busy while charging a reasonable amount. If this is the case, the person may be checking out the home for security holes and potential valuables.

Before agreeing to any such repair homeowners should check with the Better Business Bureau or the Better Contractor’s Bureau to check to see if they are dealing with a reputable business before agreeing to potentially unnecessary home repairs. People of a more adventurous bent may want to see if anyone like Tim Turner is available for their own entertainment, but a little caution or the inclination to make simple repairs yourself can save people money. Craigslist.comb the popular online classified site recommends dealing with local people and avoiding anything involving Western Union or Wire transfers.


“5 Biggest Home Ripoffs.” Tom Philbin. Reader’s Digest. March 2007. New York, New York

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