How, when to hire roofers in your area

Tuesday's hail storm boosting business for roofing companies

By Amy Davis - Reporter/Consumer Expert

HITCHCOCK, Texas - Fast and relentless, the same words used to describe Tuesday night's hail, is also fitting for the roofers that have poured into Hitchcock knocking on doors, drumming up business.

The signs can be seen stuck in the ground all over town, advertising various roofing companies.

Contractors, some who drove from as far as San Antonio, started knocking on doors just hours after the hail storm.

"It was first thing in the morning," said Hitchcock homeowner Bill Vogler.

Vogler knows he needs repairs, but he said his insurance company told him to send the out-of-town contractors who showed up at his door packing.

"Because once they're done, they're gone," Vogler said a representative of his insurance company told him. "And if there's something wrong, they won't come back and fix it."

"I have a saying that nothing good comes from a strange knock at the door but Girl Scout cookies," said Houston roofer Jim Hardwick.

Hardwick said unless you have water coming into your house, there is no hurry to hire a roofer.

"You should take your time to get estimates and look up the history of the company you want to hire," said Hardwick. "You've got six, eight, according to insurance, you've got a whole year to get this done."

There's nothing illegal about storm chasing, or driving into an area after a storm to drum up business, but there are red flags that you should look out for.

Beware of roofers who ask you to sign a contract even before your insurance company has approved your claim.

You have three years to cancel a contract from anyone who comes to your door if you do sign.

"They'll hurry up and deliver material to your driveway," said Hardwick. "Then they'll sit there for a month because they know it's added pressure to you, that you don't want to cancel because there's material sitting in your driveway."

Lastly, if you don't know that a roofer is local, ask to see their driver's license. Many times, companies will claim they have offices in your town or nearby, but those are only P.O. boxes.

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