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7 Signs of a Bad Roofing Contractor

November 27, 2023 | 4 min. read

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When dealing with an old or leaking roof that desperately needs repair, the last thing you want is to be scammed by a roofing contractor.

You’re already investing a lot of time and money into a new roof – you shouldn’t have to deal with contractors who will take your money and run, leaving you with a poorly installed roof that will fail in the coming years. So, how do you avoid lousy roofing contractors?

Rescue My Roof has been working with homeowners for over a decade, helping them install roofs that will keep their homes and families safe for a lifetime.

We’ll give you the top seven tips for avoiding bad roofing contractors – empowering you to make the best and safest decisions for your wallet. Ultimately, you’ll know all the tips and tricks to find the best roofing contractors.

How to Avoid Bad Roofing Contractors

A roof is one of the essential components for protecting your home. A well-maintained roof can keep your home safe and dry for years. But what happens when your roof needs repairs or replacement?

You need to find a trustworthy and reliable roofing contractor. Unfortunately, not all roofing contractors are created equal.

Here are the seven signs to look for when evaluating contractors. If you see any of these problems – they are not the contractor for you.

1. Lack of Credentials

Digital graphic showing a general contractors license.

One of the first signs homeowners should look for is a lack of credentials.

A reputable roofing contractor should have proper licensing, insurance, and certifications. If a contractor cannot provide proof of these qualifications, it’s best to avoid working with them.

Without proper credentials, the contractor may not follow safety regulations, and you could be held liable in case of an accident. In Wisconsin, roofing contractors are required to get their Dwelling Contractor License from the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services. To apply for the license, contractors must take a 12-hour training course and meet the other requirements.

Additionally, Wisconsin dwelling contractors must maintain minimum liability insurance and provide workers’ compensation insurance to their employees. 

You may find licensing and insurance information on the contractor’s website. Otherwise, ask them to provide the paperwork when you meet for a roof estimate.

2. Poor Communication

Good communication = a smooth roof installation. If your contractor has poor communication, it’s a red flag.

A good roofing contractor will communicate clearly and effectively with their clients. They should be able to explain the repair or replacement process and answer any questions you may have. 

If a contractor is difficult to reach, takes a long time to respond to calls or emails, or doesn’t provide clear details about the project, you should consider finding someone else.

You may be able to sense poor communication early on. If they don’t get back to you about scheduling your estimate or answering questions – find a contractor who respects your time.

3. High-Pressure Sales Tactics

Beware of contractors who use high-pressure sales tactics to get you to sign a contract.

A reputable contractor will provide an estimate and give you time to think about it. They won’t pressure you into signing a contract right away. If a contractor insists you sign a contract immediately, it’s best to walk away.

4. Lack of References

A good roofing contractor will have a list of satisfied customers willing to vouch for their work. If a contractor cannot provide references or has negative reviews online, it’s a good sign that they may not be trustworthy.

Look for reviews on trusted websites like Yelp or the Better Business Bureau to understand the contractor’s reputation. Additionally, you can ask for a portfolio of their prior work. If they cannot provide it, they may know their work is not quality, and you should consider other options.

5. Lack of Written Contract

Two people going over and signing a contract.

A written contract is essential when working with a roofing contractor. It should include details like the scope of work, timeline, payment schedule, and warranty information.

A contract protects the roofer and the homeowner. If a contractor refuses to provide a written contract, finding someone else is best.

6. No Physical Address

A close-up of a black van with "Storm Chaser" written on the window.

Be  cautious of contractors who do not have a physical address.

A reputable contractor will have a business address that you can visit. If a contractor only provides a PO Box or a phone number, they may not be a legitimate business.

Often, this is the case for what the industry calls “storm chasers.” They travel across the country to canvas areas hit by storms, do poor repairs to make money  and leave the homeowner with a low-quality roof.

Find local contractors in your area who have an address, good reviews, and a quality portfolio. If you have problems in the future, you know where to go and who to contact.

7. Short Business History

Most roofing companies will fail in two years. If you hire a newer roofing company, it may mean they won’t be there in the future when you want to cash in on workmanship warranties. 

It’s best to find a company with an established history and good reviews. If they’ve stayed in business for five or more years, it’s a sign they’ll still be around when you need them. 

Hiring A Roofing Contractor

Find a new contractor if your potential contractor lacks credentials, an address, or fits any other criteria above.

Buying a roof is challenging. You don’t need the added stress of being scammed by a con artist roofing company. By using the list above, you can find a reputable contractor that can give you the roof you deserve.

Do you want to learn more? Read “How Much Should You Spend On A New Roof (2022 Roofing Costs)” and “The Top 8 Questions To Ask A Roofing Contractor” to prepare for your roof replacement.If you need a roof replacement in Southeastern Wisconsin, Rescue My Roof has you covered. Contact us today to get a free estimate.