Beware of the “Storm Chasers”

No, not the adrenaline junkies who follow, collect data, and get photographs of giant tornadoes.  These are the guys who show up on your doorstep AFTER the storm.

As we enter storm season here in the upper Midwest, we thought we’d offer a little advice.
After a storm, the first thing many homeowners do is assess the damage to the exterior elements of their home, including the roof and siding. Since even minor damage can cause long term problems with leaks, mold, and more, this is a good first step. Contacting your agent SHOULD be the next step for you.

In many cases, after a big storm, people who claim to be weather damage experts come into a town and go door-to-door to convince homeowners that repairs are needed. The homeowners, believing that these people are the experts they claim to be, become convinced that they must make the repairs immediately. These unscrupulous businesses have earned the nickname “storm chasers.”

The company often requires money before the work starts, and usually in full, and they often will try to get their clients to sign over any right to insurance proceeds from possible damage to the property. These are signs that the company may not be what they say they are. Often these companies are known for poor quality work, using bad products, and leaving jobs incomplete. They make money because they move from town to town quickly, so no one knows their history of poor workmanship and building materials.

If you want to avoid having these people touch your home, all you need to do is choose a local company with an established reputation. In Rochester, Minnesota, one such business is All Craft Exteriors. Ask to see examples of the vinyl siding, roofing or windows they’ve installed elsewhere. Ask to talk with references who can speak to the quality of their work. A good contractor will have many references to show you, and will be glad that you asked. A storm chaser won’t be able to show you anything, because they’ve never worked in your neighborhood before.

 

 

 

So after you assess the damage on your home, call your insurance agent. If work does need to be done, you should always verify that any contractor you choose is licensed, certified, and has done good work on houses before yours. If you follow this advice, you’re virtually guaranteed to avoid the danger of scammers and find a local company that will do a good job on your biggest investment.

Staff Writer