Hurricanes have become increasingly frequent in recent years and they have also become wider, longer and stronger, causing more and more damage to the buildings in their way. When a hurricane is announced, the best thing that building owners can do is to try and minimize the risk of damage by closing windows, moving outdoor items indoors and moving cars and pets to sheltered places, but if their property suffers serious damage, such as torn or shattered roofs and windows, damaged siding or other forms of damage, the affected properties will need repairs and they will need the repairs quickly. Unfortunately, the desperate period right after the hurricane, when the property is in a chaotic state and the owners are in a state of shock is the time when scammers or contractors who want to take advantage of the situation appear, offering subpar, overpriced services appear, so the most important thing amidst the chaos is to keep a level head and to make sure that the Pensacola roofing contractors you hire are trustworthy. Here is how.
Don’t Fall for Scammers
Contractors who show up at your door, offering their services aggressively without being invited, explaining to you how they have some roofing material exactly like yours, left from a previous job and requiring you to give them some money for some more material that they will buy and install for you right away should never be trusted. They are likely to disappear with your money or, if they do any work on your building at all, the quality of the work will be very poor and they will not offer any warranty on it.
Check Certificates and Referrals, Even If You Are Pushed for Time
Maybe water is pouring through your ceiling, your windows are just shards of glass and your entire property is a mess, but even so, you must definitely check your contractor’s certificates, licenses and other documents, such as referrals and insurances that prove his expertise.
The only situation when you can afford to skip this checking phase is if the contractor is recommended to you by your insurer. Insurance companies usually have a network of thoroughly verified contractors of their own, so if they recommend you a contractor, you can trust that contractor.
Get Estimates from at Least Three Contractors
This might also be difficult to do after a hurricane, when all contractors are busy handling emergencies, but it is very important, nevertheless. If you cannot find three contractors to request quotes from, at least make sure that the one that is willing to provide an estimate is willing to do it in writing and try to do some research to find out if the quoted prices are reasonable. If they are not – some contractors might up their prices in emergencies –, try to convince them to give you better prices or establish a payment schedule that you can afford. If the price is high, make sure that you get warranty for the work done and get the contractor to sign an agreement that includes all the details of the repair work, including payment terms, deadlines, the materials used for the repair and the warranties offered.
Never Pay More Than 10% in Advance
Reputable contractors might be expensive, but in most cases, they do not charge anything in advance. In special situations, you might agree to pay around 10% in advance, but not more.