Be on the lookout for scammers this hail season
El Paso County has already seen a
this season, and experts are warning homeowners to be on the lookout for scammers as more storms are expected throughout the summer.
Greg Dingrando, the public information officer for the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department, said people should check for damage after every storm.
“So you really want to be sure you’re checking for damage right away so that if there is damage, you can get it fixed right away before it gets significantly worse,” he said.
If you find that your home or property does have damage, contact your insurance company to figure out what will be covered. Then, you can start looking for a contractor.
“It is so important to actually do your research and actually research a number of different contractors before you sign on any dotted line or sign any kind of contract,” Dingrando said.
One resource homeowners can use is the
, which has a list of all contractors operating with a license.
“Just because they have a license doesn't mean they're in good standing, so that's another reason you want to go through our website to see if they're in good standing,” Dingrando said. “If they're not licensed, they cannot pull a permit, and that means our inspectors aren't going to be coming out to look over their work to make sure that it's being done correctly to code and make sure that it's being done safely.”
Dingrando said a red flag people should watch out for is if a contractor asks the homeowner to pull a permit for them.
“It's not any cheaper for the homeowner to pull the permit for that contract, they might tell you that, but that's not the case at all. You want to make sure that the contractor is pulling that permit. You want the responsibility on them.”
Another red flag -- contractors saying they don’t need to pull a permit.
When checking a contractor’s license, make sure it’s for the work that you need done.
“A lot of times with hail storms we see damage to not only the roof but the siding, so they might come in, and they are properly licensed to do that roof, but they might say, ‘Oh well, I notice you have some siding damage as well. I can go ahead and fix that,’” Dingrando said. “You want to be careful there because that actually is an entirely different license, so if they're offering both things, they need to have a license for both the roofing and the siding.”
Also, always make sure you sign an actual contract. Don’t just make a verbal agreement.
“If they do provide a contract to you, it is crucial that you read over that contract and that you understand everything in there before you actually sign on that dotted line.”
If you come across a contractor that raises any of these red flags, report them to the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department at 719-327-2880.