Call for Action Alert: Check your vents following major hail storm

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) -- If your home was pummeled by hail, you need to take a close look at your roof and check for damage on your mechanical vent. The vents are connected to gas fired appliances, like your furnace or your water heater.

"Our inspectors have been noticing more homes due to the hail, and due to the size of the hail, that their vent caps or their vents themselves are badly damaged, which prevents the gases from properly evacuating the home," said Rebecca Mulder, the Communications Supervisor for the Regional Building Department. That's a big problem because carbon monoxide can get trapped in your home.

"It really becomes a sudden silent killer – carbon monoxide. You don't smell it or know that it's happening, but it can leak into your home," said Mulder. If you are having flu like symptoms, that can be a sign of carbon monoxide poisoning. Call your doctor right away.

"From the hail storm, what we’re seeing is the tops of the vent caps being crushed in causing it to cave in and reduce the air flow. We also see these wings or tips on the edge being crushed in, which also prevents proper flow," said Mulder.

“Your roofer, when they are changing out the roof, they cannot replace the vent itself, but they can replace the vent cap. So if the cap is the only thing that’s damaged, they can replace the cap. You just want to make sure that it’s the proper fitting cap," Mulder added. “If the vent itself is damaged, bent or broken, you want to get a mechanical contractor who’s licensed to make that repair.”

Another thing you should watch for right now is scammers. "Look out for potential scams, things like immediate signing of the contract, or that the homeowner can pull the permit, or that it's not necessary, that it's cheaper or easier – it's not true, it's the same price, same process," she said.

Some salesmen are posing as licensed contractors. "I would say the door-to-door salesmen come Monday through Sunday, and our website is a great resource to look up that contractor right on the spot while they're at your door to find out if they are licensed and have the proper license and insurance to do it right," Mulder added.

You can look up a contractor on the Regional Building's website. Click here for more information.

You've already been hit hard by the hail, don't give scammers the chance to hit again. If you are the victim of a scam, reach out to our Call for Action team at 719-457-8211 or submit a complaint online here.

Click here to read the full story in the Gazette. Katie writes a weekly consumer article for our news partners at the Gazette.