Assess your need for roof repairs and contact both your insurance adjuster and a reputable contractor to avoid scams following storm-related damage.

Avoid roofing repair scam artistsIowa property owners are dealing this week with damaged roofs and crumpled barns following a series of violent storms that tore through the area Monday.

The Des Moines Register noted that, thankfully, no injuries were reported in Greater Des Moines, with local homeowners now turning their attention to the aftermath of strong thunderstorms that poured out wind, rain and hail.

Another effect of severe storms is the subject of “storm chasers,” or those “Chuck in a truck” type contractors whom like to take advantage of hard-working Iowans trying to do the next right thing. These “handymen,” it seems, have nothing better to do with their time than prey on homeowners in and around your neighborhood with the promise of fast repairs for a reasonable fee.

All too often, they hang homeowners out to dry.

A fairly surefire way to get sucked into a bad home-repair deal following a wicked storm is to rush into a contract before gathering the facts. Beware. By taking that route, you could end up paying for substandard services and repairs, even plunking down hard-earned dollars for a roof replacement you don’t even need.

Even if repairs are necessary, these unethical “storm scammers” – whom may sport out-of-state license plates and are unlikely to leave a calling card – often swoop in and out so fast that your head spins, leaving you with questions regarding the quality of their craftsmanship.

Given one of the leading causes of roof leaks or roof failure is improper installation, getting in a hurry could mean you’ll soon have to hire a professional contractor not only to fix the original damage, but also clean up somebody else’s mess.

There’s nothing wrong with a desire to get home repairs underway immediately following violent storms that leave many feeling upset, vulnerable, afraid, or just plain wet and curious about what tomorrow’s rain clouds may bring. Yet taking the proper steps could save you time, money and a big headache.

Assessing the damage, photographing the damage and contacting a reputable contractor are among the tips offered to homeowners by the National Storm Damage Center to deal with insurance carriers and avoid scams. Tools such as the Internet and smartphones can help homeowners determine the validity of a construction contractor, too, with websites such as Angie’s List providing digital proof of a company’s existence.

Our tips: Speak with your insurance claims adjuster. Never, ever pay cash for repairs. And find a local contractor with whom you already have a relationship, or seek one out on Angie’s List or GuildQuality, complete with customer testimonials.

For a free consultation or estimate, you may also call directly on VanWeelden Co. – a credentialed construction veteran with a long list of credible references in the Des Moines and Central Iowa roofing and siding trades.