After the bad weather on the East Coast last week I saw a video news story where the Attorney General of New York was warning victims of Hurricane Sandy to watch out for unlicensed and uninsured contractors. He warned that these storm chasers may price gouge, do shoddy work, not be around to address problems, and in fact, were violating the law.
This news story reminded me of a blog I wrote in the spring of 2011. I thought this would be a good time to reiterate my point of view on storm chasers.
As a life-long roofing contractor, I have experienced and worked through several hail storms. One of the key things to understand is that typically roofs are not damaged to the point where they are going to leak water the next time it rains or for that matter for years afterward.
What happens much more often is that roof hail damage just decreases the useful life of the roof. Many homeowners feel anxious about getting their roof replaced quickly and because local contractors quickly get full schedules they opt to have a "storm chaser" install the roof on their home. Often this is a poor decision.
Hopefully you will be living with this new roof for many years. If you have a problem with you new roof a year or so down the line the "storm chaser" that installed your roof is off working another storm. Most insurance companies will give you a year to replace your roof and some will extend beyond that. My advice is to have patience. Wait for a local contractor, one that has good references, and preferably one that your neighbors were pleased with.