• August 20, 2014

Got storm damage? Watch out for scams

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Posted: Friday, April 11, 2014 4:30 am

Whenever Mother Nature unleashes her arsenal, cleanup crews, contractors and crooks aren’t very far behind.

In the weeks following the strong line of storms that moved through Central Texas on March 28, bringing heavy rainfall and hail, claims adjusters, insurance agents and residents said Harker Heights received the brunt of the damage.

“We had some minor damage to a few items,” City Manager David Mitchell said. “We had some vehicles that had some small denting due to the hail. None of the vehicles require anything to be corrected to be operational.”

Mitchell said some air conditioner fins were damaged by the hail and the Parks and Recreation crew had a lot of cleanup work on their hands due to the limbs and leaves on the ground from the hail as well as debris from flash flooding in some of the parks.

According to National Weather Service Meteorologist Joe Harris, heavy rainfall and ping-pong- to golf ball-size hail wreaked havoc in the northern and eastern parts of Killeen and Fort Hood.

“All in all, none of the issues are major in scope or cost,” Mitchell said.

For those affected by the recent storms, Roofing Contractors Association of Texas urges everyone to make regret-free buying decisions.

“Texas currently has no regulations for the roofing trade and it is for this reason and many more that we recommend you doing your homework prior to making a decision,” said Kameron Alexander, owner of Vertical Roofing and RCAT board member. “There are storm chasers from all over the county. People need to hire someone that was in the roofing business prior to the storm, has been in business for at least three years, is registered with the Better Business Bureau and has no open complaints.”

He also encourages homeowners to make sure the contractor has general liability insurance and is up to date on changes in building codes.

“Homeowners need to do some research by Googling the company and checking their rating on the BBB,” he said. “They should be wary of contractors offering free roofs or to cover their deductible, because that’s insurance fraud. You get what you pay for when you go with the lowest bidder.”

His company, Vertical Roofing, is a family-owned company with more than 20 years of experience in the roofing industry.

The company donates a portion of its proceeds from each roof project to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

“We don’t ask for payment until the job is done and the customer is satisfied,” he said adding that homeowners need to be wary of companies requesting money up front and to read documents carefully before signing.

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