Oklahomans whose property was damaged in the May tornadoes need to be cautious when it comes to hiring someone to make roofing repairs. Taking the time to make sure a roofer is registered to do business in Oklahoma can protect property owners from being ripped off by scam artists who exploit storm victims.
Sen. Dan Newberry was author of the 2010 Roofing Contractor Registration Act which required roofers to register with the Oklahoma Construction Industries Board (CIB). While many contractors and roofers are doing everything they can to help those impacted by the recent tornadoes, others are not as honest. Newberry said it was important for property owners to be proactive to make sure they’re dealing with a legitimate company.
“Don’t sign anything on the spot. Before contracting with a roofer, you need to make sure they have a CIB number. This verifies that the roofing company has met the requirements to be licensed for business in Oklahoma, including proof of liability insurance, workers comp insurance and other qualifications,” said Newberry, R-Tulsa. “You can verify the company’s registration by calling the CIB directly or by going to their website.”
Newberry said fly-by-night roofers often flock to a state after storms cause extensive property damage. Some demand partial or full payment up front. They take the money, then never finish the job and are often impossible to find again. He said the Roofing Contractor Registration Act can help consumers avoid being ripped-off.
“The whole idea is to make it easier to find out who is a good guy, and who isn’t,” Newberry said. “In addition to verifying CIB registration, people really should check with friends and neighbors about any recommendations they may have, as well as the Better Business Bureau. Checking a roofer’s credentials and reputation can save you a lot of heartburn later.”
To verify if a roofer is registered to do business in Oklahoma, call the CIB at 405-521-6550, or call the toll-free line at 877-484-4424. You can also verify registration online at http://cibverify.ok.gov/