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Don't Let Contractors Pressure You After a Storm: An Eye-Opening Guide


tornado money grab photo of storm chasers


Protecting Yourself from Storm Chasers

The National Weather Service has confirmed at least 11 tornadoes touched down in the Chicago area Wednesday July 12th that left path of destruction in its wake. In the aftermath of this natural disaster, many people are looking for help to repair their homes and businesses. Unfortunately, there is also an influx of unscrupulous contractors who prey on unsuspecting victims in these situations. This blog will provide an eye-opening guide on how you can avoid falling victim to storm chasers and make sure your home, apartment or business gets repaired properly and safely at a reasonable cost. This blog was inspired by the fantastic reporting by Samantha Chatman in her video "Homeowners urged to beware of dishonest contractors after recent severe weather, tornadoes"


Research Potential Contractors Before Hiring

When it comes to repairing your home or property after a storm, it's important to take the time to research potential contractors before hiring them. In the wake of a storm, it can be tempting to accept the first offer that comes your way, but this can lead to costly mistakes. Tree removal, especially, is a job that requires specialized knowledge and experience. A contractor may offer to take care of the storm damage to your landscape, but if they lack the expertise to properly remove a tree, you could be left with further damage.


It's important to do your due diligence when it comes to researching contractors.

When talking to a contractor, it's important to trust your gut. If you feel any pressure or uneasiness about the transaction, don't be afraid to walk away. Make sure to do your research ahead of time by checking reviews and asking friends and family for recommendations. Ask if the contractor is licensed and insured, and verify their experience and years in the business.


Don't Let Contractors Pressure You to Sign Anything

When a storm blows through your neighborhood, you might find yourself dealing with a lot of tree and landscape damage. If you're facing a big mess, you may be tempted to call in a contractor for tree removal services. But before you sign anything, it's important to remember that contractors often use high-pressure tactics to get you to sign contracts quickly. Don't let them pressure you into signing anything until you have time to read the fine print and make sure that you understand the terms of the contract.


With over 40 years of experience in the construction industry, I've witnessed various contractor practices, leading me to a clear realization. Whenever a contractor insists on demanding a deposit or requesting upfront payment, it's a sign that they either lack trust in their clients or lack the necessary financial stability and business acumen of their business. This demand should raise caution and prompt you to approach the transaction with skepticism. Unless the contractor is ordering or manufacturing widgets that have no value apart from the buyer's payment. Trust is the foundation of any successful business relationship, and if a contractor doesn't exhibit that trust by requiring a deposit, it's a valid reason to be wary of proceeding further. In such cases, it's prudent to exercise caution and seriously consider whether it's best to move on to another contractor who values transparency and fosters a trusting partnership.


Know What Services Your Contractor Should Offer

When a storm passes through, it can leave behind a path of destruction that can damage your property. If you're in the unfortunate situation of needing to repair your home or landscape, it's important to know what services your contractor should offer. Tree removal is often necessary after a storm, as it can help prevent further damage to your home or property. Look for a contractor that can provide tree removal services and inspect the trees on your property for damage. Storm damage can also cause damage to your landscape, so it's important to find a contractor that can repair or replace any affected plants or trees. Lastly, make sure your contractor can assess and repair any tree damage caused by the storm. When you know what services your contractor should offer, you can make sure your home is safe and secure after a storm.


Understand Your Insurance Policy

When it comes to storm damage, it's important to understand your insurance policy. After a storm, tree removal and landscape damage can be expensive and contractors may try to pressure you into signing a contract. It's important to know what your insurance policy covers before making any decisions. For example, if your policy includes coverage for tree damage, you may be eligible for reimbursement for tree removal. If you don't have coverage for tree damage, you may be responsible for the full cost of any tree removal. Make sure to read through your policy and understand what is and isn't covered before signing any contracts.


Be Aware of Common Storm Chaser Tactics

As a homeowner, it's important to be aware of the tactics storm chasers may use to pressure you into making decisions about tree removal and landscape damage. Storm chasers are companies that travel to areas affected by storms and offer their services to homeowners. While some of these companies may be legitimate, many of them prey on unsuspecting homeowners and offer services of questionable quality.

For example, after a storm, a storm chaser may approach you and claim that your tree or landscape has suffered extensive damage and needs to be removed immediately. They may also claim that the only way to prevent further damage is to hire them to remove the tree or landscape damage. Unfortunately, these claims may be exaggerated and the services they offer may be unnecessary. To avoid getting taken advantage of, it's important to get a second opinion from a qualified tree service or landscaping company before making any decisions about tree removal or landscape damage.


Act Slowly, Nothing Needs To Be Done Right Away

After a storm, it can be tempting to rush into decisions about tree removal and landscape damage. Storm chasers may even claim that your home or property is in danger if you don't act right away. However, it's important to remember that there is no need to make any decisions without first consulting qualified professionals and understanding your situation clearly. Taking the time to research potential contractors and understand your policy will help you avoid costly mistakes and ensure that your home or property is safe after a storm.

In conclusion, it is important to be aware of the potential storm chaser tactics that may be used to pressure you into signing a contract for services after a storm. It is essential to research potential contractors before hiring, know what services your contractor should offer, and understand your insurance policy. Don't let contractors pressure you to sign anything without taking the time to read and understand what you are agreeing to. Taking the time to follow these steps will help you protect yourself from storm chasers and ensure that you get the best tree removal and landscape damage services for your storm damage.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What is a storm chaser?

A1: A storm chaser is a contractor who travels to areas affected by storms in order to offer services related to storm damage, such as tree removal, landscape repair, and tree damage repair. Storm chasers often pressure homeowners to sign contracts quickly and may not provide the best services at the best prices.


Q2: What should I do if a storm chaser approaches me?

A2: If a storm chaser approaches you, it is important to take your time and do your research before signing anything. Ask for references and compare prices and services from multiple contractors before making a decision.


Q3: What services should a contractor be able to provide?

A3: A reputable contractor should be able to provide a variety of services related to storm damage, including tree removal, landscape repair, and tree damage repair. If a contractor is only able to provide one or two of these services, you may want to consider looking for another contractor.


Q4: How can I protect myself from being taken advantage of by a storm chaser?

A4: The best way to protect yourself from being taken advantage of by a storm chaser is to do your research before signing any contracts. Compare prices and services from multiple contractors and make sure to read any contracts carefully before signing.


Q5: What should I know about my insurance policy before hiring a contractor?

A5: Before hiring a contractor, it is important to understand the details of your insurance policy. Your policy should outline the types of services that are covered and the amount of coverage you have. This will help you determine what services you need and how much you can expect to be reimbursed for them.


Q6: What are some common storm chaser tactics?

A6: Some common storm chaser tactics include pressuring homeowners to sign contracts quickly, offering low prices that may not cover the full cost of services, and not providing the best quality services. It is important to be aware of these tactics and to take your time when researching and choosing a contractor.


Q7: How can I tell if a contractor is reputable?

A7: The best way to tell if a contractor is reputable is to ask for references and to compare prices and services from multiple contractors. You should also make sure to read any contracts carefully before signing and to ask questions if anything is unclear

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