Lack of regulations for roofers leads to shoddy work - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Lack of regulations for roofers leads to shoddy work

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The Better Business Bureau said at least three of those offices have been closed, some with unresolved BBB complaints. The Better Business Bureau said at least three of those offices have been closed, some with unresolved BBB complaints.
Betty Campbell Betty Campbell
It is a critical home repair that can cost you thousands of dollars, but roofing work in Kentucky and Indiana is completely unlicensed and unregulated, increasing the number of shoddy roofing contractors looking for your business. It is a critical home repair that can cost you thousands of dollars, but roofing work in Kentucky and Indiana is completely unlicensed and unregulated, increasing the number of shoddy roofing contractors looking for your business.
Eric Bowling Eric Bowling

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It is a critical home repair that can cost you thousands of dollars, but roofing work in Kentucky and Indiana is completely unlicensed and unregulated, increasing the number of shoddy roofing contractors looking for your business. Some within the roofing industry want that to change.

The Better Business Bureau says a wave of severe weather in 2012 led to a string of new roofing companies popping up around town. Not all of them knew what they were doing, leaving customers with unfinished work, and unanswered questions, about why there aren't more protections.

Betty Campbell's biggest source of stress used to be making sure her Chihuahua Belle, didn't eat too many biscuits. Now, 81-year-old Campbell is faced with more serious problems now, coming right through her ceiling.

"Doesn't look like a very good situation," Campbell said.

Betty said says her roof never leaked before she hired the Chateau Roofing Company. A company rep showed up on her doorstep in the spring telling Betty she needed a new roof after a 2012 hail storm.

"They said that I could get it free," Campbell said. "That my insurance company would pay for it."

In reality, Betty had to pay a $1,000 deductible towards the $6,130 bill Chateau charged her insurance company. There were problems almost immediately. Leaking gutters that Chateau did come out and fix. And water coming down into her ceiling, Betty says, the company never repaired.

"I've got two leaks in the roof," she said. "And I'm sure it's going to get bigger."

We wanted Chateau roofing to make good on the warranty in Betty's contract, but a neighbor said they cleaned out their office months ago.

Neighbors said at least three of Chateau's former customers showed up looking for the company after the left, and claimed they too had paid chateau for work that was done poorly, or not at all.

The website roofhelp.com reports half of US states require some type of roofing license to do work legally. Kentucky and Indiana do not.

Eric Bowling, president of the Kentucky Roofing Contractors Association, said the group is trying to get legislation passed that would require licenses. Including bonding, insurance and following the KRCA's code of ethics. Right now, Bowling said the only thing someone needs to be a roofer is "a ladder and a truck."

Bowling said the new law would protect consumers against shoddy roofing contractors.

"You know people that don't really know what's going on," Bowling said. "Don't know the in's and outs of the roofing industry."

"I really thought they were licensed," Campbell said of Chateau. "They looked like a reputable company and they acted like a reputable company."

For Campbell it's a costly lesson in the ways consumers aren't covered.

"I don't know what to do about it," Campbell said. "Unless just pay to have it fixed. There's no other thing if they won't come in and do what they're supposed to do."

Messages left on the cell phone of the Chateau roofing rep who signed the contract with Betty were not returned. Messages left with an answering service for a half dozen Chateau Roofing Companies across the country were also not returned.

The Better Business Bureau said at least three of those offices have been closed, some with unresolved BBB complaints.

Louisville Better Business Bureau President Charlie Mattingly said reputable roofing companies should only ask to get paid after the job is complete. If they don't have money for supplies that's a huge red flag. The BBB also says you should shop around, be wary of door to door roofers offering discounts for left over materials, get everything in writing.

And it's always important to reach out to former customers, the BBB, and the KRCA for recommendations.

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