Best ways to avoid scammers trying to cash in on winter weather repairs

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) –While it has been a busy time for season work such as snow removal, the need for a contractor could also arise after the flurries melt.

Scammers often use winter weather renovation plans as a way to cash in. We talked to experts to offer advice on how to avoid getting ripped off.

“If you see any damage to the ceiling or you see any leaks, I think that, specifically to snow and ice, that is when you would want to call,” said Justin Martin, the president of Martin Exteriors.

After a winter storm, you might notice your property is in need of repair. But local experts say there are steps you should take before deciding on a contractor to patch up the damage.

“One thing that we always tell people is whoever you go with, make sure you have that written contract,” said Martin. “A contract is required in Illinois for any project that’s over a thousand dollars.”

Martin says that doing online research is one easy way to separate professionals from those who may just be looking to make a quick buck.

“You want to ask for references from that company, number one. And then second, check out the companies reviews. Between Google and Facebook, that really says a lot about companies,” said Martin.

Oftentimes after bad weather rolls through an area, scammers will go door-to-door offering their services. Jason Pankhurst, the co-Owner of Total Exteriors, suggests asking for documentation from any contractor you may consider hiring.

“All my guys have access to our licenses, proof of insurance, because that’s something that’s requested a lot, and should be readily available. So if somebody says they don’t have that, or can’t provide it, then I would automatically kind of assume they’re not a professional company,” Pankhurst added.

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