The Garden City Telegram
7/29/2013
OPINIONS AND COMMENTARY

Roof work

New guidelines should help ward off more storm fallout.  

Huge hail often hammers Kansas.

The south-central part of the state saw as much last week, as baseball-sized hail smashed windows and roofs and resulted in widespread damage.

Such damage can create a backlog of work, so it’s easy to see how residents could be tempted by roofers who promise quick results — even those with no local presence who come to town and go door-to-door.

Knowing severe weather in the form of hail, wind and more can be expected to do damage throughout the Sunflower State, the Kansas Attorney General’s Office has a way to help keep consumers from falling prey to unscrupulous roofing firms.

A new law requires all roofing contractors in Kansas to register with the AG’s office to legally work on residential or commercial roofs. 

Roofers also must prove they have liability and workers’ compensation insurance.

Any reputable roofing firm should have no problem complying with the new rules. 

The goal is to ward off fly-by-night roofers who show up immediately after severe weather strikes in hopes of cashing in. Some literally follow storms looking for jobs. And some, unfortunately, try to get paid for work they don’t intend to do, or leave town after doing shoddy work.

Even the more reputable firms that don’t have local ties may be difficult to track down after doing work if a customer has questions or other issues.

While some Kansans might view the new restrictions as government overreach, stepped-up efforts to protect property owners from fraudulent roofing contractors make sense from an AG’s office that counts consumer protection among its missions. 

The AG’s website — ag.ks.gov — offers information for roofers looking to register, as well as tips for consumers, including a soon-to-be-available online directory of registered roofing contractors.  

When it comes to having such work done, consumers always should be wary of anyone who comes to town looking for a quick job. It pays to view those ventures with a suspicious eye.

No one, after all, should want the financial fallout of severe storms to multiply because they became the target of a scam or other suspect business practices.