Help Aging Parents Avoid Roofing Scams

When your aging parents tell you it’s time to replace the roof, it’s time for you to put up your antennae. You want to assure the roofing contractor makes your parents’ lives better-and not worse.

When seniors replace roofs, it’s like they’re crossing a busy three-way intersection. Even in the safe zone, they’re at risk of harm from all directions.

From one direction comes the risk of roofing scams. Roofs are high ticket items that attract fraud. Consumers request Better Business Bureau checks on roofers more frequently than they check any other vendor.

From another direction, seniors are the primary targets for many consumer scams.

From yet another direction, well-intentioned roofing contractors desperate to support their families can embellish their roofing experience.

That places your parents at risk of a bad outcome from fraud and ineptitude.

The good news is that you can take some basic steps to assure your parents get a quality job. You can take many of these steps even if you’re a long-distance caregiver.

Ask your parents for permission to be part of the decision-making. Explain how and why people in their shoes are vulnerable to scams. Remind them that your Internet access makes research much easier.

If they decline your offer of help-and they’re competent to make their own choices– honor their wishes. It’s hard to watch someone you love make costly mistakes; however, your parents may have stood by while you did this a time or two yourself. In addition, your relationship with then has more value than the cost of a roof misadventure.

Explore whether their living circumstances are still working for them. Is it time to downsize or move into a retirement community and let someone else be responsible for home maintenance?

Take advantage of this opportunity to talk about long-term planning. What happens if the cannot make choices for themselves. Who would make financial choices? Medical choices?

Help your parents maintain their dignity as you assume active leadership of the family. Thank your parents for taking such good care of you and teaching you the things you know. Be sure to look for ways for them to make as many choices as possible for themselves.

For a free checklist to identify a roofing contractor who will do a good job, visit