ABC 7 Investigates: The unregulated roofing industry in Texas

Consumers can check reviews and licenses for contractors. BBB records show an A+ BBB rating, and a license number for Top of Texas Roofing (pic), issued by the City of Amarillo.

Simply put, the state of Texas doesnâ??t regulate the roofing industry, and this sometimes leaves consumers holding the bag.

Investigative reporter David Grasso-Ortega spoke to one Amarillo family whose home suffered extensive damage after an out of town contractor didnâ??t put on the roof they requested. The Watkins family said neither their insurance company nor the city has been any help to them.

The Watkins contracted an out-of-town roofer that put on an entirely different roof than originally contractually promised. They later had to hire a forensic document examiner to verify what they suspected.

â??We later validated that the contract we signed was altered and changed, and a year later our roof started leaking,â?? Watkins said.

The Watkins got stuck in limbo between insurance claims. While no money was ever exchanged, their roof remains unreliable. She was not able to file against the contractors bond because the roof was never paid for. The City of Amarillo could not get involved and said her home was up to code.

The City of Amarillo said they donâ??t get involved in civil matters.

â??Ultimately, itâ??s up to the bonding company,â?? Scott McDonald said. â??Itâ??s going to be a civil matter. We donâ??t get involved in the middle of who has paid whom to do what work.â??

Respresentative John Smithee told ABC 7 News that these hail storms create roofer gold rushes.

â??Where the problem comes in,â?? he said, â??is when you have a major hail storm and the local roofers canâ??t handle the volume of business. You have a lot of out-of-town, out-of-state contractors coming in, many of whom donâ??t know what theyâ??re doing.â??

While roofing licensing is completely unregulated at the state level, the City of Amarillo has its own requirements.

â??We absolutely advocate for our local roofing contractors and the reason we do that is that we have much stricter standards than the state of Texas has. We have a much more thorough approach to roofing and how it is to do it.â??

You, too, can check a company's BBB rating and license through the City of Amarillo's website.

Representative Smithee told ABC 7 News that he thinks more regulation may be on the way.

â??I think itâ??s just a matter of time until the state does go to some form of regulation,â?? Rep. Smithee said. â??Honestly, I canâ??t remember this big of a problem really ever. As far as contractors coming in the wake of a major storm in this area and injuring so many people.â??

Our two neighboring states, New Mexico and Oklahoma, both require roofing contractors to have licenses, unlike Texas. Weâ??d like to hear from you if you find yourself still dealing with the aftermath of hail storm damage to your roof.

Reach out to David at djgrasso@sbgtv.comor via facebook.

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