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TEGACAY, S.C. -- Just two weeks after one of the worst hail storms in recent memory, NewsChannel 36 has obtained numbers that show April may be the busiest month ever for roof repair work in the local area.

According to the Better Business Bureau of the Southern Piedmont, local home and business owners have made 7,254 inquiries about roofing contractors this month. That is more than double the number of inquiries from April of 2010. It is also the most inquiries about roofing contractors ever recorded in a single month.

As far as hail damage in South Carolina, yes, it is definitely the worst I have ever seen, said roofer Jason Thompson who works with LEP Roofing.

On Friday, NewsChannel 36 caught up with Thompson while he was assessing homes in a Tega Cay neighborhood.

It has been very good for business, he said. When NewsChannel 36 asked just how much business is up, Thompson said. It is at least triple what a normal day in April in this market would be.

The hail storm on Saturday, April 9th, caused widespread damage in Cleveland, Lincoln, Gaston, Mecklenburg, York and Lancaster Counties.

In places where the hail hit, it hit hard.

Every house on this block has to have a new roof, said homeowner Ron Aldridge. I know I am going to need a new roof. I am going to need metal work on my house and some siding will have to be replaced in some areas.

Just up the street, Charles Stone will be replacing the roof on his home for the second time in two months.

Stone is a victim of bad timing. He and his wife decided to replace their 20-year-old roof last month with a new $7200 roof. That roof was finished just weeks before the hail storm.

It was a brand new roof, and now it ain t new no more, he said.

As homeowners scramble to make repairs, the Better Business Bureau is cautioning people to pay attention and watch out for possible scams.

You want to make sure when you commit to doing business with a company that it is a company that is going to do the job right, said BBB spokesperson Janet Hart.

Just last summer, about 300 Carolinians lost $2 million to roofing company American Shingle. The company collected money up front, but never finished the work. Ultimately, American Shingle filed bankruptcy and its CEO was arrested.

The Better Business Bureau offered several tips to avoid being scammed:

(1)Check out the company s rating and complaint history at www.bbb.org.
(2)Make sure to hire a company that is properly licensed to make repairs.
(3)Ask for references
(4)Do NOT hire someone going door-to-door or claiming to do work for your neighbors
(5)Put a contract in writing before starting work
(6)Work with a local company with a proven track record and a good reputation

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