They are not the most attractive additions to a home's facade but the fact that they can keep the weather out and the comfort in means a lot to people who have been affected by the parade of tropical weather systems that have been been a part of Louisiana's weather landscape this hurricane season.

I am speaking of the "blue roof", the stopgap effort to seal up damaged roofs following severe weather. The "blue roof" became a thing following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and it has been a lifesaver for thousands of Louisiana residents this year.

We are now hearing reports of unscrupulous contractors attempting to charge homeowners for federally installed blue roofs. According to FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers roofs installed by their teams do not have any charge associated with them. If a contractor is attempting to collect payment or threatening to place a lien on a home based on a blue roof installation, then you need to notify the authorities.

If you have received a letter requesting payment you can forward a copy of that correspondence to this email address. roe-callcenter@usace.army.mil. You may also call this number 888-766-3258. Or, if it is more convenient for you, you can find out more details by visiting this website. It is hosted by the United States Army Corps of Engineers and will likely have the answers to all of your questions.

The bottom line is this. If you had a federally installed blue roof placed on your property you are not subject to payments of any kind. If you feel you're being pressured to pay or you're not sure what to do please reach out now. Waiting until later to try and recoup money that you've already paid will be a lot more difficult than understanding your rights ahead of time.