BBB Tips for Flood Damage Clean-Up and Repair 10/14/13
Better Business Bureau
PERMIAN BASIN, Texas – While some areas in Central Texas stayed dry this weekend, other parts were flooded with more than a foot of rain. Even the final day of the Austin City Limits Music Festival was canceled because of flash flooding.
More rain is forecast over the next few days, which means flood damage is a possibility. Better Business Bureau advises home and business owners to take precaution when cleaning up water damage and hiring contractors to help with the rebuilding process.
Tips for Flood Damage Clean-Up:
Call your insurance agent immediately to file a claim. Be sure to ask for specific procedures or paperwork needed to move forward with repairs.
If possible, take photos of any water saturation. An insurance adjuster may need to see what has been damaged in order to process your claim.
Discard or clean all wet items within 48 hours. According to the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as soon as the majority of water is drained away, all wet items should be cleaned and dried, or thrown away within 48 hours of flooding to prevent the growth of mold.
Following a major flooding event, BBB also urges consumers and business owners to be cautious when hiring a repair service.
Tips for Hiring a Repair Contractor:
Research trustworthy businesses. Deal only with licensed and insured contractors. You can verify licensing information through the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. Find a BBB Accredited contractor through BBB Member Pages.
Get multiple bids. Get bids from at least three companies and ask for referrals. Utilize BBB’s Request a Quote service to get multiple estimates from BBB Accredited Businesses for free.
Take your time signing a contract. Get a written estimate that includes any verbal promises the contractor made. Remember to ask if there is a charge for an estimate before allowing anyone into your home. Ask for explanations for price variations. Get a copy of the final, signed contract before the job begins.
Avoid paying a large sum upfront. Resist dealing with any contractor who asks you to pay for the entire job upfront. A down payment is acceptable, but it should not be a significant amount of the total cost. Pay only by check or credit card – and pay the final amount only after the work is completed to your satisfaction. Avoid paying in cash.