Hurricane season has begun and experts are urging homeowners to take precautions when choosing contractors after a major storm.
Quick action can minimize disastrous effects on businesses and homes.
According to FEMA, just one inch of water in a home can cost more than $25,000 in damage.
Chris Babin, with the Better Business Bureau of Acadiana, said, “The recent flooding that we’ve had, unfortunately, and then hurricane season, and in that sometimes damages, businesses, homes, and as a homeowner we have responsibility to get those damages fixed and sometimes they can be pretty costly. We have to hire contractors so we have some things to look out for make sure you’re getting somebody that you end up on the right of that deal when you have that work done.”
The Better Business Bureau says to look for the background of companies and check insurance before engaging in any work.
“We’ve seen contractors going door-to-door saying that you might need work or that for some reason your home is unsafe,” explained Babin. “They think they need to fix something at your home or wanting you to pay a lot of money in advance of having the work done. Those are typically associated with companies that aren’t quite performing the work that you need done.”
Some things your proposal should include:
1. The type of material being used, manufacturer, and color.
2. The scope of work to be done, including material and labor costs.
3. The approximate starting and completion dates.
Babin added, “When these things happen, and there’s a lot of people needing work, scammers start popping up companies out of nowhere that haven’t been around and saying things that they do that they really probably don’t do or have experience with, and if you don’t check them out first you could end up with a company that’s taking your money.”
Experts say to never pay in full for all repairs in advance.
While many companies may ask for a deposit, the Better Business Bureau suggests that no more than one-third of the job be paid up front.
Here are some tips to help you prepare and recover from potential flooding:
- Check your insurance policy.
- Ask for proof of liability.
- Get everything in writing.
If you have a scam you’d like me to investigate, feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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