BBB offers tips for coping with flood damage
Published 9:34 pm Thursday, March 14, 2019
With all the recent snow and rain, some homeowners are finding themselves dealing with flooding and mold issues. Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota has some advice for those having to clean up and repair damage from all the water that’s leaked into their homes.
Getting rid of water inside a home can be as easy as vacuuming it up and drying out the room or as extreme as having to rebuild part of the structure. Mold is also a big issue when moisture or water accumulates indoors. Detecting mold may be difficult because it can be hidden inside walls, under carpet, inside ductwork, or in roofing materials above the ceiling, so it’s best to get help from a professional.
Dealing with water damage can be very stressful and naturally, people want to get their homes back in order as soon as possible. However, making some decisions too quickly and without doing the necessary research can make matters worse.
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To help property owners navigate the recovery and restoration process, BBB offers these tips:
Does your insurance policy cover flood damage? – Most homeowner’s insurance policies in Minnesota and North Dakota do not provide flood coverage. This additional coverage needs to be purchased in advance because there is a 30-day waiting period after you’ve applied and paid the premium before it takes effect.
Repairing the damage – Don’t make any permanent changes to your property until you get approval from your insurance provider. They may not fully reimburse you for repairs made without their approval. Be sure to document the damage by taking pictures or video of your property.
Get multiple estimates – Shop around and get at least three different estimates before deciding on a contractor. Make sure the estimates are broken down the same way. Watch out for high-pressure sales tactics and people who go door-to-door offering to do work.
Research company profiles at BBB.org to find reputable contractors.
Get everything in writing – Demand a written contract from anyone you hire. It should specify the scope of the work to be done, the materials to be used, and the price breakdown of both the work and materials. Review all documents closely before signing or making any payments. Get start and end dates in writing, and always ask for receipts.
Ask for proof of liability, workers compensation, and licensing – Make sure the contractor has the correct license to do work in your state and is covered in case something happens while doing work on your property.