Severe thunderstorms have passed through multiple parts of Texas this past week, and more could be on the way this month. With the amount of rainfall already saturating the ground, some creeks and rivers in Texas are already past flood stage, causing some homes and businesses to be affected by water damage.
Flooding can cause all kinds of damage, particularly mold, which can be a serious health risk. It is important that mold can hide in places you don’t see, such as under carpet and flooring, as well as behind wallpaper and drywall. Mold can also form inside walls around pipes, and in roofing materials, so you may need a professional to tell you if you have mold.
Better Business Bureau serving the Heart of Texas has the following tips for those cleaning up or preparing for flood damage:
>> Research with BBB. Before working with a water damage restoration company or mold remediation business, check their reviews and complaint history on bbb.org. You can also prepare now by searching mold remediation and water restoration businesses that are accredited with BBB at bbb.org. BBB Accredited Businesses must abide by BBB’s 8 Standards for Trust, which including tell the truth, advertise honestly and honor promises.
>> Work with your insurance company. If your home, business or vehicle was damaged by flooding, contact your insurance company and ask about policy coverage and how to initiate the claim process. Document the damage by taking as many photographs as possible. Your insurance company can also recommend reliable water damage restoration businesses.
>> Try to prevent further damage. Dry out and disinfect impacted areas to help prevent mold and run fans and dehumidifiers. Consult an expert to see if rugs and carpets can be salvaged.
>> Be wary of door-to-door solicitors. Obtain a contract that specifies the work to be done, the price breakdown for labor and materials and an agreed upon timeline. Never feel pressured into signing on the spot. Avoid paying with cash for the entire job up front.
>> Get at least three bids. Get at least three estimates for the services you need from different companies so you can compare prices and get the best deal.
>> Ask for references. Make sure the business has extensive experience by asking for a list of references. It’s also a good idea to ask friends and family if they have recommendations.
>> Verify licenses. Confirm that the company you hire is licensed for the type of work they’ll be doing in your home. For example, if they’ll be doing contractor work like tearing out cabinets or mold assessment and remediation, you can go to tdlr.texas.gov to verify their license.