Gentry Custom Homes is praying for speedy recovery for our Houston area communities. Caution is the word when choosing a contractor when repairs are necessary in your home or business in the days and weeks after a disaster like Hurricane Harvey and its evil cousin, Tropical Storm Harvey that dumped an unprecedented 50 inches of rain on Houston and the surrounding areas. In the following information, we hope you find helpful tips for recovery.
- If you live in Montgomery County, register for debris pickup or if you have any damage. Even though our county has been listed as one of the counties receiving federal disaster relief, Montgomery County’s Sheriff Department is still asking you to register. moco.maps.arcgis.com or check www.mctxoem.org for more helpful information.
- Call your insurance company to file a claim.
- Even if you have insurance, register with FEMA at disasterassistance.gov, if you are underinsured, FEMA may help after insurance claims are settled.
- Check for structural damage before entering your damaged home.
- Take photos of floodwater and save any damaged personal property.
- Make a list of damaged or lost items with purchase dates and try to recover receipts showing value.
- Save all receipts from purchases made in recovery efforts.
This article from the Texas Attorney General gives tips on finding a reputable contractor to hire for repairs to your home or business: https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/cpd/home-remodeling-and-repair
- Be cautious about door to door salespeople in your neighborhood after the flood waters are gone and you are assessing the damage. Listen for “we were in your neighborhood today and noticed your damage” or “we were just hired by your neighbor”.
- When choosing a contractor, make sure they have a legitimate physical address, have references and are licensed by the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulations.
- Be smart about signing a contract. Don’t sign a contract with any blanks and make sure you understand everything you are signing.
- When paying for work, don’t pay the full amount in advance, have an agreement about what is included, the materials used and a timetable for completion.
- Don’t sign a certificate of completion until you are completely satisfied that the work is done.
- For water and mold remediation, check your insurance policy because not all water and mold damage is covered. Some homeowners who have filed claims later experience difficulty in renewing or obtaining coverage.
Lastly, as the drama of Harvey unfolds, the brave efforts of our first responders, neighbors helping neighbors and dramatic rescues, we want to help. Consider local churches and non profits organizations who have a history of helping and check www.Guidestar.com to confirm the validity of any non profit organization.