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Monsoon Dos and Don’ts

With monsoon storms popping up almost daily, some things are certain. One – roofs will get damaged and cause leaks. And Two – storm chasers will try to scam you out of your money. Here are some do’s and don’t’s when monsoons hit.

Do contact your insurance agent as soon as possible. If there’s a big storm, chances are good that yours wasn’t the only house damaged. The insurance companies often mobilize adjusters from surrounding areas to come in and assess the damage as quickly as possible. Getting your name on the list means repairs can get authorized sooner.

Do Not give your information to a door-to-door contractor without first checking them out. When storms hit, unscrupulous contractors will play on your emotional distress. They canvas neighborhoods hard hit by the storm. They may claim lower repair costs, faster repair times or additional services to “help you” during this stressful time. But be aware – they are often not licensed contractors, may use the cheapest materials, and less than professional labor. Yes, they may get a roof repaired but problems may show up within a year or two.

Do check the references of contractors that give you quotes – Start with the Better Business Bureau. If they aren’t listed, that should be a huge tip-off. Nearly all businesses, at least ones that are licensed, will have a listing at the BBB. Ask for the Registrar of Contractors number (ROC number). Arizona required contractors to be licensed. That ensures work is done to at least the minimum standard set by law.

Do Not try to clean up or make repairs without first checking the area thoroughly. Tree limbs may cause downed power lines. A limb that goes through the roof can damage the electrical wiring in the house that could cause fire or electric shock hazards. It’s always best to have a professional assess the damage and let you know when it’s safe to return.

Do document the damage with pictures and descriptions of the damage. They give you a baseline you can refer to during and after the repairs.

Do Not pay someone in advance for clean-ups. A reputable contractor will not expect nor request payment upfront before beginning work. Some may request a deposit but only hand over that after you have thoroughly investigated the contractors.

When storms disrupt your world, the best advice is to slow down and relax. Don’t make any decisions in haste without first exploring all your options.

Universal Roofing, Roofing Division, is a licensed, bonded roofing contractor in Tucson, Arizona.

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