BBB Urges Caution in Wake of Goderich Tornado

August 31, 2011

In the aftermath of the Tornado in Goderich, the BBB urges the public to exercise caution when hiring a contractor to repair damage.

“Property owners will want to make repairs to their home or business as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, unscrupulous contractors or scam artists may take advantage of the post-disaster chaos to scam unsuspecting property owners out of money, or provide shoddy materials or sub-standard work,” said Jan Delaney, president of the BBB serving Western Ontario

The BBB offers these tips for selecting a contractor to repair any damages:

· Check with your insurance company about policy coverage and any specific filing requirements the company may have.

· Don’t act in haste. Don't be pressured into signing a long-term contract. Make temporary repairs if necessary.

· Take time to shop around for contractors, get written quotes, make sure the written quote has the company’s name, address and phone number, check out references, make sure the contractor is properly licensed and check out their business review with the BBB.

· Be wary of high pressure or scare tactics, such as door to door laborers who claim your home or building is unsafe. If you are concerned about possible structural damage in your home, have an engineer, architect, or building official inspect it.

· Get a written agreement with your contractor that outlines the repairs to be done, the types of materials to be used, and the price breakdown for both labor and materials. Review it carefully before signing.

· Never pay for all repairs in advance and do not pay cash.

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