BBB offers tips for tornado repairs

BALTIMORE (WMAR) - The Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland (MMJ) is offering tips to help homeowners repair their homes after last weeks storm.

After severe tornadoes swept through Maryland, local residents were sent scrambling for home repairs. The BBB warns that additional heartache and money will be saved if you proceed with care.

The first step is to call your insurance company and get the ball rolling on your insurance claim. Homeowners should document with photos before the clean-up process begins.

If possible, the BBB suggests homeowners request two or three estimates for the cost of repairs and check to see if the materials to be used in the repairs are comparable to others.

When selecting a contractor for home repairs, a contract should include a detailed description of all work to be performed. Homeowners should not make decision they are uncomfortable with or be pushed into one.

If you are forced out of your home as a result of the damage, save your receipts, including those for food and lodging, as they may be covered by your insurance policy.

Contracts should include a price break-down for both labor and materials or labor. Review all documentation before any payments are made and before signing the dotted line.

Homeowners should also be suspicious of door-to-door workers who, in order to get the job, may use scare tactics such as allegedly unsafe structural conditions. Homeowners should check to see if the company's name is on the worker's vehicle, if the company is listed in the telephone directory and if a street address is provided.

Check with the BBB to make sure the contractor has a satisfactory record of performance and can be trusted with your business.

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