As important as it is to make home repairs as soon as possible following a natural disaster, it also is important to take some time to plan the project, consult with local officials and choose a contractor wisely.
Before You Start:
- Contact the local permitting office. Follow all local and state requirements.
- Check with your local building official to make sure your work is safe and meets all local and state requirements.
How to Help Reduce Future Damage:
- Consider using building materials that are more resistant to flood, wind, corrosion and decay.
- If siding or roof sheathing needs replacement, consider installing hurricane/seismic connectors at the rafter-to-wall or truss-to-wall connections. Adding wall-to-foundation ties may also be possible.
- Windows, doors and skylights should be checked for leaks. If they need replacement, consider impact-resistant units.
- Check your attic for adequate insulation. Straps should be added from rafters to wall top plates, and gable end-wall framing should be braced.
- Inspect soffits to determine if structural upgrades are necessary.
- If you live in a flood-prone area, elevate and appliances.
How to Select Your Contractor Carefully:
- The Texas Attorney General advises watching out for home improvement scammers saying they have left over materials or say they noticed your home was damaged and can repair it. Take your time to choose your contractor.
- Look for a contractor with an established physical address.
- Get bids from more than one person. Make sure they are in writing and specify exactly what will be done.
- Beware of a low-ball price.
- Ask for references and contact them.
- Make sure the contractor has the proper licenses and insurance coverage required in Texas.
- Never pay the full price in advance.
For more information and tips on home repair, FEMA provides information online www.FEMA.gov/Texas-disaster-mitigation. You can also visit the nearest Disaster Recovery Center; find one online at http://asd.fema.gov/inter/locator/home.htm.
For more information on Texas recovery, visit the disaster web page at www.fema.gov/disaster/4223, Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/femaregion6 and the Texas Division of Emergency Management website, https://www.txdps.state.tx.us/dem.