A year after flood waters ravaged through rural South Carolina, many Williamsburg County residents still deal with the lingering effects of water damage.
In October 2015, the slow-flowing Black River crested at twice above flood stage. 28 percent of the homes in the county were damaged badly enough to qualify for federal assistance, a proportion that’s almost twice as high as some other parts of the state. However, with a per capita income $16,000 below the state average and no major transportation arteries, the Kingstree area is not very attractive for contractors. A few came into the area in the wake of the flood, but quickly moved on to other areas, like West Virginia and Louisiana, as opportunities arose there. Willette Thompson has several crates of building material to repair her damaged mobile home, but the boxes are unopened because she cannot find a contractor to perform the work. Because she basically has nowhere else to go, she remains in her home even though water has seeped into crevices.
“You don’t worry about what you can’t see,” she reasoned.
Selecting a Service Provider
Choosing a contractor is a big decision, and after a water emergency, time is short. Fortunately, it is very easy to perform some research. If there are any red flags, do not do business with the contractor, because there are plenty of others.
Word of mouth is almost always a good source. If one business or residence in a neighborhood suffered water damage, there are probably other ones as well. Perhaps even more importantly, reach back a few years to prior events, to get a better idea of how the contractor follows through with the initial work.
Statistics vary, but somewhere around 70 percent of consumers consult online reviews before making purchase decisions. There is nothing wrong with that, as long as you know what to look for. At the risk of sounding overly cynical, many reviews on either extreme (very good or very bad) are not completely authentic, because many companies pay people to write product or services reviews, and others have been known to plant poor reviews on competitors’ websites.
Most all business will have a mix of positive and negative reviews. Take them all with a grain of salt. Also, see if the company responded to poor reviews. If the company tried to make things right with that customer, chances are it will try to make things right for you.
In-depth corporate review is probably not an option, but the Better Business Bureau’s website is fairly easy to navigate in just a few clicks. This is not a tell-all, comprehensive website, because the BBB only reports the information that it receives. However, a poor BBB history should at least be a pink flag, if not a red one.
Once you make a selection, be sure that there is a written contract, preferably one with little or no fine print. If possible, pay with a credit card, because if things go badly, the credit card company may take action on your behalf.
Partner with Experienced Contractors
For storm damage and other restoration projects in Broken Arrow, make the right choice and call Dason Fire & Water Restoration at 918-379-0390 or contact us online. We’ve been helping area residents for over twenty years.