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storm_damage(MCT)—For those whose homes have been damaged by storms, it’s important they take action quickly to begin the remediation process before secondary damage occurs.

“If something needs (repairs) immediately, the best thing you can do is get a contractor out to your house and have them assess how they can start the work as soon as possible,” says Justin Woodard of Woodard Cleaning & Restoration Services in St. Louis.

That doesn’t mean, though, that homeowners should choose the first contractor that comes calling, or just go with whom their insurance provider recommends. Homeowners should do their homework and hire a company with whom they are comfortable.

“The homeowner has the right to choose a contractor that they want to provide the services for an insurance claim,” Woodard said. “I don’t feel like many people are fully educated about what their rights are as a consumer.”

Whom you choose to hire to help repair damage from a storm is as important as addressing the damage quickly. Though many companies that deal with storm damage — from water remediation, to roofing, to tree removal — are honest and do good work, there is a segment in the industry known as “storm chasers” that often go to storm-ravaged areas knocking unsolicited on doors looking for work.

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