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As recovery efforts continue, make sure you seek help from licensed contractors

The sun might be out but cleanup efforts are far from over. In Atascadero, homeowners are also dealing with flooding.
Posted at 6:15 PM, Jan 17, 2023

Cindy Couzzi is keeping a bright smile as she sorts through items in her house.

“It was totally overwhelming, and when they started cutting the walls out, I started crying but I’m cried out,” said Couzzi. “It’s just a muddy mess.”

Her home on Carmelita Avenue in Atascadero is one of three getting cleaned up by Central Coast Casualty Restoration.

“There is a levee right by the creek on Highway 41. That levee broke and water rushed into their house at a height of 2 feet, 24 inches up,” said Wade Vaca, Central Coast Casualty Restoration’s Emergency Services Manager. “It saturated everything in the house. ”

It is not only mud that needs to be removed.

“Groundwater can carry bacteria, viruses, microorganisms, mold spores,” said Vaca.

Fans are placed all around the house.

“This is an example of a hallway that was covered in water. We’ve removed both sides of the drywall due to the fact that there are possible contaminants present,” explained Vaca. “Basically, what we want to do is get these walls dry, get the insulation out, drywall off, dry that framing that we see here, and then treat it with some anti-microbial. ”

This local company has received over 200 calls in the past week for storm-related cleanups stretching from Morro Bay and Los Osos to Atascadero. While they do have a waitlist, they recommend giving them a call at (805) 466-5419.

“Sometimes personal property and cabinets and things like that are affected,” said Vaca. “It is just very important you get that stuff cleaned. Go online, find cleaners that are safe for the surfaces you can clean.”

The California Contractors State License Board is asking the community to look for professionals, preferably licensed in California, for repairs costing more than $500.

“Contractors are required to have their license number, so their advertising on social media needs to provide that already,” explained Katherine White, California Contractors State License Board’s Chief of Public Affairs. “If they are not, that might already be a red flag.”

Research is key. One way is verifying a license number on the California Contractors State License Board’s website, or you can look for a licensed professional with a zip code and license classification.

“If you’re going into a contract, you need to make sure you’re not paying more than 10% or $1,000, whichever is less,” said White. “Once you do get into a contract, you’re not paying ahead of the work, you’re paying for the work being done. ”

The California Contractors State License Board recommends checking in with your insurance companies and keeping a paper trail of the projects being done at your home.

To verify a license number, click here.

To find a contractor in your area by city or zip code, click here.