News Release

Use L&I’s to safeguard against fraudulent contractors for flood repairs

December 14, 2021

It happens all too often after a disastrous flood, storm, or other natural calamity. 

Homeowners, desperate to get their homes repaired, unknowingly hire unregistered contractors who typically have no bond. When these “contractors” do substandard work or fail to finish the job, they leave property owners with even more problems.

The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) urges property owners in Whatcom County and other areas hit hard by recent floods to hire contractors registered with the state. Those who aren’t registered are breaking the law.

“Finding a trusted and qualified contractor to safely repair damage to your home, farm, or business is one of the most important steps you can take right after a flood,” said Steve Reinmuth, assistant director of L&I’s Field Services and Public Safety division. “Choosing a contractor who is already registered, bonded and insured makes a huge difference.”

Preparation is just as important if you repair your home yourself. “Learning more about permits and construction safety protects your family and your property,” Reinmuth said.

Info resources: Electrical, contractor, manufactured home and more

L&I offers some of the key resources and information for homeowners in need of repairs.

State law requires construction contractors to register with the department, which confirms they have a bond, business license, liability insurance and meet other requirements.

Homeowners can verify if a construction contractor is registered and get tips on how to hire contractors at L&I’s or by calling 1-800-647-0982.

L&I also offers services that are especially helpful after natural disasters, including free consultation from the Factory Assembled Structures (FAS) Program. With this service, inspectors determine which permits are needed to repair flood-caused damage to a manufactured home. To request a free consultation for a flood-damaged manufactured home, contact the FAS program.

L&I has compiled a list of resources to help home and business owners, employers and workers recover from natural disasters at Examples from the list include:

  • Protect My Home web page, including a link to our Verify contractor registration tool
  • Flood safety training information
  • Flood-damaged manufactured home checklist
  • Electrical permits and inspections
  • Employer Assistance Program (for workers’ compensation insurance premiums)
  • “Homeowners Beware!” signs to print and distribute
For media information:

Debby Abe, Public Affairs, 360-902-6043

Connect with L&I:
Facebook (
Twitter (