When standing in a flooded basement or after experiencing the devastation of a house or office fire, hiring the first restoration company you find or your insurance company’s restoration company could prove disastrous. In an unregulated industry like damage restoration, you must do your homework before hiring a contractor. For example, there are many carpet cleaning companies who claim to be a restoration company when, in fact, they really are just a carpet cleaning company. Owning a wet/vac does not make you a restoration company. Construction companies think they can perform restoration work but do not have the training and expertise it takes to be a restoration company. Restoration means to “bring something back to an earlier and better condition”, not “rip out and replace” as most construction companies like to do.
When hiring a restoration company, first be certain they are I.I.C.R.C. (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) certified technicians in water damage and/or fire damage. The restoration professional should be able to present an identification card listing their certifications. Ask for their rating on Angie’s List and/or with the Better Business Bureau. Forgetting these simple questions could make a bad situation MUCH worse.
What to Look for in a Reputable Emergency Restoration Company?
First of all, a reputable emergency restoration company should offer 24/7/365 emergency service. Reliable restoration companies answer their phones live 24 hours a day, every day, so they can quickly connect you with an I.I.C.R.C. certified technician to immediately begin the remediation of your loss. Most reputable Emergency Restoration Companies should be able to have a qualified I.I.C.R.C. certified technician to your doorstep within a couple of hours – day or night. A certified technician will properly assess your emergency and take the appropriate first steps to contain the problem and begin remediation.
Not taking immediate steps after water damage or fire damage can and will make the situation much worse. Most insurance companies require the homeowner to take immediate steps to prevent further loss from occurring or they could deny the claim.
A quality restoration company will have I.I.C.R.C. Certified Technicians. By using a certified technician or certified firm, you know you are hiring a company that has invested the time, effort and money to have their personnel trained in properly remediating your loss. Ask to see a restoration professional’s I.I.C.R.C. card. The I.I.C.R.C. organization writes the restoration industry standards on proper procedures needed to clean up and repair water damages, fire/smoke losses, mold clean-up, sewage clean-up, carpet cleaning and much more.
Upon successful completion of the course and written exams, the technician will be issued a card to carry with him indicating he is I.I.C.R.C. certified. To maintain these certifications, employees must attend continuing education programs to keep them up-to-date on the newest technological advances in the industry. See the I.I.C.R.C. website at www.llCRC.org.
All Work is Guaranteed
Reputable Emergency Restoration Companies stand behind their work and guarantee it.
Ask what kind of warranty the company offers.
Most Important – Timeliness
The most important thing to do is to get reputable, I.I.C.R.C. certified professionals to your loss as quickly as possible. Any delay causes your loss to become more extensive.
It’s your home and YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO HIRE ANY RESTORATION COMPANY YOU CHOOSE. Insurance companies often direct you to use their preferred restoration company; however, YOU CANNOT BE FORCED to use one restoration company over another. It is your decision, so do your homework, choose a qualified contractor that is I.I.C.R.C. certified and has a good Angie ‘s List review or a good Better Business Bureau rating.