Water damage can be caused by a burst pipe, flooding, storm damage, or a number of other causes. The right water damage restoration company will know how to act quickly, getting the water removal, drying process, and restoration process underway quickly.
Water damage to your home can be devastating, both financially, emotionally. It can also be a hazard to your health. Time is always of the essence and water damage, left unchecked can quickly spread and lead to even more devastation. At an urgent and stressful time like this, it is critical that you choose the right water damage restoration company. This is the time when you need a damage restoration company that is trustworthy, available 24 hours a day, and has the training and state of the art equipment to respond to any kind of water damage regardless of the source.
You’ll find many companies listed locally, some of them independent and some of the franchisees of well-known companies. Follow the easy steps below to make sure you pick a restoration specialist that is well suited to your personal style as well as your unique water damage situation. Performing your due diligence upfront could save you lots of money and stress through the process of water remediation and damage repair in your home or business.
Response Time – Time is of The Essence!
Water moves very quickly, often making the damage even worse, and dangerous mold can start forming within 24 to 48 hours. You may also have standing water or other health hazards in your home. This makes it critical that your water restoration specialist responds immediately and has a team ready to deploy quickly.
Think of them as your “first responders” for this devastating situation. Did they arrive within an hour or so?
Credentials, Training and “Soft Skills”
Water damage remediation and repair can be very complex and it is important that your company (and their team!) have the right credentials. They may be dealing with various aspects of construction such as water mitigation, electrical, roofing, and other structural issues. Confirm that they are licensed, bonded, and insured. Ask about the training that their team has too. Do they participate in ongoing training and is the entire staff trained? Do they have any kind of industry certification in water restoration?
Do they have the “soft skills” of someone you want to work with, ie, patient, offering up detailed explanations of the process and the plan? What kind of equipment do they have? Are they prepared to handle the entire scope of the job including damage repair or will they need to bring in other contractors for your rebuild and repair? What steps will they take to protect undamaged areas of your home such as covering floors, furniture, walls, etc, and do they offer packing services in case you need to move out?
References and Experience
Regulation in the water restoration is not as strict as you may expect. Your best resource is to reach out to friends or neighbors who may have had experience with water damage. Don’t forget to ask your insurance company as they likely will have some experience with local companies and should be a good source of information. Are they local, as that means they likely rely upon “word of mouth” to build their business.
Any water restoration company should be willing and able to supply a list of satisfied customers as well as their contact information. Don’t be afraid to contact these references. Ask about the scope of the work, if the job was done on a timely basis if their crew was well trained and respectful of you and your home. Were there any hidden or surprise costs that were above the estimate? Look online for reviews and check the local Better Business Bureau. Check their social media if they have it.
Detailed Remediation and Restoration Plan
To get your home back in shape you will need your specialist to provide a full plan for water mitigation, drying, mold prevention, and restoration. Be sure they have given you an accurate assessment of what the damage is, and all of the repairs that will need to be complete in order to restore your home. You will need a timeline and a full estimate so you know what to expect and don’t end up with hidden charges as you go through the restoration process. This should include a start date as they will need to get started on remediation immediately.
There are suggested standards approved by the American National Standards Institute. Ask if they follow the IICRC S500 Standards for Professional Water Damage Restoration, which also covers detailing the category of water damage and correct restoration practices.
State of the Art Equipment
Always confirm that they have the latest equipment necessary to complete your job. It may require truck-mounted dryers, HEPA vacuums, air scrubbers, and air movers, moisture meters, dehumidifiers, ultrasonic cleaning equipment, odor control equipment, and more. They will need the right disinfectants, and sanitizers, mold remediation chemicals, and of course, containment equipment such as poly sheeting and other products.
One of your first calls should be to your insurance company. Be sure you understand your exact coverage for remediation and restoration as well as any limits. And be clear on how your company will pay out? Will you need to pay out of pocket and be reimbursed? Will they provide a lump payment up front? This will be important as you hire a water restoration specialist. Be sure they know how to work with your insurance company in helping you navigate the and document the claim process and provide what you need to make a timely and correct insurance claim. Sometimes reimbursement can be slow. Will they help you through this situation?
When disaster strikes, you want your home restored as quickly and completely as possible, and choosing the right water restoration company is the first step to making this happen. You want to be sure you choose someone able to provide and complete a detailed plan, on time and with great results. In short, be sure you have a full assessment of your damage and a detailed plan and estimate for the restoration of your home or business. Try to avoid an “on the spot “ decision until you have this and if possible, speak with more than one company.