What are water damage restoration services?
Water damage can impact you and your home at any time. It can come in the form of a burst pipe, overflowing toilet, leaky roof or appliance, or a natural disaster such as flooding, hurricane, or other storm damage. Even the smallest of leaks can lead to severe damage to your home if not addressed as quickly as possible. Water or moisture in your home can lead to structural damage and the loss of your possessions and important papers and documents. Water damage can lead to dangerous toxic mold and mildew as quickly as within 24 to 48 hours.
A water damage restoration company will help identify the source of your damage, helping to repair the damage, drying out your home and possessions, and repairing the damage. They have state-of-the-art equipment and are trained to safely manage the remediation and restoration project. If our damage is contained to a small area, does not involve mold or mildew, and is “clean” water, as opposed to the septic or other contaminated water, you may be able to handle this on your own. In most cases, it’s best to work with professionals who have the training, equipment, and team to quickly and thoroughly get your disaster under control and get you back into your home.
Tips for picking a water damage restoration company
There are many water damage restoration companies in the country, ranging from small local to companies, to national privately owned or franchised companies with local operators. They are not all created equal, and “one size does not fit all.” The company you pick will depend upon the type and extent of damage you have. For example, if you have a small leak and your damage is wet carpets, you may be able to get a company that specializes in that. If your damage is extensive and potentially dangerous, you’ll want to hire a company with a full range of services.
Their availability, equipment, pricing, and references should all be part of your decision,
- Services offered
Before selecting a company review the types of services that are offered by those working in your area. Some of the services provided are:
- Assessing the damage and locating hidden leaks
- Tarping roofs or providing any other emergency services to secure your home.
- Carpet drying and cleaning
- Biohazard decontamination and cleaning
- Drying your home and possessions using state-of-the-art equipment
- Mold assessment and treatment
- Pack out and moving of your possessions back into your home.
- Removing anything that is not salvageable
- Deep cleaning and decontamination
- Restoration – This can vary from simple carpet or tile replacement to roof repairs or even replacement of entire sections of your home.
- State-of-the-art Equipment
Wet Vacuums – Most major companies will have commercial and sometimes truck-mounted vacuums to quickly remove any surface water in your home.
Dehumidifiers – Humidity can quickly lead to mold and other complications. High capacity dehumidifiers can help regulate the temperature as it removed the moisture from your room. This will help stop and control the growth and spread of toxic mold.
Air movers – Air blowers are high powered fans that will push air into the damaged area to help it dry more quickly, again, preventing further damage. They circulate the air and are very effective on carpeting and carpet padding. They work very quickly.
Negative Air Machines – They filter out contaminated air and trap it. This is ideal when a home has been flooded with sewage that contains dangerous microorganisms.
In addition to crucial commercial equipment, they will have the best products to ensure your home is deep cleaned and sanitized to make it safe for you and your family to return.
- Response Time and Availability
Water damage can magnify very quickly if it is not addressed. Water travels fast and can cause additional damage to your home, up to and including costly and dangerous structural damage. It can also create unsafe conditions for you and your family if the water comes in contact with electrical equipment, or toxic mold begins to grow. Most companies will respond to your emergency 27/7. How quickly can they show up, and how fast can they provide emergency services such as tarping your roof or boarding up windows? Once they have addressed the emergency, confirm what their availability is to dry and restore your property.
- Certification and Memberships – IICRC and RIA
The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Services (IICRC) is the body that sets the restoration industry standards and provides training and classes for restoration technicians as well as restoration companies. Pick a company that is certified and confirm the actual technicians are trained and certified.
The Restoration Industry Association (RIA) established best practices and standards for the industry. Ask if your company is an active member.
- Licenses and Training
Requirements for licensing and training vary significantly from state to state and even between communities within a state. Check with your local building authorities and see what the requirements are for your area. All contractors should have valid licensing.
- Insured and Bonded
Most restoration companies are insured. But caution, this just covers them and guarantees they will be covered for their accidents or losses. Bonding is more essential and means the company has coverage that protects you and your home if there is an accident.
- Local References
In today’s virtual world, it is easy enough to check a company’s local reputation. Search online for local companies. It is not uncommon for unreliable repair companies to show up after natural disasters. They often disappear without completing the job, or simply offer shoddy work. Start with BBB ratings and complaints. Try to find a local company and ask for local references. And call the references! Ask friends and neighbors, and check with your insurance company.
- A clear and detailed plan for repair
Getting the damage under control is step one. Ask for and carefully review the damage assessment, the full restoration plan, and schedule to complete the work, including mold remediation and any restoration required. Be sure you understand the terms and total cost.
- Insurance Companies
Filing a claim can be confusing. Call your insurance company as soon as you can and be sure you understand your coverage as well as any limits and exceptions. Be sure your restoration company works with you on the timing of payments and the insurance company’s terms. They will need to provide the proper documentation and help wit your claim.
Who are the best water damage restoration companies?
There are many excellent water damage restoration companies in the country. Finding one in your area that provides the services you need is step number one. They all have current websites that will help you research their services and local availability. Here are some of the top water damage restoration companies in the country.
Servpro is one of the most well-known and well-respected restoration companies in the residential market. They offer a full range of water damage restoration services and fire damage, mold damage, and now, COVID and other deep-cleaning services. They have over 1700 franchises across the country and are one of the leading restoration companies.
ServiceMaster is another well respected full-service restoration company. They are headquartered in Chicago and are now in more than 4500 locations across the country. ServiceMaster is a full-service company handling water damage, fire damage, and mold remediation.
- Restoration 1
Restoration 1 was founded in 2008 and has over 130 independently owned and operated locations across the country. They handle water, fire, mold, and biohazard cleanup. Restoration 1, out of Waco, Texas, offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee and specializes in all emergency restoration services.
PuroClean is another leading property emergency services company. They operate more than 260 locations. They promote their “personal attention” and offer training at the Puro Clean Academy training center, where they teach employees the latest techniques and train on the newest equipment. They offer water damage, fire damage, mold removal, and biohazard cleanup.
- Rainbow International
Rainbow International has been in business for over 30 years and operates more than 400 locations worldwide. They IICRC certify their technicians in water, fire, and mold services as well as carpeting cleaning. They also now offer COVID-19 deep cleaning services.
- DKI Restoration
DKI Restoration started as Disaster Kleenup and has grown to over 450 locations around the country. They are one of the country’s largest disaster restoration companies and offer water and fire restoration, mold and biohazard cleanup services.
There are many other disaster restoration companies in the country. Be sure to review our checklist above, do your homework, and you’ll be sure to find the right water damage restoration company for you.