Within the last decade, each of the 50 US states has gone through at least two major floods. Moreover, floods that only occur once every 500 years have become more frequent. All these flooding incidents cost the US damages worth billions of dollars each year.
Inclement weather, however, is only one of the top culprits behind water damage. You may also need a water damage restoration service if your plumbing pipes burst. A sewer backup may have also flooded your home with sewage that can cause at least 15 kinds of diseases.
To that end, we’ve come up with this essential guide on how to choose a water damage restoration company. Read on to learn what makes for the best service.
1. In Compliance With Your State’s Licensure Standards
Not all states regulate water damage restoration, but most businesses need a license. In this way, restoration companies must meet state and local business licensure requirements. These documentations indicate that they can legally operate and offer their services.
Proper licenses help you ensure that you are dealing with a legit entity. As such, this is one of the first things you should look for in a water damage restoration service. It’s for your safety and security, as it means the government can track them if something goes wrong.
Also, before you let the restoration team enter your home, be sure to ask for their IDs. Police in the US have seen a recent uptick in burglars posing as professionals or even CDC experts. Once inside, they then burglarized the home, sometimes even by force.
2. Look for Industry Certifications
Ask to see credentials from the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification. The IICRC is a non-profit organization that offers various restoration certification programs. Restoration for water, fire, and mold damage are a few of such certifications the IICRC issues.
Most importantly, the IICRC establishes the standards for the restoration industry. It requires all technicians to have formal training in the services they provide. It also only certifies techs who have passed all mandatory examinations.
In addition, an IICRC-certified water damage restoration service also carries compulsory insurance. This includes liability insurance that serves to protect you, the client, as well. This coverage kicks in if an accident occurs at your home while the restoration takes place.
Plus, IICRC-certified companies must have a written complaint policy. This means that they must acknowledge and respond to clients’ complaints quickly. So, in case you’re not happy with the service, you can file a complaint, and you can be sure they’ll get back to you ASAP.
Best of all, IICRC has an online certification verification tool. It lets consumers quickly find certified water damage restoration companies. You can click here to learn more about the tool or the organization in general.
3. Make Sure They Operate 24/7/365
Please keep in mind that molds take as little as 24 to 48 hours to develop in places with excess moisture. They can grow fast on damp surfaces, and as long as these materials are wet, they will continue to multiply. The air inside your home can also carry mold spores and transfer it to other moistened materials.
An indoor relative humidity (RH) of over 70% also helps speed up mold growth. The thing is, water damage raises your home’s indoor RH to such levels (or even higher).
As such, it’s vital to hire a water damage restoration company with emergency services. They must be able to rescue you and your home within the same day, if possible. This is especially important if you’ve had significant flooding inside your home.
4. Go Local
Consider hiring local water damage restoration experts that are near your home. This helps ensure that they can provide you with the immediate or urgent services you need. Plus, by being in close by, you can easily confirm that they are a legit entity.
Moreover, local companies are easier to get in touch with if you have a dispute. Since they’re near, you know where exactly to find them if you want to file a complaint.
Plus, it’s easier to determine the reliability of local water damage restoration services. Since it’s a local company, one or some of your neighbors, friends, or co-workers are more than likely to know them. You can then ask these people you trust if they recommend the service provider.
5. Provides Assessment Before the Water Damage Restoration Service
No respectable restoration company will promise immediate results. Please don’t hire a company that tells you straight up that they don’t need to assess your home. All restoration projects, be it for water or fire, must start with a thorough assessment first.
That’s because a phone call to the company won’t give them an accurate idea of how much damage you have. Professional technicians need to see for themselves the extent of the water damage. Only then can they come up with a detailed plan, schedule, and timeline of repairs.
6. Furnishes a Detailed Report What the Restoration Entails
A reputable restoration service will provide you with an initial estimate. Once they give you this, they will also tell you that it’s more than likely to change after the assessment. After the inspection, they will also furnish a detailed written account of the damage.
The account must describe all the items and steps that the restoration will require. Each line should also have an estimated amount as well as a time of completion. Only a reputable service will discuss everything on the list with you in a way that you can understand.
7. Uses the Latest Water Damage Restoration Equipment
As part of their IICRC certification, water damage restoration services need continuing education. Only IICRC-certified techs utilize the latest in scientific drying and restoration equipment. For example, the most knowledgeable and experienced techs use infrared cameras and hygrometers.
IR cameras allow techs to determine the accurate location of excess water. Hygrometers, on the other hand, are precise and sensitive moisture detectors. With these technologies, techs can even detect water in floors, walls, and ceilings.
The best water damage restoration companies also use high-efficiency water extraction devices. These pieces of equipment help them speed up the drying method by getting as much water out of your home. At the very least, they use water pumps, as well as portable and truck-mounted extraction tools.
8. Will Help You Navigate the Insurance Claims Process
Did you know that in 2017, insurance payouts for water damage alone reached a total of $13 billion? Or that the average claim cost insurers around $10,000?
That’s a lot of money, which is why insurers now implement far more stringent rules. If you miss something during the restoration of your home, your insurer may deny your claim.
As such, it’s vital to choose a restoration service with a lot of experience in water damage claims. In doing so, you can rest assured that they will assist you in documenting your damages. They will also help you file all the necessary documents that your insurer will require from you.
9. Provides Constant Restoration Updates
Water damage restoration starts with extracting as much water out of your property. After this, the techs will then remove unsalvageable home contents and structures. They will separate items and materials that they can still save.
The techs will then thoroughly clean the affected areas. However, they will also disinfect and deodorize all water-damaged rooms. In addition, they will categorize any harmful debris and haul it away for proper disposal.
The team will then set up drying equipment and dehumidifiers in your home. The best water damage restoration companies will also make use of air sanitizers. These will help lower the risks of health hazards, especially if the damage was a result of sewage backup.
Please note that untreated sewage can contain 1,000 to 10 million virus particles. It also houses many other pathogens that can cause gastrointestinal diseases. Exposure to these wastes can also cause significant respiratory and skin conditions.
That’s why reputable water damage restoration techs always use high-efficiency sanitizers. So, before you hire a company, be sure to ask them if they utilize such equipment.
Throughout all these steps, the techs will give you updates. They will let you know which tasks they finished and what they’re currently doing. This will help you determine how long you need to wait to re-enter your home safely.
Never Delay Water Damage Restoration
Regardless of what caused the water damage in your home, you need to start the cleanup ASAP. This is the best way to reduce the risks of your home becoming uninhabitable.
As such, please be sure to keep this guide on how to choose the best water damage restoration service handy. Print copies of it and then post it around your home. This way, you’ll know exactly what to do if your home becomes flooded.
Ready for more comprehensive guides like this to protect your home or business? Feel free to check out our site’s many other blog posts then!