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Your dish washer’s water line ruptured. The pipe in your bathroom wall broke. You had to put out a small fire in the living room when a burning cinder from the fireplace jumped its grate. Rain came in to house during a hurricane when a tree branch broke a window.
Whatever the reason, you are facing the property damage that results from moderate to severe water damage, and you’ve decided your best recourse is help from a professional water damage cleanup company. How do you pick the best contractor to help you clean up water damage?
Water damage remediation is not a regulated industry. Companies offering water damage cleanup run the gamut from incompetent to fully qualified.
Here are some tips for choosing a first rate water damage restoration company:
1. Choose a company whose technicians are industry certified. The two professional organizations associated with the water damage restoration industry are the Institute for Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration (IICR), also known as Clean Trust, and the Restoration Industry Association (RIA). Both the IICR and RIA offer field education and certification for professionals working in the field.
2. Ask for a local referral from trusted friends and neighbors who’ve used water damage restoration services themselves. Although the insurance company that carries your homeowner’s policy will also be happy to give recommendations, that referral should not carry as much weight. An insurance company may refer you to the water damage cleanup company with the lowest costs, rather than highest quality service.
3. Choose a company with a rapid response time. Optimally, you want a water restoration company that’s prepared to initiate the cleanup of water damage within one hour of receiving your call for help. In a crisis involving water damage, a prompt response is critical to control the amount of damage. Local companies are probably your best candidates, but the company does not have to be local if it can promise you prompt service.
4. Choose a company that is prepared to quote you a price estimate and a list of the services they will perform before any work begins. Some companies charge a flat rate for water damage remediation services, while others charge an hourly fee. Even companies that charge an hourly fee should be able to provide you with an estimate of the number of hours it will take then to clean your premises.
5. Choose a company that has experience working with insurance companies and will be able to expedite your claims and reimbursement.
6. Choose a company that uses the latest, most sophisticated equipment for water extraction and pump outs, structural drying and dehumidification, and mold remediation. High speed evaporation should take no longer than 30 hours. That’s best accomplished with first rate equipment. The longer the drying process takes, the more damage will occur.
7. When choosing between two companies, remember that quality is more important than price point. This will actually save you money in the long run.
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