When a disaster, flood, water or fire, hits your property, it certainly needs serious repair. As a homeowner, you might first consider fixing things on your own. But at times, doing the restoration with no knowledge and proper equipment can lead to injuries and accidents. That is why serious issues caused by natural disasters and structural or technical problems should be best left to a professional restoration company.
However, restoration contractors are not all equal. A disaster restoration contractor that you found randomly online does not have an assurance of bringing your home back to its pre-state condition. Selecting the right restoration contractor should not be about its convenience and availability. Instead, there should be different factors to consider.
Below, we give you the guide on how to choose the right restoration contractor.
1. Check The Contractor’s Credentials
Working with a licensed, certified, and insured restoration contractor can give you some peace of mind that your property will be restored properly.
Are The Contractor’s Licenses Valid?
Business permits and licenses are very important in the restoration industry. These documents serve as proof that the company knows to do the job. It can be easy to choose a restoration contractor who does not hold any valid licenses. But this kind of company does not guarantee you top quality service. Moreover, in the case of defects, damages, and injuries during the restoration procedure, the contractor will not hold any responsible for it. That is why it is right to choose a company that has valid licenses. This way, you will be saving yourself from a lot of stress working with an unlicensed contractor. They assure you that their technicians have excellent knowledge of the job.
You can check if the contractor’s licenses are valid through a certain website. You can simply ask for their license number and check to see if they are registered or not.
Is The Contractor Certified?
In the restoration industry, certifications are as important as licenses. Certifications show the expertise and specializations of a certain restoration company. However, they do not have a specific license and hold only a general contractor’s license. While general contractors work on remodeling or new constructions, restoration contractors specialize in different areas like water damage cleanup or restoration.
Most restoration contractors are certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certifications or IICRC. IICRC is a non-profit organization that provides contractors with proper techniques and training for cleaning and restoring damaged items or properties.
Are They Insured?
Insurance is very crucial in a restoration contractor. This will serve as a protection to the company and you as well, the property owner. Damage from any kind of disaster, like flood or fire, can compromise the structural integrity of your property. Thus, accidents can happen anytime during the restoration process. The contractor’s insurance will keep you from being liable for any risks or accidents.
2. Check Their Previous Work
All restoration contractors will claim that they provide quality restoration services. Hearing them can all be confusing. But, there is another way to check their capabilities as a restoration contractor; that is checking their previous work.
Ask For References
Any qualified and certified restoration contractors worth their salt can provide you a list of references when you request it. You can assume that the reference you will see is a handpicked of the best works they did, but you can check the most recent ones and evaluate on your own. To be sure, get their contact details and call them. You can ask them about their personal experience with the restoration contractor. Upon talking to them, you may ask these questions;
Did the contractor give an exact estimate of the job?
Were you satisfied with their work?
Did the contractor finish the project within the budget and on time?
Were there any issues or problems with their work? How did the restoration contractor handle them?
Would you recommend the restoration contractor to others?
Check Online Reviews
Another way of checking the contractor’s work history is by checking online reviews. They are almost similar to references because they can give you a real feel of how the contractor is. Negative reviews are normal. They can be helpful to know how the contractor responded to them.
3. Check Their Length Of Service
The contractor’s length of service can tell their experience, especially in getting insurance claims, and reputation in the industry. Sometimes, a company that has a bad reputation does not stay long in the industry, but in some cases, even a restoration contractor that has bad reputation can stay long in the business because of the people who are forced to make decisions without doing any research at a time of an emotional moment. Whichever the case is, it is best to trust a restoration contractor that specializes in repair and insurance.
4. Check if They Are Inclusive
Most restoration contractors are a one-stop-shop. To ensure that the work is done properly, they may need to hire necessary companies or subcontractors. In this case, it is important to know if the payment for these people or companies is already inclusive of the package the restoration contractor presented.
It is always not easy to choose the right restoration company for the job, especially if you are dealing with serious damage. Using the list above, we hope that you will be able to find the right disaster restoration contractor that can assist you throughout the process.