6 Tips for Choosing a Water Damage Restoration Company
According to the Insurance Information Institute, about 1 in 50 insured households across the United States has water or freezing damage each year. As weather patterns change and our home’s defenses weaken over time, the likelihood that you will be one of these one in 50 households increases year after year. This means that you will likely have to search for a water damage restoration company at some point during your time in your current home.
Finding a company that you feel comfortable letting into our home and that won’t overcharge you can be a painstaking and frustrating process. This guide is meant to help you navigate the vetting process so you can find a water damage restoration company that is trustworthy, reliable, and effective.
WHAT DO WATER DAMAGE RESTORATION COMPANIES DO?
Those needs can be anywhere on the water damage spectrum including:
TIPS FOR CHOOSING THE RIGHT RESTORATION COMPANY
To help simplify the process of finding a solid company that will get the job done right the first time and won’t rip you off, use the following list of tips.
1. GET MORE THAN ONE BID
By getting more than one bid for the same water damage restoration work, you will get an idea of what a fair price looks like. Don’t automatically jump at the lowest price, because if the company doesn’t stack up in other areas that we’ll discuss below, it could mean they will do a sub-par job. In that situation, you may need to hire an additional team of water mitigation professionals to come in and clean up the job they did not sufficiently complete, which would end up costing you a lot more than if you just found the right company to begin with.
On the other hand, if one price is significantly higher than the others, the company could just have much higher rates for similar quality. This is why 2-3 bids will help give you a clear picture of normal pricing.
2. CHECK REVIEWS ONLINE
You want to be very sure that the company you choose to work with is reputable and has served many satisfied customers. One way to do this is to read company reviews online. Try not to let one super stellar review or one awful review carry too much weight as you never know if those are truly verified customers or if they have other intentions, but try to get a general sense of the majority of the customers’ experiences.
3. CHECK THE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU (BBB)
This tip is simple. Search for the company on the BBB’s website. The BBB rates companies on an A+ to F scale based on how they interact with customers from information they receive from customers as well as public data sources.
If the company shows up as a BBB Accredited Business, that is a good sign that it is a trusted and reputable water damage restoration company. Furthermore, if the company has a strong rating, this should give you a good dose of confidence in that company.
4. MAKE SURE THE COMPANY IS LICENSED AND INSURED
Licensing requirements for water damage restoration companies vary by state, but most likely your state will require each company to have a contractor’s license. Your specific state’s requirements can be accessed from the Department of Business/Professional Regulation. The company should also have a General Liability Policy, among other insurance coverage to protect itself as well as the homeowners it serves.
Ask the company about their licenses and insurance coverage. This will indicate a company that does its due diligence and does things the right way. It will also ensure that you are protected should anything go wrong during the water damage restoration process.
5. ASK FOR REFERENCES
When calling the water damage restoration company to get a bid, ask the company for references of people who had similar work done by the company. Furthermore, actually call those people.
Here are some suggested questions to ask those people:
This will add another layer of accountability for each company in your search and give you more confidence in your ultimate decision.
6. ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
Getting clarity upfront from the company on what to expect will help save you from unwanted surprises later. Here are the key questions to ask the water damage restoration company before they get started:
How long have you been in business?
Generally, if the company has been in business for a long time that is a great sign. Longevity can be an indicator that they have earned the trust of their community over time and are serving it well.
Can you identify the source of the water damage?
A true professional company will be able to survey your property and help identify what caused the water damage in the first place and detail how you can prevent future damage. If multiple companies come to the same conclusion, then you should feel confident in that report.
How much will the required work cost?
The main question that is on your mind.
Are there ways to cut these costs?
The company should be willing to offer you options for ways to cut back and fully explain to you the set of circumstances for each of those scenarios. If the cheaper options include the use of poor quality materials or cutting corners that may result in the recurrence of the problem, consider what it will cost to bring this team out once again to complete this job all over again and factor that into your calculations.
How long will it take for you to complete this job?
This question will help you know what to expect and plan for it, while also holding the company to a general timeline. Of course, if new issues arise then timelines can change, but laying this out upfront is important.
It can be stressful doing the work of finding a company that you can trust with your property and money. Just remember that you are the customer and you should be able to get as much information as possible on the company that you ultimately choose to let into your home.