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Wednesday, February 15th, 2012 by Jacques Bouchard
When a disaster such as a fire or flood hits your home, there are three companies that can help you: companies that specialize in disaster restoration, companies that do insurance remodeling, and companies that do both.
Regardless of which one(s) you choose for your home, there will be a vast difference in quality and reliability from one to the next. When the time comes to make the vital decision of which company to choose, we recommend that you ask each company you're considering these five questions:
1. How Long Have You Been In Business?
Before you choose a company to work with, it's important to distinguish between an established, reliable business and the unqualified fly-by-night companies that give the reputable remodelers a bad name. Many disreputable companies can be weeded out simply by finding out how long they've been in business, how long they've been BBB Accredited, and what their BBB rating is.
If your company has been in business for a long time but has recently changed their name, be sure to ask for a solid explanation as to why the company changed names. Some businesses will switch names to avoid an established bad reputation that's associated with the old name.
2. Are Your Workers Certified & Insured?
Disaster Restoration is complicated work that can have serious health consequences if done improperly. Because of this, each state has its own standards and requirements that qualify a contractor to perform this kind of work. Be sure to ask for (and evaluate on your own) all certifications, accreditations, and licenses that are claimed to be held by your disaster restoration company.
Similarly, if the contractors who work in your home are not insured by the company, you may be caught up in a potentially serious lawsuit if they're injured while working on your home. You can potentially be held liable for their injuries, leading to a new and enormous financial burden.
3. In What Ways Do You Plan To Work With Me And My Insurance Company?
It's important to remember that your insurance company is also the boss of your disaster restoration company. Where you may want work done beyond what's covered under your insurance, they will heavily influence which work is approved by them, and therefore means a paycheck for the contractors.
Your contractors will need to be experienced in negotiating with your insurance company, and should be of a mindset where they're advocating for the best solution for your home.
4. Do You Have Any References?
This is going to be a big job – one that will affect your life for many years to come. Because of this, it's important to make sure that the company you're working with is reputable, well-established, and in the business of doing the job right.
A trustworthy company will typically have many customer testimonials available from their website, as well as available customer references that can be called. If following up on a reference, be sure to make a list of questions to have when you call, so you're able to ask everything you need when “on the spot” with the former customer.
5. When Can You Come?
If disaster has struck your home, it's vital that you receive professional help as quickly as possible. Failure to do so could lead to further damage to your home, and many more expenses. Generally, you should expect a response for an emergency within 24-48 hours, if not much sooner.
Just about any disaster company worth its salt will provide you with a 24-hour emergency number to call to schedule an appointment right away. Usually, this number is available to call every day of the year – so they're ready when you are.
This article brought to you by Olympic Restoration, specializing in flood and fire damage restoration in Dallas. We offer 24-hour service every day of the year. For a free restoration quote, contact us today!