Coming home to unexpected damage caused by water, wind, fire, or any other natural disaster, is scary, overwhelming, stressful, and costly for homeowners. Homes are a safe haven, and the thought of natural disasters threatening their security is emotionally draining and overly unsettling. Fortunately, you don’t have to experience this on your own. You can hire home restoration companies to ease your restoration process. To help you choose, below are insightful tips on what to consider when hiring a home restoration company.
Start by Informing Your Insurance Company
Any homeowner should understand the importance of having a home insurance cover. Well, if you have one, notifying your insurer should be your first step after a natural disaster or accidental fire razes down your home. Your insurance company will respond immediately by sending an adjuster to evaluate the extent of the damage. Most insurance companies also have their preferred restoration companies within your locality.
However, note that even if your insurer suggests a restoration company, you have the final say on who you’d prefer to work on restoring your home. Therefore, you can vet several companies fronted by your insurer, check their previous work, and select your preferred restoration company.
Identify Certified Companies
Disaster restoration involves various specialized processes. Therefore, you should engage the serves of a restoration company with appropriate licenses, training, and meet all other required standards. Fortunately, you can find all certified companies in your area from the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration
The IICRC certifies various companies to undertake various restoration services. They include:
- Mold remediation
- Stone and tile cleaning
- Fire and smoke damage restoration
- Water restoration
- Floor maintenance
- House cleaning and many more
Choose a company that is certified to provide specific restoration services that you need. For instance, if your house was affected by water damage, ensure that your preferred company has water restoration certification. Besides picking a certified company, you should also ensure that the company is licensed.
Availability and Response Time
Restoration companies should be among the first responders after your house sustains fire, flood, and any other form of damage. The company should help in cleaning the mess, preserve, and protect your home and property from further damage. Therefore, you should opt for a readily available company offering 24/7 services.
A good company understands that such calamities occur unexpectedly, and time is of great essence to prevent further damage. Therefore, they should not only be available 24/7 but also be committed to providing quick responses to emergencies.
References and Recommendations
Apart from recommendations given by your home insurance company, you should consider asking around for suggestions. First-hand recommendations from friends, family, and neighbors can provide insightful information about a company’s restoration services. You should also consult third-party reference platforms, especially online review platforms, such as social media and Yelp, as they pack a lot of information about these companies.
Ensure that you ask the right questions when consulting your references. For instance, you should inquire if the company charges reasonable costs, availability during emergencies, and the company’s payment model. By seeking references and recommendations, you will identify companies to hire and those to avoid. Either way, both are valuable information.
Restoration Cost and Timeline
Restoration services following a calamity aren’t cheap, and you shouldn’t skimp on quality when repairing your home. Nonetheless, you should understand the cost and how long it will take for the company to complete the project. Most companies often send a representative to assess the damage and discuss specific areas that should be cleaned and repaired with homeowners before providing a quote.
As you get quotes from several companies, ensure that you note various inclusions. For instance, inquire if the total costs cover cleanup, repair, restorations, labor, and required materials. Also, ask if their quote includes other miscellaneous services, such as dumping fees. Review the quoted price carefully to avoid unexpected charges in the future.
You should also ask for restoration timelines, as it may contribute to costly repairs, especially if you have to find somewhere to stay during the restoration.
Be Wary of Scammers
Unfortunately, some companies take advantage of the outcome of natural disasters to scam desperate homeowners. Commonly referred to as the “storm chasers,” below are some red flags provided by IICRC that you should watch out for:
- Companies quoting prices that are too good to be true – quality restoration services are expensive. Therefore, don’t fall for companies quoting suspiciously very low prices.
- Companies asking for cash payments upfront – while you should make a deposit before the restoration company begins, the contractor shouldn’t insist on cash payments. Pay by check or credit card.
- Companies that lack credentials, certifications, and references
Dealing with the outcome of natural disasters is overwhelming. However, the best way to handle such unexpected situations is to hire a professional restoration company. Make use of the tips mentioned above to find a reputable company.