To begin, we need to clarify the variety of terms used to describe the companies that provide restoration services. In the restoration industry they are often referred to as “restorers”. However, as it relates to water damage restoration, the insurance industry has different terms such as “emergency response” or “mitigation” companies. These two terms refer to the same kind of company. They are water damage restoration companies that will provide the initial water extraction and drying services to prevent any further damage. After they have completed their services, the property needs to be reconstructed by a “restoration contractor”. Sometimes these are one and the same.
Be cautious when hiring a restorers or contractor – make sure you are hiring someone reputable. It is your obligation to hire these companies and not the insurance company. It is your property you want it restored back to its original condition. Who you hire is solely up to you. Here are some things to consider when looking for a qualified company:
- Hire a local company. Deal only with established firms or individuals who can provide references and are willing to give you a signed contract.
- To find local restorers and contractors, check with the International Cleaning and Restoration Association (ICRA) website at www.icrassociation.org/consumer-services/member-search. You can also search online and look for testimonials. Ask around, friends and family may have hired a restoration contractor in Massachusetts.
- To help you mitigate your damages, restorers can provide emergency services. Hiring a qualified restorer for the emergency services is something that you should do as soon as possible. You do not have to wait for the adjuster to arrive or give you permission.
- However, you should not sign contracts for major repairs (i.e., reconstruction contractors) until your insurance company representative or adjuster has determined how much damage there is and how much the company will pay.
- Require the restorers and contractors to agree to abide by the industry standards. There are two relevant industry standards that restorers should follow. The first is the ANSI/IICRC Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration (S500); the second is the ANSI/IICRC Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation (S520). Other standards might also apply depending upon the damage.
For more information on reputable and local restoration companies in Massachusetts, contact RebuildEx.