What to Look for in a Fire Restoration Company

Learn how to find the right restoration company

What to Look for in a Fire Restoration Company

Choosing a reliable and experienced fire restoration company is perhaps the most important thing you can do to properly restore your home or business as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, there are many untrustworthy companies and contractors that advertise fire and water restoration services without the proper credentials, equipment, or training. Don’t make the mistake of hiring the first company you find or the cheapest. Here’s what you should look for to find a company you can trust to do the job correctly.

What Is Their Process?

Before you even consider hiring a fire restoration company, ask about the process they use. Technicians should always follow industry practices and properly perform the following:

  • Water damage repair
  • Repair of damage to textiles and flooring
  • Odor removal
  • Mold remediation

Ask plenty of questions about their restoration process and how they will treat specific problems like soot, smoke odors, and standing water.

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Qualifications
Do not hire just any restoration company. An experienced company will be licensed and bonded. This ensures any legal issues can be resolved if the company makes a mistake during the project or the work is not done properly. Always verify that the company is properly insured. This can protect you if the contractors cause structural damage to your home or a worker is injured on the project. The company should have general liability and workers’ compensation insurance. Otherwise, you may be footing the bill if something goes wrong. Technicians should also have the necessary certifications.

Assistance with Insurance Claims
Making an insurance claim and working with your insurer after fire damage can be a nightmare. Handling your own claim can be difficult and stressful, especially when your insurance company tries to give a low appraisal or suggests their own contractors for the work. You have the right to choose your own company to perform the work. It pays to choose a fire restoration company that can help negotiate your claim on your behalf to get the full value of the repairs that are needed. A reputable company can even help you negotiate for compensation for everything you are entitled to receive from your insurer, including issues they may have overlooked.

Know the Warning Signs
Don’t let an unscrupulous company take advantage of you when you are dealing with a crisis. Watch for warning signs that the company is not reliable:

  • Large down payment or discount for paying cash. If a restoration company shows up at your door after a disaster in the area, be suspicious if they ask for a large down payment for materials or offer a cash discount if you hire them right away. These fly-by-night contractors often disappear before the work is done, never start the project, or perform shoddy work.
  • No paperwork. A reliable restoration company will provide a written estimate and a contract for the work. You should also ask for copies of their contractor’s license and proof of a bond and insurance. If they are not willing to provide these forms of documentation, walk away.
  • Over-the-phone estimate. If a fire restoration company gives you an estimate over the phone, you can be sure it is not accurate. An accurate quote requires a thorough in-person assessment of the damage to determine the materials affected, the extent of the damage, and what needs to be done.
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