How to Pick a Restoration Specialist When Disaster Strikes

Catastrophes happen. Sometimes they can be as seemingly simple as seepage onto your carpet from a burst water heater or they can be as devastating as a house burned to rubble from a 2-alarm inferno. Whether the event is a minor inconvenience or a life altering event, it helps to have an expert on hand to guide you through the process of putting your home back in order.  James Griffin, owner of Active Restoration, is that and then some.  We recently had the opportunity to sit down with him as he shared some golden nuggets from his store of knowledge about the restoration process. In this first of a three-part series of articles, we’ll share his thoughts on how a person should go about selecting a restoration contractor.

First things First
While time is of the essence in a number of home emergencies, Mr. Griffin always recommends that you call your insurance agent first. Your insurance company will be in the best position to guide you about your specific coverage and deductible details. That information may direct what actions you take in the remediation and restoration process.

Get Recommendations
He suggests finding out if your insurance company has a restoration contractor list available. In addition to that, your friends and family may be a good source of referrals.

Do Your Own Research
While referrals are an excellent place to start, be open to doing your own research. Make sure you check out the companies on your short list through the Better Business Bureau and find out what others are saying about them on Google reviews.

Credentials
Look for a certified firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is an organization that sets standards for the industry and offers a rigorous certification process. An IICRC designation means that a certified technician will be on site for every job, including yours.

First Impressions Count
Keep in mind that just because you have had the contractor out to your house to look at your situation, that doesn’t mean you have to hire them.  Watch for clues that the company operates under a philosophy of a great attention to detail and superior customer service. (How did they answer the phone? How quickly were they able to come out? How good were they at listening to you and your needs? When in your house, did they wear footies over their shoes to protect the undamaged areas of your home?)

Comfort Level
Be sure to ask a lot of questions, so that you are well informed and understand the process.  Mr. Griffin says you can never ask enough questions. Communication is crucial, because your restoration specialist will be in and out of your home until the project is completed.

Following these guidelines will help you make an educated decision and will go a long way in making sure that you are comfortable with the restoration specialist you have chosen.

Look next Wednesday, for the second-part in our three-part series, where you will get guidance from James Griffin from Active Restoration on what you can do to prevent a home emergency from happening to you.