Just like washing dishes or doing the laundry, having to pick a water damage restoration company can feel like an undesirable chore. But as a business or commercial property owner, it’s imperative having a trusted professional at your side in the case of sudden water damage from natural disasters, inclement weather, or compromised plumbing.
When water is involved, there’s no time to waste. Attempting to fix water damage on your own can actually compound the problem; the more time passes, the threat of mold growth, health hazards, and compromised documents and other materials increases. Only having the most advanced equipment and certified expertise can get your business or property back in working condition.
To help you sort through an overwhelming and sometimes confusing amount of options, here are eight suggestions to help you choose the company that’s best for your needs.
1. Choose companies with credible local references
You wouldn’t hire a babysitter with no experience to watch your children. You wouldn’t expect a restaurant with poor reviews to deliver a satisfying meal. So why would you do any differently when trusting a company to salvage valuable property?
You can start your research by checking reviews on websites like Yelp, but these reviews aren’t always reliable or tell the full story. Your best bet is tracking down references from previous or current clients. Sometimes asking friends or other community businesses in your area will shake up leads, but often the best way is the most direct: asking the company. Even though they may not list references publicly, reputable companies should always provide inquiring clients with references if requested.
This form of word-of-mouth advertising will always provide the clearest, trustworthy assessment of a company’s services, and should carry significant weight in your decision.
2. Make sure they offer a comprehensive plan for damage repairs
So much of high-quality water damage restoration relies on attention to detail and strict adherence to proven methods. The best companies will know this well and clearly communicate with you at every stage of the process.
Since every property is unique and no water damage scenario is the same, your chosen partner should conduct a thorough assessment of the property and base their approach on their findings. From there, the company should execute that plan, covering everything from cleaning up debris, water extraction, drying and dehumidification, sanitization, and if necessary, selective demolition and reconstruction.
Failing to cover all the bases, so to speak, could result in lingering damage or hazards in the future.
3. Verify the company is properly licensed and insured
Unfortunately, there are many companies out there that claim to be something they are not. The easiest way to tell the difference between contenders and pretenders is by asking for proof. Just like researching references, you can ask a company directly about their licensing status. Any inability to provide proof should be an immediate red flag. In fact, that business may be operating illegally, which isn’t something you want your property associated with.
You also want to check for valid insurance coverage. Similar to how insurance protects you and your property against unexpected damages and liability, a water damage restoration company with insurance provides peace of mind in a stressful situation, knowing you are covered in the case of accidents involving crews or the structure.
4. Check that state-of-the-art equipment is being used
Any professional commercial water damage expert knows you can’t use standard equipment; you need advanced devices like industrial-grade fans for drying and dehumidification, infrared cameras and moisture meters for moisture mapping, high-quality anti-microbial sprays to combat mold growth, and many others.
Premier companies will even deploy specialized tools for specific tasks such as document and content restorations, including vacuum freeze-drying technology, gamma irradiation, and ultrasonic separation for damaged electronics, documents, fine art, machinery, and other media.
Knowing these tools are in a company’s water damage restoration arsenal is a good sign that your property will be cared for.
5. Learn if best practices and approved techniques are followed
Unless you’re already familiar with certain disaster recovery and construction standards, it’s unlikely that you know what falls within acceptable guidelines. In general, you want your water damage crew to abide by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. Created in 1970, OSHA is a section of the U.S. Department of Labor tasked with ensuring “safe and healthful working conditions for workers by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education, and assistance.” Additionally, you want to make sure your company is operating within any local, state, and federal regulations as well.
6. Ask about certified expertise
There’s a difference between saying you’re a commercial water damage restoration expert and having the experience and certifications to back it up. It takes years of experience to fully understand the industry, and like educational degrees, there is a wide range of certifications available for cleaning, inspection, and restoration. Whoever you partner with should have enough credible knowledge across all specialties, letting them remedy even the most complex jobs.
7. Look for immediate disaster response capabilities
There’s no time to waste when it comes to water damage. If you can’t receive rapid customer service on the phone or otherwise, it’s doubtful that their response time will be any more efficient.
Reliable water damage restoration companies can deploy at a moment’s notice 24/7 with complete situational awareness, whether through a nationwide network of locations near major metros or pre-loaded fleets that speed up dispatch times.
8. Don’t settle for anything less than ultimate customer satisfaction
After all, this is your property or business we’re talking about. Any delay or setback could be costly. Make your expectations known from the very beginning. Top water damage professionals will have high standards of their own and strive for excellence from beginning to end.
Harness Cotton’s water extraction capabilities and restore your business to its original state
When you need immediate water extraction and restoration, you can trust our expert water damage clean-up professionals. Available 24/7 for immediate commercial water extraction and other flood damage services around the country, our seasoned crews are ready to evaluate, clean, and restore your commercial properties to their pre-disaster condition, helping minimize disruption, mitigate health risks, and prepare and prevent future disasters with detailed response plans.
Contact Cotton for all your water extraction and restoration needs
Call 877-900-0493 or contact our customer service team.