There is a very rigid set of standards that we work to on every job to return structures to pre-loss condition. Improper restoration can not only severely damage structural materials, it can also result in mold growth or other biohazards that can cause serious illness or worse. The following rules should be given close consideration when thinking about choosing a restoration contractor.
Rule #1 – Do Not Choose a Family Member or Friend
Aside from the obvious problem of working closely with a relative, this choice almost never works for other reasons. If the relative or friend does not have repair experience, restoration training and certifications, thorough knowledge of the Standard of Care as well as experience working with insurance companies, the situation can easily spiral out of your control and end up worse that it initially was.
Rule #2 – Do Not Choose the Company Who Built Your House
Many contractors who focus primarily on new construction typically do not have substantial insurance restoration experience, lack of training and experience in handling smoke odor and do not possess the knowledge or equipment to perform proper drying. Failing to address the complete removal of excess moisture in a building or the total removal of smoke odor may prove disastrous down the road.
The original contractor who build your property typically has limited or no experience in the specifics of water and fire restoration or working with insurance companies in a restoration environment. These companies also lack training, experience and certifications required to perform structural drying, guaranteed removal of smoke odor, restorative cleaning and deodorizing techniques and may not understand the nature of performing needed reconstruction and repairs in these situations.
Rule #3 – Do Not Choose Someone Who Has Not Worked with Insurance Companies
It is the responsibility of the policyholder to disclose any loss to the insurance company and provide the necessary documentation required to process the claim. To do this correctly, you need an estimate that meets the insurance company’s standards created using the special software that all restorers are required to use to meet the insurance company’s meticulous standards. ServiceMaster of Greater Pittsburgh will provide all necessary documentation, including the estimate and pictures, in a format that meets the insurance company’s special requirements and will work closely with your insurance representative for your benefit.
Rule #4 – Spend time talking with and communicating with the restoration company representative.
Make sure you are comfortable with what is being proposed. The restoration process is complex with lots of potential pitfalls. Contrary to what any contractor might tell you, “No restoration contractor or remodeling is perfect; things will go sideways from time to time.” Be sure to understand the communication and problem resolution process of the company you choose so you will know what to expect if there is an issue.