Before you hire a flood cleanup company, you should consider the factors below in order to get the best services:
Is the Water Damage Restoration Contractor Certified and Licensed?
An organization that provides flood cleanup services will be more than happy to provide their certifications, accreditations, and licenses. In fact, they will typically list them prominently on their web site.
What Is Their Availability?
Floods don’t always occur at convenient times, such as when you’re at home or during hours when you’re awake. Since you want your basement to be cleaned and dried out quickly, the service provider should be available 24/7 and be able to arrive within a couple of hours, if not immediately.
What Equipment Do They Use?
Regardless of the size and scope of the flood, you want to know that the water damage restoration company you hire will be able to handle the job. Again, a qualified water damage restoration company will provide a list of the equipment they use, along with a description of how it works. This equipment will typically include powerful air movers, dehumidifiers, submersible pumps, water extractors, and thermal imaging cameras, which will detect affected building materials to find wet spots in the walls that may not otherwise be visible.
What Payment Methods Do They Accept?
A legitimate provider will also accept payment by various methods, including cheque, debit, or credit card so that clients have a record of the services provided. While most contractors may ask for a deposit, they will also wait until the job has been completed before asking for the remainder.
Also be sure to thoroughly read any paperwork they provide, though a good contractor will outline everything clearly, concisely, and in easy-to-understand terms.
Do You Have References?
When choosing a flood clean-up service, pay attention to the candidates’ track records. Ideally, they will have been referred to you by someone you know who has had a good experience that they can tell you about and give you an idea of the kind of service or professionalism that can be expected. Alternatively, you can ask the candidates for a reference or recent client that you could speak to for an opinion. Companies that can’t provide a reference you can reach shouldn’t be immediately discarded, but you should keep this fact in mind when evaluating other elements.
Can You Make Any Guarantees?
Guarantees are a tricky subject since there are limits to what anyone in the flood restoration business can promise. For example, you can’t be given a reliable promise that mould won’t grow in an area after it has been restored since spores can be surprisingly evasive and hardy when they want to be. However, your candidates should be able to offer a warranty on the materials they use during the restoration and on the workmanship that went into it. Also, be on alert for any flood services that seem like they are over promising or offering more absolutes than possible.
How Long Will It Take/How Much Will It Cost?
These are two questions that often come together and can lead homeowners into the same problems when they shop around following a flood. Experienced flood clean-up services will be able to assess the scope of damage and work needed and can come up with an estimate based on standard industry pricing. If your flood results in an insurance claim, estimates should be provided in Xactimate format which is the software standard for the insurance industry. If you decide to pay out of pocket or do not have adequate insurance coverage, estimates should still be based on standard insurance rates however, non-insurance discounts from 10 to 20 percent are frequently applied.
Most estimates you receive, therefore, should end up being fairly similar to one another. Outliers promising unusually fast, cheap, slow, or expensive flood restorations should warrant additional questioning about why they seem to be an exception. It may be that there’s something about the company’s structure that lets it charge less without compromising quality of work, or you could be getting scammed. Inquiry and caution are your best defense.
How Is Mould Testing Done?
Many times, mould testing and removal are common in flood clean-up situations, and how a company tests for mould—as well as who does the testing—can play into whether they are a good choice or not. First, make sure that the candidate isn’t only relying on air quality samples. Though useful, this doesn’t give the most definitive results. It takes a combination of air sampling, visual sweeps, and material sampling to perform a thorough assessment and evaluation.
Can I Get This in Writing?
Never hire a flood restoration service without getting a written contract outlining the costs and terms of the arrangement. The agreement should describe things like warranties, expected duration and costs, and what will happen if things run longer or cost more than initially expected. Your estimate should be itemized, as well as the final bill. Getting copies of work orders and addendums are also advisable.
It is strongly recommended that you call your insurance provider immediately following a flood, as your policy may not cover certain types of flood damages, if not floods entirely. If need be, a flood cleanup services provider can help you to determine what is and isn’t covered and assist you with navigating through insurance forms.
As the leading water damage restoration company in the Greater Toronto Area, Flood Services Canada is fully certified and licensed and uses only the best equipment for cleanup following a flood. We are available 24/7, can respond within one hour, and will provide assistance if you have any questions about insurance following a flood. For more information, contact Flood Services Canada today!