Over the past 5 years alone, the restoration industry has gone through massive change. The industry itself is only a few decades old. Very recently however, industry standards, insurance companies, regulation and science and research have been influencing what a restoration company should look like today and in the near future.
1. Not all restoration jobs are created equal.
Many old or inexperienced restoration companies will still use the same methods on every job no matter how easy or complex the job is. To service your Honda, you may take it to the local mechanic down the street, but if you drive a Tesla or Prius, it may call for a different type of mechanic. If you apply the methods and procedures you would normally use on a residential job to a large multi-floor commercial loss, you probably won’t restore the property properly or you will take a very long time to do so.
The Restoration Industry is Changing!
Many restoration companies think they can get away with dropping some fans and turning on a few dehumidifier and call it a day. This may work on a small property by pure accident, but it won’t work in a large warehouse that may require a large industrial desiccant.
Depending on something as simple as how dirty the water loss is radically change the way the job should be handled. Some losses are clean water from a pressure line leak and can require simple drying methods with very little to no tear out at all depending on the materials affected. However, when a water loss emanates from a sewer line or from a flood outside, affected materials should almost always be discarded and cut out. There’s even a method for categorizing and classifying water losses depending on how dirty water is our the volume of water which has affected an area.
2. Licensing and continuing education is crucial.
“The only thing that is constant is change”
If a restoration company is not investing in licensing and continuing education, they’re probably not changing their methods and principles. Not putting focus towards greater education and updating you knowledge base is potentially disastrous to your clientele and suicide for your business.
There are many certification tracks and training programs to achieve for the business owner, managers, supervisors and employees. By cross training your team in multiple areas such as water extraction, fire and smoke removal, mold testing and mold remediation, you will enrich the synergy between the tiers and hierarchy of your business which will result in better service for your clientele.
Restoration companies that adhere to industry best practices and standards and enrich their team with education will be standing when the dust settles at the end of the day. The IICRC S500 standard guide has gone through 3 editions since 1994 and is almost on its 4th edition! Many restoration companies that have been in business over 20 years aren’t even WRT/ASD certified by the IICRC
3. Insurance companies are catching up
Insurance companies understand how much the restoration industry has changed recently and how fast it’s changing currently. They want to see standards and industry best practices. They want to know that when they pay a restoration bill, they got their money’s worth.
The insurance company is spending millions on performing comparative estimates and training their adjusters. The insurance company wants to be able to look at more than just an invoice – it won’t be sufficient anymore. They expect photos, Infrared thermal imaging, daily dry logs of separate affected areas, moisture mapping, dehumidifier sizing forms, thermal hygrometer readings, etc.
Insurance companies will eventually become experts in this field over the next few years and will put forth intense efforts to apply standards and pressure on the industry to ‘up the ante’. They will weed out the inexperienced and unorganized and it will cost those companies dearly. If your restoration business is heavily reliant upon insurance generated work, you need to raise the bar and make sure you are differentiating yourself from the crowd.