Reputable Restoration Companies & Natural Disasters
It’s a story that we hear all too often. There is a natural disaster in a community and people in need of help are approached by an out-of-town and unknown restoration company. These folks canvas neighborhoods and solicit homes. They offer water extraction, drying, and needed demolition. They’re willing to either start work or put you on their “list” if you’re willing to put down a cash deposit.
Many homeowners, understandably overwhelmed and in need of assistance, give them this deposit.
Then, the restoration company disappears.
There was never any list. There was no equipment. The number they left you to call either goes unanswered or has been disconnected. Your money is gone and your home is still left a mess.
This situation is unfortunate and happens often during natural disasters. When a hurricane, major storm, or tornado hit a town, many disaster restoration companies travel across the United States to offer their services to the hard-hit community. While many reputable companies are available, there are also teams of scammers looking to prey on those in need of help.
Horror stories of people being scammed flood the news and people wonder which company they can really trust to help them. What these scammers do is wrong and unethical. No one deserves to be lied to or stolen from.
How do you choose which disaster restoration company to trust? Look for these qualities when making a decision.
Trusted Restoration Company
- Is this restoration company well known?
- Can I find them online easily?
- Does their website look professional?
- Can I see proof of their previous work?
- Do they have reviews online that speak of their work?
If the restoration company asking for your business is one you have not heard of and you cannot easily find online, then how likely is it that you will be able to find them later? Even if the company is online, consider the quality of their website. Make sure it’s professionally done and not one that was hastily put together in an attempt to look legitimate just for the storm event. A reputable company will also have reviews from customers on various social media websites. Check the dates on the reviews and make sure they span a considerable length of time.
National or Local Company?
- Is this restoration company from my hometown or did they travel to come here?
- Are they a franchise?
- If they traveled, can I still reach them when they go back home?
Many restoration companies travel to impacted sites, so it is not uncommon to work with professionals that are only in your hometown temporarily. This should not necessarily dissuade you from working with them. If they are from out of town, check out their credentials online. Ask them how their process works, how long they plan on staying in town, and what plan they have to make sure you’re taken care of. If they can’t answer your questions, consider a different company that can help you through any situation.
Working with SERVPRO is a great way to make sure you will get service, no matter if the franchise you’re working with is from out of town or not. If you need additional help after the franchise that serviced you leaves, there will still be another SERVPRO franchise in town to assist you.
Restoration Training and Experience
- How long has this restoration company been in business?
- Have they worked in other natural disaster situations?
- Are the technicians trained with certifications?
- Do they have the proper equipment and chemicals?
Make sure your restoration company has had plenty of experience helping other people in a variety of natural disasters. Ask if their technicians have a certification in water mitigation, specifically from the IICRC. The IICRC is an independent organization that specializes in the certification of individuals in the restoration industry. This organization issues certified technicians wallet sized IDs to prove their training. Also, ask what equipment and chemicals they plan on using to restore their home. If they do not want to answer or can’t show you proof, reconsider hiring them.
Your property is likely one of your most valuable investments. A natural disaster is not the time for a restoration company to get on-the-job training.
Storm Damage Services
- Can this company handle all parts of my restoration project or will they just handle one portion?
- Can this company sanitize my affected clothing and textiles?
- Can this company restore my affected electronics?
- Can this company rebuild my property?
Not all companies can provide you with full service. Some will only be able to handle the water remediation. Others will only be able to provide you with construction services. Ask them what services they can provide and then decide if you want to piecemeal your restoration project or if you’d rather work with a company that helps you from start to end.
SERVPRO and Natural Disasters
When a community is in need, SERVPRO activates a storm center and calls on franchises nationwide to assist. With over 1,700 franchises nationwide, we can meet the demand for professional restoration services for everyone in need.
Franchises that choose to respond will pack up hundreds to thousands of pieces of equipment and have professional and trained technicians travel to the community. Technicians stay anywhere from weeks to months to help every household and business that asks for assistance.
SERVPRO responds to every natural disaster in the United States. We have responded to:
- Hurricanes. Our franchise personally responds to hurricanes that impact Texas, Louisiana, and Florida. Our crews spent months in Houston and Galveston responding to Hurricane Harvey.
- Wind and hail storms. When North Texas experiences a hail storm, we respond by tarping roofs and boarding up damaged windows and outer walls. We also remove storm debris and repair homes from fallen trees and other airborne debris.
- Severe thunderstorms. When a storm is severe and flood-prone areas see damage, our crews respond immediately. It’s not a common occurrence, but Dallas flooding is possible and is something we are always prepared for.
Cash Deposits During Storms
Some restoration companies will ask you for a cash deposit, even a reputable one. Many times, cash deposits indicate to the company that you are serious about receiving restoration services. During a storm situation, many households and businesses ask a company to help them remediate their property and agree to get on a waiting list. When the restoration company schedules technicians and gathers the equipment to help that property, they sometimes find that the property owner has either left or decided not to use their services anymore. This creates a problematic situation for both the restoration company and other customers they could have otherwise been helping.
Every franchise and every company will have a different way to approach the question of a cash deposit. Some may ask for a deposit, some may ask for nothing, and still, others will ask for a secure form of payment (credit card) and not charge you anything until services are performed.
Ask the restoration company you are thinking about working what their policy is, and then decide if this is acceptable to you or not.
It is very likely that you will have to wait for service during a major storm situation. Even with thousands of restoration professionals coming to service your hometown, the number of calls and infrastructure problems will most likely prevent immediate service. The wait time may be only a few hours, but at times it can extend to a few days.
Make sure to stay safe while you wait for service. Keep in mind:
- Rising water is contaminated and should not be touched. Read about water contamination levels and classifications here.
- Mold can begin to grow in as little as 48 hours when water mitigation services are not performed. Stay in an environment that is dry.
Please read our article Storm Safety for more information and tips.
Trusted Leader in Dallas Flooding Restoration
SERVPRO of Richardson is a leader in the restoration industry and has the expertise to handle storm damage cleanup company in Dallas, TX. We have helped restore communities in our home of North Texas for over 30 years, and our franchise has also traveled to disaster locations such as Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Harvey. We have performed restoration services in Dallas, Garland, Plano, McKinney, Midlothian, and other North Texas communities for over 30 years. With our crews responding immediately to jobs, we are faster to any size disaster. We also have a Texas Mold Remediation Contractor License and offer free mold inspections. You can trust us to handle your restoration needs.
Our crews are available dispatch for 24 hour emergencies every day of the year. We can be reached 24/7 at (972) 690-1414. Call us any time!
We are family owned and operated. Learn more about us.
“Like it never even happened.” only happens here.