The simply and quick answer is YES. With the current economy more and more companies are diversifying to try to hang onto more sales. Getting into sometimes technical areas of diversification can be tricky and costly so many companies just do the basics. Being in the water damage restoration field for more than 15 years now, I still find myself learning new ways of addressing drying related issues. The learning bar is always being pushed forward and one must keep up with the changing new technology that is being developed every day. Simply having a truck mount carpet cleaning machine to remove the standing water does not make you qualified to perform sometimes dozens of different tasks related to a flood call.
So how do so many cleaning firms take on a restoration job? First, they usually start by buying a few floor fans, maybe one dehumidifier or two and take a class so they can do the right thing during a water loss. The problem is the class usually presents more questions than it answers. Don’t get me wrong taking classes and becoming certified in all areas of work you do is a great thing. Lord knows I’ve taking so many classes over my career that looking back it seems a daunting challenge. However I’m glad I did it because it separated me from the average Joe out there and gave me a much deeper understanding thus making me a go to guy for problem solving. The trouble is without the proper training, experience and equipment it’s the homeowner that usually has to pay for the poor response, and lack of technical efforts delivered by the so called professional. You can think of a water damage flood as a slow, a very slow burning fire. It destroys but slowly. If you choose to let it go and wait more damage is done. If you hire the wrong company to stop this slow burning fire you can expect more damage to occur. We call this secondary damage and this simply means damage that occurs from the structure being wet for a longer time. For instance, it doesn’t matter if half of your living room was wet and the other half was dry, if left unchecked the dry half along with surrounding areas in your home will be affected. This is secondary damage. It’s so important to hire a company that not only has the proper equipment but the experience with hundreds of water loss jobs under their belt.
The cost of purchasing the proper tools and equipment to dry out a home is very expensive. This is the second most common reason most companies are not qualified when responding to a water loss. Imagine a pipe leak inside a wall that was slowly leaking for hours before you arrived back home from work. Not being able to see where this leak originated and not stopping the leak in its tracks could add dozens if not hundreds of gallons of extra water to an already big mess. The cost to obtain training, certification and then to purchase some water leak detection devices can be in the tens of thousands of dollars. Just this one glimpse into one area of a typical water loss now shows you just how important it is to have the proper training and equipment. There is no guessing allowed here and if you don’t have the proper training and equipment that is exactly was is being done.
It’s a scary thought for many of us that encounter a flood in our life time. It does not have to be a guessing game if you call a qualified professional company. There are options in many cases with restoration work and the company you hire should be aware of these options and present them to you in a simple to understand way. Don’t be a victim, Call a professional next time.
Next week I’ll discuss an otherwise simple but often overlooked problem in our industry that goes on every day.