YOU SHOULD KNOW . . .
There are no specific federal regulations, per say, for the water damage restoration industry. However, some companies offer build back services without being licensed contractor. Contracting without a license is a crime and hiring a company or individual without a license or the proper insurance can lead to dire results.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK . . .
What should you look for when hiring a water damage restoration company?
- Licensed – Make sure they have a current contractor license. You can check the status of a license on the internet at FL License Search. We post all our current licenses and certifications on our website as well: Water Damage Certifications
- Insured – Make sure the company has the required insurance. General Liability, Worker’s Compensation and Contractor’s Pollution Liability are three of the main coverage’s to look for.
- Certification – Should hold certification(s) from an industry leader such as:
The Clean Trust – IICRC formerly known as the Institute for Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration.
Or the RIA – Restoration Industry Association. DRIRITE’s technicians are certified by these organizations. Being certified means that an individual has not only put in the time and effort but also paid the fees involved to get the best training possible.
- Personnel – Make sure they are fully trained in all areas of the services they provide. Our technicians are fully trained and experienced in water extraction, water cleanup and water damage repair.
- Services – Dririte of Hillsborough County provides the full range of services needed to restore your home to its pre-loss condition. That would include water removal (extraction) to drying and reconstruction.
Don’t just hire anyone; make sure you hire a certified, licensed, bonded and insured property damage restoration company. Don’t be afraid to ask to see proof of these things.
Why hire a licensed contractor?
Being a licensed contractor offers protection. A contractor cannot obtain a license without having a minimum amount of experience and must pass a business management test. They are also subject to a criminal background check and cannot have any outstanding unresolved contracting complaints.
Being a licensed company means you are registered to perform a specific trade and skill. A license also gives a reference #. As the consumer, you can check that number to see if it’s current, legal and if there are any complaints against the company.
Why should the company you hire be insured?
It is not only insurance for the company, but also insurance for the consumer. For example: If a worker is injured on your property while on the job, a claim against your insurance could be made if the company he works for is uninsured or under insured. General Liability Insurance will cover damage to your property as a result of an accident or contractor error. If the contractor or company you hire does not have insurance, you may be financially responsible for any accident of injury.
- Only hire a state-licensed contractor.
- Check license # and business name.
- Check for any consumer complaints.
- Make sure the company is bonded and insured.
- Ask what kind of insurance they carry (if none – RUN).
- Make sure the company has current worker’s compensation insurance .
- Ask for references, check their reputation.
- Check for online reviews.
- Verify the company’s address and phone number.
- Check with the BBB.
- Keep a folder, with all paperwork etc. regarding your restoration project
- Pay cash. You should use a credit or debit card or write a check, that way you have a record of the transaction or service rendered.
- Be intimidated or threatened into signing a contract or starting a job without a contract.
- Pay a large amount of money up front. Legitimate contractors do not ask for large sums of money up front, or to pay your bill in cash. It is however customary for a 1/3 or 1/2 deposit to be collected up front for remodel or construction projects.
- Make final payment until job is completed.
- Sign a contract without understanding every detail clearly and completely.
- Hesitate to ask a thousand questions or to see documentation and proof of insurance.
- Not doing your homework.
- Not checking references.
- Not checking the status of a contractor’s license.
- Starting the job without a signed contract.