When disaster strikes, it’s easy to get caught up in all of the commotion, emotion, and confusion of the matter at hand. This post is designed to give a little history on restoration, as well as paint today’s outlook. My goal is to empower you as a consumer in this ever evolving and revolving industry.
Like with most new industries, restoration sort of came out of nowhere. In the past, there were little or no dedicated sole restoration companies. You had contractors, carpet cleaners, janitorial, etc. In most instances, these different companies would get calls to suck out the water and probably rip everything else out. It wasn’t until the 70’s that institutions like the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) were formed and standards for proper training and certification became a big deal. This was the first game changer. It was a good improvement to the industry implementing new standards across the board. The goal was to not have just anyone coming in your home to “suck out” the water. You wouldn’t have somebody who doesn’t know anything about electricity wire your home would you? Don’t answer that.
The game now is very different in the fact that there are literally thousands of restoration companies that exist today. As more and more companies were birthed in this industry, a stigma that restoration companies “prey” on the helpless began to form. This stemmed from some truth and some ignorance of methods. You have to understand that most restoration work actually is paid by insurance companies. That’s why there is homeowner’s insurance. The banks want you to protect their investment from the outside dangers. This caused insurance companies to really take a close look at who is performing the work because at the end of the day the insurance company is footing the bill for the work completed.
Whenever companies are dealing with millions of dollars going out of their bank account, you can bet they watch every penny and make commodities where they can. Like everything else, this happened in the restoration industry. The McDonald’s of restoration companies, (meaning giant franchises) cut deals with the large insurance companies to be a part of a “preferred vendor program” in which the insurance companies will push to get these contractors work and in return the contractors must give a heavy discount on their invoices. Win, win, right? Wrong. Contractors were forced into what they could charge for, and this inevitably lead to a drop in quality because as a contractor on the program, it doesn’t matter if you screw up one job, you’ve got an endless supply of work coming through.
Thanks for hearing me out.