Just like clockwork, now that we’re in the aftermath of a major natural disaster, new damage restoration companies are coming out of the woodwork. After an event like Hurricane Florence, there’s more than enough work to be done. We even recommend using reputable out of state restoration contractors in certain situations. What we DON’T recommend is hiring a company that is brand new to the restoration industry. Even further, we don’t recommend companies that specialize in another trade (plumbing, landscaping, painting, remodeling, contracting, etc.) that suddenly add “and Restoration” to the end of their business name.
From the outside, this industry looks appealing. People think it must be easy to have recession-proof work to do that’s paid for by the insurance company. What they don’t see are the struggles that are encountered every day that require a strong foundation, financial stability, experience, systems, and industry-specific knowledge to succeed.
We heard from someone earlier in November who was trying to track down a gentleman that showed up to her home after Hurricane Florence. After performing demolition, water mitigation, and packing out and removing the contents of her home, he vanished. She couldn’t get him to answer the phone or show back up to her home, nor did she know where her belongings were being held!
After doing the research, she discovered that the “contractor” had just formed his business the month after Florence made landfall. We suspect that he was in over his head and was unable to deliver what he promised her on Day 1. Based on the information she gave us, it appears that he was also unable to legally perform the scope of work since he was not a licensed NC General Contractor. Now, instead of rebuilding her home, she is faced with the hardship of finding another contractor and figuring out how to get possession of all of her belongings. Not exactly the experience she expected to have.
Don’t let this happen to you! If you require fire or water damage restoration services, you have enough time to perform basic research, even if you are in need of emergency water restoration services! Here are a few things you can do:
-Search the NC Licensing Board for General Contractors: https://nclbgc.org. Type in the company name on the home screen in the “License Name” box. If you can’t find any information on the business, that’s a red flag. (Note: You do not need a licensed contractor for emergency services or for repairs under $30,000, however, the licensing board does vet contractors annually, and a license indicates a higher caliber of professionalism and that a company has met certain financial stability requirements mandated by the state.)
-Search the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) Database (https://www.iicrc.org/search/custom.asp?id=4785) for a Certified Firm or a Master Restorer. If the contractor you’re considering doesn’t at least have the 5 basic certifications on staff (WRT, ASD, FSRT, OCT, AMRT), that’s a red flag.
-Certificates of Insurance: If a contractor can’t show you proof of General Liability, Workers Compensation and Pollution Liability insurance, that’s a red flag.
-Testimonials, Reviews, Before and After pictures. You should be able to easily find these items online. If you can’t, that’s a red flag.
Established in 1971, PHC Restoration is the oldest fire and water damage restoration company in Central North Carolina. Almost 50 years of experience means you don’t have to worry about us raising any red flags. We do one thing and we do it the best: returning properties to pre-loss condition while treating our customers with compassion and respect.