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How to Hire Fire Damage Restoration Companies: What You Need to Know

In the United States, approximately 358,500 homes have a structural fire each year, and it takes just 30 seconds for a small fire to become a major fire. The most common causes of house fires include heating equipment, electrical malfunctions, and cooking.

The fact is a fire can happen in an instant and change your entire life. As overwhelming as it is, you still have to understand your options when it comes to fire damage restoration. Learning how to hire fire damage restoration companies is a critical part of this process.

Once you understand what to look for, you’ll feel much less stressed and overwhelmed. Keep reading this guide to learn how to hire a fire restoration company for your home.

Do Research and Read Online Reviews

Your first step is to do thorough research to find reputable fire damage companies. Reading online reviews is one of the best ways to do this. Make a list of the top 3 to 5 companies in your area and read through the Google reviews.

Focus on how the company responds to negative and positive reviews.

It’s also wise to check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for reviews, ratings, and complaints.

Don’t forget to visit the websites of the companies you’re considering. You can get a better idea of their services and read customer testimonials. Additionally, many fire restoration companies will have online galleries or portfolios that show past work.

Check out this page for fire damage restoration to get a good idea of what a reputable company looks like.

Ask About Experience

Ideally, you’ll want to find a company that’s an established business with plenty of fire damage restoration experience.

They should have experience with many residential homes and the skills to minimize smoke and fire damage. To do this, they’ll need expertise in assessing fire damage and developing a plan quickly.

Repairing fire damage is an extensive process. These companies must remove soot, smoke residue, and odors and repair water damage. Many homes have significant water damage from the hoses extinguishing the fire.

Lastly, make sure the company you hire has the ability to find hidden damage and make quick repairs.

Check Licenses and Certifications

After checking for experience, you must ensure the restoration company you hire has the proper licenses and certifications.

Most fire damage restoration companies must have a general contractor’s license. This license is a requirement in many states if a company is taking on a construction project.

The rules for general contractor licenses vary for each state, so you’ll need to research your state’s requirements. In most cases, obtaining a contractor’s license requires experience, background checks, and passing a comprehensive knowledge exam.

You should also check for the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). Technicians with a Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration Certification complete the necessary training and education to perform professional restorations.

Check Insurance Coverage

Not only does the company need to have the proper licenses, but they also need insurance coverage. A fire restoration company should have two main types of insurance.

First, general liability insurance provides financial and legal protection if someone is hurt during the restoration work. This means if a worker is injured on your property, it won’t become your responsibility.

You should also check for workers’ compensation. This insurance provides wage replacement and medical care for workers injured on the job. Workers’ compensation is required in most states and is a sign that you’re working with a reputable company.

Compare Costs

Comparing damage restoration costs from at least three companies is necessary. Restoring a home after fire damage takes time. On top of that, the amount of damage can vary widely, affecting costs.

Comparing costs will help you narrow down your options for restoration companies and get a good idea of the average costs in your area.

You might be able to fix the damage for as low as $500, but in most cases, you’ll pay up to $1,200 for each room. This also depends on what other services you need, such as smoke, soot, and water restoration.

You’re also looking at the initial fire damage evaluation. This is an inspection that will determine the amount of fire damage you have. Since fire and smoke damage can compromise your home’s structure, you’ll need a company to make the area safe immediately.

In addition, sanitizing, cleaning, and restoration will need to occur. Make sure that the price quote you get covers all these services.

Remember that insurance should cover these costs, but this varies depending on your policy. You will be responsible for covering damages your insurance doesn’t pay for.

Fire restoration technicians should work with your insurance company to determine the total cost.

Check Availability

Unexpected emergencies can occur at any time. When a fire breaks out in the middle of the night or on the weekend, you can’t wait until business hours to get help.

Therefore, you need a fire restoration company that offers 24/7 emergency services and is available immediately to help.

At the very least, the company you choose should be able to come to your home immediately to begin the inspection process.

It’s essential to have this done as soon as possible. You can have more smoke, soot, and water damage if you don’t.

Be sure to ask about availability and check if the fire restoration company has the necessary staff to handle the problem.

Ask About Other Services

Finally, finding a company that can take care of everything you need after the fire is best.

Fire damage and water damage restoration are the primary services you should look for.

However, fire damage can result from different events, like storms. Storms can also cause roof damage and other damage to your home.

You should also look for other services like:

  • Siding
  • Gutters
  • Roof inspections
  • Roof replacements

Finding a company that can handle all these issues is much easier. This way, you won’t have to worry about hiring multiple companies.

Learning How to Hire Fire Damage Restoration Companies

Now that you know how to hire fire damage restoration companies, you’ll be able to find a reputable company to repair your home.

Regardless of the cause of the fire, an experienced company will respond quickly and restore your home back to normal. Don’t forget to take this process one day at a time so you don’t feel too overwhelmed.

To learn more home improvement tips, make sure to read the rest of our blog articles today!