You've probably heard it many times before while looking for a cleaning or restoration company: "we are IICRC certified". While the average consumer may find comfort in this phrase, what exactly does being IICRC certified mean? Does it contribute to the safety of your home or the efficiency of the work being done when you have a flooded room? Let's delve a bit deeper into the myriad aspects that being certified entails to find out exactly what value it brings to the table.
IICRC stands for the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. Unlike many other industries, the water damage business is not strictly regulated by the federal government. This is both good and bad in some ways; while it allows smaller, family-owned companies to get their foot in the door, the lack of regulation also makes it possible for shady operators to do a poor job at their clients' expense. When a restoration contractor is lower-quality, it's usually impossible to tell until it's far too late when the fans and dehumidifiers are set up in your home.
Originally established in 1972, the IICRC was first set up to regulate the quality of work performed by carpet and upholstery cleaners. Nowadays, it embodies all types of cleaning and restoration and is comprised of over 50,000 active certified technicians and over 6,000 certified firms worldwide. The IICRC offers multiple training courses and seminars which are required to be taken yearly by all certified technicians in order to maintain their status.
The courses offered at the IICRC cover a broad range of topics, ranging from technical aspects -- such as how to extract water, studying the properties of moist air, optimal usage of equipment -- to the wider aspects of the restoration business. Since there are many parts of a home that are interconnected, having a greater understanding of carpets, flooring and drywall is absolutely essential to understanding the most efficient ways to restore a flooded room in the most efficient way possible.
Let's say you experience a flooded room due to a burst pipe and need someone out to your home immediately, and the first choices you come up with are a local company that isn't IICRC certified and another one that's farther out but is certified. The other company seems less appealing: not only would they take longer to come out, but would charge for trip fees and extra time spent. You hire the local company to come out instead, and within an hour they are set up at your home with dryers filling your room.
But as the days pass, you notice that the water isn't fully dried yet. A musty smell starts developing in your house and you wonder if mold has started growing. Some of the carpet still looks wet, and other parts of the room appear dried but still have fans set up. The company you hired starts dragging their feet and when you ask them questions about what's going on, they don't sound very confident on the phone. After a few more days, you realize that the task of getting your insurance claim paid out has fallen square on your shoulders and that your home is still not dried yet.
This is one of the worst-case scenarios that can occur but when it comes to an uncertified company, is very much possible. Of course, working with an IICRC-certified water damage company is no guarantee of good customer service but due to the time and financial investment required to go through the training, the chances of the company being not only reputable but dedicated to client satisfaction is exponentially higher. Since the certification abides by the strictest guidelines, only companies interested in their long term success will take the time out to go through with them. This is the kind of dedication you would be looking for as a client; a little investigation and extra money can go a long way in saving you time and money when disaster strikes.
Of course, no one is under any obligation to go through a certified company, and in some rare cases where the damage is smaller, it may not seem worthwhile to do so. For example, a toilet tank overflow may only affect a small portion of your room, and since it's the tank and not the bowl, the water involved is clean and non-contaminated. Would an IICRC-certified company be in your better interests? Yes, always. Would it be strictly necessary? Not always. If a company that isn't certified but has a good reputation can get the job done for cheaper and less time, then they may just be the right people for the task. Just be aware of all the points mentioned earlier, as well as the risks involved. Be sure to ask questions and if the answers you receive aren't satisfactory, then perhaps it may be a better idea to go certified after all.
Superior Restoration is one of the few fully IICRC-certified Temecula water damage companies in the Inland Empire. With over 15 years of experience in the cleaning and restoration business, Superior has an excellent reputation for high quality of work and second-to-none customer service. Superior provides complete restoration work from the initial dryout, to negotiation with the insurance companies so that clients are fully taken care of from start to finish with the least amount of hassle and headache. Contact Superior anytime at 909-708-1380.