You can’t predict a water damage emergency. Whether it’s a flooded basement at home or a plumbing breakdown at your business, you’re caught off guard.
You can be prepared with a simple proactive strategy: knowing who to call before the worst happens.
Advanced planning makes it easier to address the situation right away and stop the damage from spreading.
It also gives you peace of mind. These 11 key points can help you find the best water damage business in Chicago before you need to make that emergency call.
- If you’re looking for a reputable water damage restoration contractor in Chicago, look for a locally owned business backed up by a national brand that will offer personalized customer service with access to the latest industry resources, specialized training, and advanced equipment, such as ServiceMaster of Lake Shore: 312-707-859
- Research the company’s ratings and reputation through independent review sites and personal recommendations. Verify their professional certifications, like IICRC, and ensure they comply with industry standards and regulations set by agencies like EPA, OSHA, and FEMA.
- Look for a contractor with a broad range of restoration capabilities, including emergency services, structural drying, mold remediation, and more. Confirm their experience in handling both residential and commercial water damage scenarios.
- Evaluate the company’s communication style, honesty in providing estimates, and responsiveness to questions. Consider if they offer extra services like fire damage restoration, assistance with insurance claims, and eco-friendly cleaning options.
11 Things to Consider When Hiring a Chicago Water Damage Contractor
1. Look for Local With National Backing
When you begin a search for water damage professionals, national brands often come to mind.
However, there are several advantages to hiring a locally owned water damage business.
- Company staff and technicians are members of your community.
- Their offices and facilities are nearby, and they answer their own phones.
- You enjoy personalized customer service from people who know you.
The right choice may be a locally owned company that’s backed by a national brand. It’s a business model that gives you the best of both.
- The national brand provides exclusive access to the latest industry resources.
- The local contractor’s technicians receive specialized training and certification.
- Projects are taken care of with state-of-the-art equipment, safe products, and advanced techniques.
2. Research Their Ratings and Reputation
To get a better idea of how well a business serves its customers, take a look at independent review sites.
Higher ratings are a solid indication of customer satisfaction but read negative feedback too.
How a company responds to online complaints often demonstrates its approach to resolving problems.
Check with friends and family who have recently hired a water damage contractor.
If you get several positive recommendations for one business, you know they’ve earned their solid reputation working for people you trust.
3. Explore the Restoration Company’s Website
As you fine-tune your search, visit each company’s website.
It should provide a good overview of their general process for water damage cleanup and restoration.
Look for information about how long they’ve been in business, hours of operation and availability for emergencies.
A reputable restoration company posts helpful resources, such as maps of service areas and quick contact links.
If their About Us page feels like an online introduction and friendly handshake, that’s a big plus.
4. Verify Their Certification and Coverage
A professional water damage contractor backs up his or her work with IICRC certification.
This is your assurance that company technicians and field procedures consistently meet the highest industry work standards.
Be sure to verify the current status of the company’s Illinois Contractor license, as well as its general liability insurance coverage and workers’ compensation insurance.
5. Ask About Industry Compliance
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of available water damage businesses, give each one a call.
Ask about their compliance with industry regulations and standards set by these government agencies.
- EPA – Environmental Protection Agency
- OSHA – Occupational Safety and Health Administration
- FEMA – Federal Emergency Management Agency
6. Review the Company’s Proven Experience
You want to hire a contractor with years of experience in the restoration industry.
However, it’s helpful to know what that expertise covers. Ask about the different types of projects they’ve handled.
If you manage or own a business, make sure the company offers commercial water damage services.
An experienced restoration contractor takes care of small and large jobs for residential and commercial customers.
7. Confirm Their Emergency Cleanup Capabilities
When you’re facing a water emergency at the house or your workplace, you need cleanup services right away. A professional water damage contractor stays on call 24/7.
That immediate response helps secure your property, mitigate damages and minimize your losses.
The company should also be prepared to deal with hazardous Category 3 black water contamination, including sewage backups and natural storm flooding.
8. Add Up Their Restoration Capabilities
The best water damage business handles everything, from initial cleanup to complete property restoration.
Their capabilities should include these restoration services.
- Emergency board-up and tarping
- Water damage mitigation
- Structural drying
- Flooded basement cleanup
- Leaking or burst pipe cleanup
- Content pack-out and storage
- Mold removal and remediation
9. Give Extra Credit for Extra Services
It’s always a good sign when a company can deliver more than you expect. If the final candidates on your hiring list offer these extra services, they deserve extra consideration.
- Residential and commercial fire damage restoration.
- Experienced help with fire and water damage insurance claims.
- Specialty cleaning for water-damaged furnishings, area rugs, and carpets.
- Eco-friendly Green Seal-certified cleaning services.
10. Listen for Honest Answers to Your Questions
When you speak with a water damage contractor about his or her services, ask about how the company handles job estimates, including quotes for emergency work.
An honest restoration business gives a detailed estimate in writing and an accurate schedule for job completion.
There should be no hesitation in providing straight answers to your questions. If you need clarification on something, the in-house staff explains the details. If you call back for more information, you’re greeted with a friendly response.
Listen for straightforward answers that put you at ease with the prospect of doing business with the company
11. Make Your Final Decision With Confidence
Now that you’ve completed your review of potential hires, take one last look at what you’ve learned about each one. Compare their experience handling different water damage situations.
Factor in the additional services available and how those options might work for you in the future. It should all come together so that you know you’re choosing the best company for your needs.
That confidence today will carry over and give you peace of mind when you need a water damage contractor.
Put ServiceMaster of Lake Shore on Your List of Chicago’s Best Water Damage Contractors
We know you have access to numerous water damage companies here in Chicago. We want you to put ServiceMaster of Lake Shore on your list of professional prospects.
Our teams are happy to answer your questions, outline our capabilities, and offer you the best water damage restoration services in Chicagoland.