According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), fire departments respond to home fires roughly every 93 seconds, making fires one of the most common hazards that homeowners face. Recovering from a home fire can be expensive. HomeAdvisor estimates that the average cost of restoring a home after a fire is $15,547, although in some cases, it can reach well into six figures.
When you are trying to get your life back after a home fire, one of the most important steps you can take is to find a fire and smoke restoration contractor you can trust. The best way to sort through all of the companies in your area is to know which questions to ask. These questions will give you the information you need to choose the best contractor for the job.
1) Are You Licensed, Insured, and Certified for Fire and Smoke Damage Repair?
While it might seem like all companies should be licensed and certified, the fact is that not all contractors have the necessary qualifications to perform fire and smoke damage repair. This work requires technicians to be trained in many different areas, including water damage, mold remediation, and ways to deal with dangerous airborne chemicals that result from home fires.
When you are looking for a fire restoration company, make sure that any company you choose has been licensed by the state and is certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC). In addition, your fire restoration contractor should be insured and bonded to protect you if something goes wrong with the repair.
2) How Much Experience Do You Have with Fire and Smoke Restoration?
The more experience a fire and smoke restoration company has, the more likely it will be that they can help you get through the restoration process with minimal stress. Experienced contractors can recognize problems more quickly than new, untested technicians, especially when those problems may not be immediately visible.
Experienced restoration contractors will be able to give you more accurate estimates on repair costs. They will also be able to handle repairs faster than newer, less experienced companies. While you may still get good service from a new contractor, there is no substitute for experience.
3) Will You Work with My Insurance Company?
One of the most important parts of restoring your home after a fire is working with your insurance company. While you should contact your home insurance company soon after a home fire to get the claims process started, you should look for a fire and smoke damage repair company that will work with the insurance company.
Home insurance is intended to bring your home back to the condition it was in before the fire. To make sure you get the money you deserve from your insurance payout, your fire restoration company should work with the insurance company to cover expenses so that you only have to pay the deductible. They will negotiate prices. If you decide to include any upgrades in the rebuild, they will make sure that you only pay the difference in cost.
4) How Long Will the Restoration Take?
Fire restoration can be a complicated, time-consuming process, as many different aspects need to be addressed. From water damage to indoor air quality, fire and smoke damage repair requires technicians to be careful and thorough to ensure the quality of their work.
With that being said, a reputable contractor should be able to give you a reasonable estimate as to how long you can expect the work to take. If a contractor cannot give you a time frame and insists on leaving the project open-ended, it is a good sign that you should look for someone else.
5) Can You Provide References from Other Customers?
Even if a fire and smoke damage restoration contractor can answer all of your other questions, it is still important to look at other customers’ experiences with the company. Reviews are readily available online, either through the company’s website or third-party services like Yelp or Google. These reviews give you a quick insight into the quality of a contractor’s work and how they treat their customers.
Get references from past customers too. Many companies will connect you with previous customers, who can tell you about their experience with the contractor. If a company will not provide references, they may not have a positive history with their past clients.
Interested in Learning How Fire and Smoke Damage Repair Works?
If you are searching for a company to repair fire and smoke damage in your home, request rapid response service from R2 Fire & Water today!