When flooding or water damage affects your home or business, you’ll likely need the help of a water damage restoration company to bring everything back to pre-damage conditions. But, if you’ve never used one of these companies in the past, you may not be sure which one to call.

During such a stressful time, you want to know that you’ve chosen a trustworthy company to complete the restoration process – Not a company that won’t finish the job or cause even more damage to your property. Here, we’ve put together a guide to help you choose the right water damage company for your needs.

Check if the Company is Licensed and Insured

Any company that you choose for water restoration should have an Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification issued by the IICRC. To gain this certification, companies must successfully complete multiple training courses and pass an exam. This shows that the company and their technicians are properly trained in water damage restoration.

You should also check whether the company is licensed and insured to operate in your state. Most companies will clearly advertise all their licenses and certifications on their websites or materials. If a company will not provide these details or does not have them, look for a new one.

Research Reviews and Look for References

An easy way to find a trustworthy water damage contractor in your area is to simply Google “water restoration near me”. This should bring up a list of companies in your area along with their Google ratings for you to review.

Additionally, you can look to your friends and family to refer you to a company that has done work for them in the past. It always helps to provide peace of mind when using a new company that someone else has used them before and had a good experience.

Choose a Company that Provides 24/7 Response

Since water damage is such an urgent matter, reputable companies will provide 24/7 emergency services. Those experienced in water mitigation understand that time is of the essence to prevent further flood damage, mold growth, or even structural issues in your property. If a company doesn’t provide 24-hour services, you should move on in your search to one that does.

Look for Companies that Provide a Wide Range of Services

While this may seem counterintuitive, it’s best to choose a company that doesn’t just specialize in flood cleanup. This is because once they remove the water, they may not be able to perform the rest of the work needed in your home.

At the least, you should choose a company that provides water removal, inspection, drying services, cleaning & sanitizing, and mold remediation. Always choose the company that also provides mold removal services, as mold can become a serious issue after water damage, and they will know the best ways to prevent it.

Research If They Work with Insurance Companies

The best water damage companies have already existing relationships with almost all insurance companies and understand the process inside and out. Never choose a company that doesn’t work with insurance! This will force you to handle the entire process yourself, including sending all necessary paperwork, estimates, and other documentation to your insurance company in order to be reimbursed.

When you use a company that works with insurance, they can essentially handle the entire process for you once your claim is filed. This makes a confusing and stressful process much easier.

Another way to find a reputable company for flood damage is to ask your insurance company for their preferred vendor.

Make Sure the Company Provides an Inspection Before Major Work

While you may not get someone to inspect your water damage at 2 AM, any trustworthy company should perform a detailed inspection before doing anything more than emergency services. Major work, such as removing walls, floors, ceilings, or cabinets should be carefully planned to ensure a proper restoration process. Inspections are also needed before major work is performed to ensure that your insurance company approves it. If you use a company that doesn’t follow this process, you can end up with a large bill that insurance won’t cover.

Hiring the right water mitigation company for your needs can be stressful, especially when you want to get the process started as soon as possible. But, if you follow the tips outlines here, you should end up hiring a reputable company that can return your home to pre-damage conditions as soon as possible.