Water damage in Phoenix? Only use certified specialists!
The restoration industry is not as well regulated as you might hope. While there is an international agency that provides training to certify water damage specialists, insurance companies do not require you to use a certified contractor. If you have water damage in Phoenix, your insurance agent may even refer you to an unlicensed company (with no bond or coverage, which is important in the event that they make any mistakes while assessing and repairing your home or business).
We hear about tragic cases week after week and year after year. For instance, one woman in Phoenix hired a company in mid-2016 to install a brand new dishwasher in her kitchen. However, the dishwasher itself was either installed wrong or was faulty, so after some extensive water damage as well as mold damage, the manufacturer and the installer both withdrew (hoping to avoid liability and lawsuits). By the way, the installer was from a major nationwide hardware store.
Eventually, after six months with no working kitchen (plus a serious mold problem that kept her sick the whole time), she did get paid a modest settlement (on the condition that she does not name that major nationwide hardware store). We’ll tell more of that story another time. For now, here are two older examples:
Other company did “a half way job” (plus littered the yard with cigarettes)
On a spring morning, this homeowner near Phoenix was getting ready for the day and then went to the kitchen for breakfast. That is when she noticed something very unusual:
“My kitchen was underwater…. So I called insurance and they told me that I needed to have a guy come out and see if it would even be worth the claim… because of my deductible.
So I called a company… that I just got out of the yellow pages on google. They came out… and they were here for a couple hours. When they left, they left cigarette butts all over my front yard…. They also scratched up the back of my couch (because they kept hitting it with the flooring that they were carrying out the front door).
I was not super impressed with them. They were like a bunch of college boys… (kind of on the party side!)”
She went to say that they did a “half way job” (which actually might be rather generous of her). Specifically, they did not remove all the moisture so there was a potential issue with mold and rot. Also, they miscategorized the water leak in two ways, including completely neglecting to find out if the water that leaked was just regular tap water or water that had strong industrial chemicals in it. In fact, the leaked water was contaminated with industrial chemicals, which significantly changed the nature of the water damage (and the insurance claim for the water damage repairs).
Other company did “rushed job” (which led to an electrical short and more costs)
“We had an emergency with water leaking down through the ceiling from our washing machine on the second floor. We called our insurance agent, who recommended a restoration company that I soon learned was not insured or properly licensed for the work we needed. The agent had never checked on that and was just as surprised as my wife and I were!
Not only did that other Phoenix restoration company do a rushed job with fixing the leak, but they failed to remove all the moisture (although they inaccurately told us that it was totally dry, which could have led to an enormous mold problem). To top it off, they billed for thousands of dollars of work beyond what they actually did!
That first restoration company did incomplete work. Fortunately, I found out about Dane’s restoration company fast and he was able to take good care of us.
When I told Dane about my situation, he helped get my insurance to approve some major costs from an electrical malfunction that happened weeks later [which was due to the negligence of the first restoration company]. He quickly provided everything we needed: detecting the remaining moisture in the dry wall, drying it all out to prevent mold, replacing all the damaged carpet, and repairing all the other water damage, plus helping us get the most out of our insurance coverage. Overall, I was very pleasantly surprised and seriously impressed by the quality of service that Dane provides.”
This article is part of a series on why it is essential to choose the right restoration company. The other articles in the series focus on the importance of using a restoration company that will be an informed, committed ally when it comes to dealing with coverage from insurance (as well as warranties) and, also, that will be honest and respectful with you.