Don't get scammed by a
"storm chaser"

Selecting the right professional restoration company is critical after any water emergency. However, in the wake of an active hurricane season, it is even more important to be careful in the selection process. Hiring an unqualified restoration company could result in serious issues, higher costs, poor-quality and possibly unfinished work. The fall of 2017 experienced several devastating storms that have caused severe weather damage. As a result, there has been an influx of "storm chaser" restoration and repair services in the affected areas. 

To ensure your home or business is restored by a trustworthy and reliable company after devastating flood damage, the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restorations Certification (IICRC) has compiled a list of key characteristics to help identify "storm chasers."


Too-Good-To-Be-True Prices

Often dubious restoration companies will offer low prices to grab your attention, but, be wary of surprise costs that will hurt your wallet. Never let the price of the repairs be the sole criterion for choosing a restoration firm. 


Requesting Upfront Cash Payment

While it can be a regular practice to deposit up to one-third of the estimated price on the day repairs begin, avoid paying in cash or more than the expected payment. Pay by check or credit card, and pay the final amount only after the work is finished and you are happy with the quality of the repairs. 


A Lack of References

References are easy to check and can help you quickly identify if the company is legitimate and provides good service. Research the company online and check feedback on user-review sites such as Angie's List or Yelp, or ask friends or business contacts if they have had any experience with the firm. 


High-Pressure Tactics

Often, a "storm chaser" will arrive uninvited to your door peddling their services. If the contractor is using high-pressure sales tactics, it is best to turn them away politely and shut the door. Technicians should be courteous, thoroughly explain the scope of work and answer all questions. You should never feel pressure to accept their services.


Lack of Training

Professional cleaning and restoration firms require management and employees to engage in the formal training in a variety of cleaning and restoration disciplines, and these educational efforts will be ongoing. Inquire about the formal training and certifications of technicians who will be working in your home or business. Look for organizations like the IICRC to ensure the work is done correctly. 


Inability to Show Credentials

Never hesitate to ask for the proof. Ask to see the individual's certification card, business license and insurance certificate. To verify a company, you can contact the IICRC which is a not-for-profit standards-setting and credentialing body for the inspection, cleaning and restoration industry. Call the IICRC at 844-464-4272 to confirm the certification of any company that contacts you or locate a qualified cleaning and restoration firm online in your area. 


Additional Information

  • Immediately after a storm, a home or business owner should contact their insurance provider for a storm damage assessment by an adjuster. Or call 1-800-STEEMER for any water emergency, big or small. Learn more at Stanley Steemer 24 Hour Water Restoration Services .
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