Emergency Restoration 101

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Emergency Restoration 101

Emergency Restoration 101

emergency restoration

“Emergencies never seem to happen at a good time,” as the pithy saying goes. While this is true, having the right emergency response plan and emergency restoration services can mean the difference between an inconvenience and a tragedy. Events such as floods, fires, mold outbreaks, tornados, and more all happen regardless of where we live. When they do happen, hiring the right professionals with the right specialized knowledge can help you effectively manage these emergencies. In this article, we’ll take a look at what emergency restoration is and how the abilities of these professionals coalesce to help resolve damage quickly and efficiently.

What is Emergency Restoration?

Emergency restoration aims to provide efficient and immediate relief from the impacts of different disasters. These services play a crucial role in helping individuals and businesses recover from disasters, whether the losses are physical, emotional, or financial. Their prompt response helps minimize damage and prevent further harm to properties, aiming to restore them to their original state. By offering quick support during challenging times, these services work to help people rebuild their lives swiftly. If your property is impacted by a disaster, emergency restoration services provide comprehensive assistance including assessment, clean-up, reconstruction, and restoration. 

Goals of Restoration Services

Emergency restoration services help individuals quickly return to their daily lives with minimal stress and discomfort after a disaster. They work to minimize the extent of damage by taking immediate action to prevent further harm, ensuring affected properties remain safe. By addressing issues promptly, they prevent secondary damage such as mold growth or water damage. Their goal is to restore properties to their pre-disaster condition by repairing or replacing damaged components and fixtures. Additionally, these services provide emotional support to those affected, guiding them through trauma and stress while offering the necessary assistance for recovery.

Common Types of Damages Handled

There are several different types of damage that can occur with different properties and many of them often show up at the same time. For example, fire damage is often accompanied by water damage because of the water used to extinguish the fires. If this is not addressed in a timely manner, the water damage can quickly lead to mold and mildew damage which creates a hazardous living environment. Similarly, floods are rarely just limited to water damage; these types of emergencies frequently require some aspect of mold remediation. Each type of damage has its own unique challenges that come with remediation and your emergency restoration professionals can help you determine the steps to take after a disaster strikes.

The Process of Restoration After Water

Handling major water damage is not the time for DIY efforts; professional restoration is required to ensure the process is done correctly and to prevent unhealthy or unsafe living or working conditions. Here’s how professionals manage it:

Water Extraction: Quick removal of water is crucial to prevent further damage and maintain a healthy environment. Restoration contractors use powerful pumps to remove standing water from areas like flooded basements. Industrial wet/dry vacuums can extract water from carpeting and padding, often eliminating the need for removal or replacement.

Dehumidifying: High humidity in a flooded home can damage areas untouched by water. Restoration professionals use powerful vent fans and dehumidifiers to remove water vapor and prevent secondary damage.

Disinfection: When water damage is caused by outdoor flooding or a sewer backup, disinfection is necessary to ensure the home is safe and healthy for occupancy.

Removal of Saturated Materials: Water-damaged materials such as drywall, ceiling panels, and insulation are removed and replaced. Electrical systems and HVAC equipment must also be inspected and cleared for safety.

The Process of Restoration After Fire and Smoke

Fire damage remediation involves a range of tasks from soot removal and neutralizing smoke odor to extensive reconstruction, depending on the severity of the damage.

Assessment and Evaluation: Fire restoration experts begin by compiling an inventory of the primary fire and smoke damage. They test the air and surfaces to gauge the extent of the damage, then develop a restoration plan.

Boarding Up and Roof Tarping: To protect the building from weather elements, restoration crews board up broken windows or doors and tarp damaged roofs temporarily, preventing further damage.

Water Removal: The water used to extinguish the fire can cause significant damage. Restoration includes extracting this water and ventilating the premises to accelerate drying. See the above section about water damage remediation for more information.

Soot and Smoke Odor Removal: Soot contains corrosive elements that can permanently damage or discolor materials. Restoration contractors use specialized equipment and chemicals to remove soot from walls, ceilings, and other surfaces. Air scrubbers and foggers neutralize lingering smoke odors, ensuring clean, breathable air.

Structural Restoration: This involves removing and replacing fire-damaged elements, ranging from building materials and carpets to paint and other finishes. In many cases, extensive structural reconstruction may be necessary.

Best Practices in Emergency Restoration

The best practices in any restoration situation will be entirely dependent on several different variables. However, as a general rule, the first step will be to “stem the bleeding” and take care of the immediate threat as quickly as possible. This will ultimately look different with fire restoration projects versus water damage restoration projects. After this has been addressed, removal of the damaged material is the next step. Removing the damaged material will essentially finish the “clean-up” stage of the restoration process and leave the property in a state where it’s ready for construction teams to rebuild.

Rapid Response Strategies

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to reactive restoration after damage has occurred. However, there is a proactive approach that can be applied to any property–both residential and commercial. One of the best things that any property owner or manager can do is implement an emergency response plan or a disaster preparedness plan. An emergency response plan helps property owners and managers make a proactive plan to address any restoration emergencies that might arise. This ultimately will help reduce the amount of time required to restore a property to full working condition and will help the restoration company get up to speed as quickly as possible. We recommend working with restoration companies that use these proactive emergency response plans since it demonstrates their commitment to excellence. 

Navigating Insurance Claims

A restoration contractor will be well-versed in handling insurance claims. Their expertise allows them to inform you about what your insurance is likely to cover and what costs you may need to pay out-of-pocket. Proper documentation of damaged items is crucial for insurance coverage, and professional contractors excel in this area, often having extensive experience with various scenarios and working closely with insurance carriers.

Fully bonded restoration contractors are knowledgeable about billing and collaborate with insurance companies to expedite reimbursements. Understanding that time is money and the process can be stressful, these contractors aim to restore your home, office, and quality of life as quickly as possible.

Ensuring Health and Safety

Finally, health and safety must be considered from the very start through the end of the project. One of the most concerning “hidden vices” that can appear is mold, especially black mold, which can damage one’s health. The right restoration company will be able to determine when the property can be inhabited or used for work again. Outside of mold, fire and smoke damage can also cause health issues due to the volatile particles and ash that will be in the air even after the fire is extinguished. The restoration companies in cooperation with the right regulatory and insurance officials will make the call as to when the property can be used again.


Restoration services are the kinds of companies that you hope you never need but are glad they exist when the need does arise. With their specialized knowledge and advanced equipment, these professionals can quickly address various types of damage, from water and fire to mold and smoke. By working closely with insurance companies and following best practices, they help property owners navigate the complexities of restoration and claims processes. In addition to working with a qualified restoration company, we highly recommend using an emergency restoration plan or a disaster preparedness plan like the ones that Restoration ERP offers. This software helps property managers have a proactive plan in place for any eventuality that may require restoration services. This minimal investment can pay off in spades by reducing the amount of time required to bring a property back to full working order. For more information about Restoration ERP or to see a full demonstration of the software, get in touch with our customer success team today.