Wolgast Restoration Blog Page

Disaster Response Planning: 4 Ways to Save Time & Money during Property Disaster

Posted by Cory Sursely on Mon, Sep 24, 2018 @ 11:07 AM

DRPFoxGlenAptsPlanning for a disaster is the best way to get through the mayhem faster.  However, how does a property owner or manager fully prepare their building for all types of disasters?  It can feel like a never ending and expensive task when you try to ward off a storm, flood, fire, vehicle impact, etc. without proper direction.  And rather than attempting to avoid all disasters, we recommend that the solution is a Disaster Response Plan (DRP) organized by a professional restoration company.  This plan will contain all the information needed to quickly react in an unforeseen incident involving damage to your properties.  Each DRP partnership is customized to a client’s specific business needs and building structure.

To provide more detail, a DRP is a record of documents that include all pertinent information about a building or campus that a restoration contractor would need to quickly mobilize appropriate equipment, along with the contact information for responsible parties of building functions.  This type of plan is highly beneficial for large, public buildings or entities responsible for multiple buildings, such as school districts, multi-family housing, or hotels for example, which can have a variety of risks to their separate structures.  Having a DRP on hand can lead to loss prevention, reduce the size of the loss, a quicker response time, and a faster restoration process. 

Loss Prevention: Identifying potential hazards that can preemptively be changed before disaster happens.

Reduce Loss Size: Knowledge of structures layouts and utility shut-offs once on site can minimize issues.

Response Time: Business owner or manager can make a quick call to their restoration partner and they are also placed on our priority list.

Faster Restoration Process: The partnership that happens in a DRP relationship authorizes us to start our process with the insurance company instantly and prior knowledge of the building allows us to be prepared as we come on site.  This can result in months of time savings in your business and building restoration.

For instance, if a pipe bursts in the middle of the night, your restoration contractor can mobilize and bring the right equipment or materials and contact the plumber before they even show up to your building, rather than getting there and assessing the situation and then taking action.

Working with Wolgast Restoration to develop your DRP means that we will already have knowledge of your facility in the event of an emergency and can react quickly to minimize the damage earlier and in turn save you time in the restoration process and lessen your business interruption.  If you have further questions or would like to set up an appointment to learn more about a partnership, please contact, Jeremy Wagner - Wolgast Restoration General Manager at 989-781-0173.

Topics: disaster plan, Restoration Contractor, prevention, restoration from start to finish

How to Meet Expectations of Property Insurance Customers after a Disaster

Posted by Cory Sursely on Wed, May 30, 2018 @ 03:09 PM

The Restoration Contractor’s Role in a Dynamic Team

RestorationWorkA Property Restoration Contractor is in a unique position with diverse clients and multiple customers on each of their projects.  It’s the restoration contractor’s responsibility to find the best solutions that both the policy holder and the insurance adjuster can agree upon.

Wolgast Restoration, a systemized company, feels they have found a solid program to be a solution provider to this dynamic team.  Their systems have been developed to include the steps for best case outcomes and case studies they’ve accumulated through their own past experiences.  The system dictates the steps they take on each unique project, which helps the process run smoothly, communication stay open, and expectations be met.

Should expectations not be met, it can sour the relationship for most or all parties.  And there are expectations throughout, first from the initial meeting of the policy holder, which is typically a highly upsetting time for the policy holder as they’ve just experienced a loss and are facing many unknowns.  As part of Wolgast’s process, staff members are trained on how to handle sensitive situations.  When there is a large project to tackle, sometimes it’s easy to jump into action without realizing that the policy holder’s world seems to be in shambles.  Having Wolgast’s team members address the direness of the clients situation helps to start the project with trust that they’ll be taken care of.

Other expectations to be met are the scope of work, what will be covered, and what the restored property will look like when it’s finished.  Wolgast addresses this by using Xactimate software and following IICRC guidelines.  A Restoration Contractor can easily set expectations for the cost of the restoration by using Xactimate estimating software as it’s the same software/pricing that the adjuster uses for their estimate.  This takes out the guessing game early in the process.  The contractor and adjuster only have to agree on the scope of work at this point, and the methods of restoration are dictated by the standards of IICRC, also well known throughout the industry.

Finally, in the unfortunate case of a total loss, say due to a fire, Wolgast Restoration is part of a team of licensed Michigan Builders that have been in business for 70 years, which includes a licensed architect on staff.  This is an advantage that Wolgast Restoration brings to the table.  A team of this caliber with the knowledge of the insurance industry standards, language, pricing, and policies; plus a skilled construction workforce and architect will complete your restoration quickly, efficiently, and with expected outcomes.

Lastly, Wolgast has established good ratings with all Third Party Administrators with which they work.  The TPAs appreciate our professional and systemized approach to insurance restoration.  Wolgast works hard to maintain their scores with these TPAs and will do the same for insurance adjusters, agents and their customers, so all parties can maintain their respective clients.

Topics: customer service, Restoration Contractor

Being What Agents and Adjusters Seek in a Restoration Company

Posted by Cory Sursely on Mon, Jan 08, 2018 @ 09:06 AM

RestorationEquipment2.gifI have searched online to see what industry professionals recommend for restoration companies (RCs) to gain more referrals from insurance agents and adjusters and have learned some interesting and quite varied tips.  All seemed to agree, though, that customer retention and relationships were the most important contributing factors to choosing an RC.  We have to agree that retention and relationships are most important, too!  We would add that trust, great workmanship, and promises met are the means to achieve both these qualities. 

We want to have good relationships with agents and adjusters throughout Michigan and feel that we can develop connections and gain trust through our proven track record.  Currently, we participate with six Third Party Administrator (TPA) programs.  We’ve consistently met strict guidelines to stay active within their programs, which are in place to keep their insured happy and a customer of their respective insurance carrier.  In essence that is our role as RC, do a thorough and satisfactory job for the insured for a reasonable price, so all parties are happy.

Specifically, the TPAs grade us on our customer service, response times, documentation, workmanship, and process times.  Things that would be important to all agents, adjusters and insureds.  We would maintain high-level performance in each of these areas for you with retention as the goal.

Wolgast Corporation has been rebuilding and restoring buildings that have been damaged by mayhem for 70 years!  Our Restoration Division may be newer, but we have seasoned restoration professionals, credentials, experience, equipment, and two locations (Saginaw & Kalamazoo) to perform large and small emergency clean up, mitigation, and reconstruction services.

We want to develop a relationship with you beyond a preferred vendors list, so that you’ll know and be comfortable with our full range of services and background.  We strive and are amenable to be what all agents and adjusters look for in a restoration company.  Call to set up an interview/meeting.  We will perform to make you look good and keep your insured a client of your company.

www.wolgastrestoration.com | 855-WOLGAST (24 Hour Emergency Hotline)

 

Topics: Restoration Contractor, Wolgast Restoration

Benefits Adjusters Gain Working with a Professional Independent Restoration Firm

Posted by Cory Sursely on Wed, Oct 11, 2017 @ 10:40 AM

Equipment.jpgThe insurance restoration industry is filled with franchised, nationwide companies.  They have come with an established name and a network of connections.  However, based on our experience as a general contractor reconstructing structures after they were damaged, we saw there were areas for time savings to get our clients in their buildings or homes faster.  Being independent gives us more flexibility to tailor our service to each unique situation.  Furthermore, being systemized, employee-owned, and having an experienced construction crew on our team, we provide many benefits to quickly mitigate, clean, and restore your property following a disaster, getting our mutual clients in their building faster and the restoration project closed earlier.

As we started planning for our restoration division, we had to face the barriers associated with being a start-up and an independent contractor.  However, we had many things already going for us to enter into the industry and enough exposure through our previous reconstruction projects to know how we’d like to change things in our market to set us apart from our competitors.  First off, we were already a systemized company and could apply the same planning to create a seamless flow from our restoration services to our construction services and streamline the process, making it quicker for residential or business owners to get back into their home or building. 

Also, we are an employee-owned company which leads to many advantages for attracting quality staff and also to provide an elevated level of customer service.  Our employee ownership program makes each staff member vested in the success of the project, so they will make you look good in the eyes of our mutual customer.  We have 130 staff members, giving us the ability to do much of our work in house, and to accommodate large loss projects easily.  Additionally, being paired with a construction company gives us ready access to back hoes and two-ton dump trucks which can make work move along quicker.

Additionally, we had the flexibility to add services that aren’t common among many restoration companies.  Those include content cleaning, storage, and re-construction.  We have two storage warehouses to take on multiple content storage projects, if needed, and our construction division has almost 70 years of experience in commercial and residential buildings, with the ability to design and rebuild damaged structures.  Over the past 69 years, Wolgast has done its fair share of reconstruction after a fire, vehicle impact, or flooding.  We could see that there were delays that prevented us from starting our work as we waited for paperwork to be filed and the project to be handed to us to start construction, based on an additional company being introduced to the mix.  Now, by being on the same team, communication with the insurance company can take place earlier, plans can be drawn, materials can be ordered, contractors reserved, and the process can run more smoothly to get our customers in their building quicker.

We are interested in being added to your approved vendors list.  Please contact us for information, 888-WOLGAST.  This is also our 24-Hour hotline for emergency calls, should your client need our services in an emergency.

 

Topics: Restoration Contractor, Contents Restoration, customer service, employee-owned

How to Solve Your Biggest Problems with Property Content Recovery

Posted by Cory Sursely on Mon, Jul 24, 2017 @ 02:58 PM

Outsourcing Content Recovery and Processing

ContentCleaningArea.jpgIn many property restoration situations, content restoring is one of the critical parts of the process.  However, not every restoration company or general contractor offers it as a service.  Most include mitigation, board-ups, and cleaning, or alternatively just reconstruction, which are also critical parts.  For those companies that don’t offer the content processing service, they can outsource it to companies like Wolgast Restoration to remove the items, clean and deodorize them, and store them via an inventory system in a large, climate controlled, secure and dry location.

Baseball-Fire.jpgOftentimes, the bulk of the heartache of a disaster isn’t the loss of the structure, but more so the loss of keepsakes and other valuable items.  Using a content processing crew that is trained by IICRC can help to clean and deodorize a wide range of items that may otherwise be mistaken as ruined.  We surprise our clients quite often with the rare items that we can restore to pre-disaster condition.   For instance, one of our customers had an antler mount on a cream colored base that was stained with smoke and soot and thought to be a total loss, but through our IICRC training and equipment, we were able to restore the base and the antlers to their pre-disaster condition, much to the client’s surpriseAdditionally, we were able to salvage a large part of a different customer’s massive baseball collection after a fire in his home.  He not only had over 200,000 baseball cards, but also newspaper clippings, books and other valuable memorabilia.  Needless-to-say, the customer was concerned about the inventory and keeping track of the items that were most valuable, regardless of salvaging or not.  We were able to assess everything, salvage a large portion and satisfactorily establish his comfort with our system to keep his collection intact for his review. 

Content-Storage-Area.jpgIn addition to sanitizing, we keep inventory of all items in our care.  We use a barcode tracking system to inventory and process contents, so at any time during our care, we know what items have been cleaned, what items still need to be cleaned, and where an item is in our warehouse (which vault).  Additionally, we have adequate storage/vaults to take on a loss of any size and we carefully pack-up all items for storage then keep them secure until it’s time to return to their owner.

Adjusters, restoration companies, general contractors or building owners can contact us at 855-WOLGAST, for our content processing services.  We can also be contacted at that same number 24-hours a day to provide restoration services, mitigation through reconstruction, if necessary.

Topics: Contents Restoration, Restoration Contractor

Why Full Service Capabilities Are Beneficial to Insurance Adjusters

Posted by Cory Sursely on Mon, Jul 10, 2017 @ 10:36 AM

RestorationKitchen.jpgMost often, home or business owners look to their insurance adjusters for direction in the event of a fire, flood, storm or vehicle impact emergency.  They want to know who should they call immediately, and then who should they call to clean-up the mayhem, and finally who can reconstruct the damage back to pre-disaster status? And understandably, they want each stage handled quickly.

That could be three or more different restoration companies to vet, enter into a contract with, and coordinate schedules.  It makes sense that one phone call to an established company that can handle all aspects of the disaster would be more efficient and a smoother process to complete the restoration from start to finish and will improve customer satisfaction.  Wolgast Restoration has the full-service ability, credentials, equipment and expertise to accomplish a complete restoration from emergency to mitigation through reconstruction.  When engaging us at the start of a disaster, we’ll be well informed and can establish the trust of the insurance client to move through restoration with fewer setbacks.

Insurance customers would not have to be introduced to a new company at each step of the restoring process and Wolgast will help guide them while keeping the insurance adjuster informed.  Our Restoration Division is fully trained and has the credentials for Water Restoration, Applied Structural Drying, Content Storage, Advanced Microbial Remediation, Fire & Smoke Restoration, Commercial Drying, Carpet Cleaning, and Odor Control.  Furthermore, Restoration’s parent company, Wolgast Corporation, is a general contractor who has served commercial and residential building owners throughout Michigan for the past 69 years.  The construction aspect of the restoration will be handled by the experts to provide the best quality product.

If one-stop shopping could make restoration more efficient for your clients and in turn for you, please contact us for more information or to add us to your approved restoration company list.

24 HOUR HOTLINE: (855) 965-4278

Topics: Restoration Contractor

4 Helpful Tips for Choosing a Restoration Contractor

Posted by Rich Droste on Fri, Jul 11, 2014 @ 09:49 AM

Helpful Restoration TipsExperiencing property loss due to a flood, fire or other disaster can be a very stressful and confusing event for the building owner. For that reason alone, it is very important that you choose a qualified restoration contractor who can answer any questions you have about the restoration process, to help alleviate your concerns. The project manager should listen closely to you and offer an open line of communication to guide you through the entire restoration process, without making you feel uncomfortable. This will ensure the project runs smoothly and gets completed on time, and to your satisfaction.

Certified restoration contractors are required to meet a strict set of standards, dictated by insurance companies and industry organizations to restore property to its pre-loss condition. If a restoration project is done improperly, it can result in mold growth or other toxic hazards that can cause serious health issues for the occupants.

Before choosing a restoration contractor, research your options carefully and take these four tips into consideration:

Tip #1: Do Not Choose a Friend or Family Member in the Construction Business

We’ve all heard the horror stories about someone who hired their handy brother-in-law with construction experience to put a new roof on their home, and it turned out to be a disaster. It is never a good idea to try to save money and cut corners by hiring a friend or family member to make building repairs that are beyond their skill level. This usually harms the relationship and costs more time and money in the long run.

Tip #2: Do Not Choose the Contractor Who Built Your Home or Building

General contractors and construction companies who mostly build new construction do not have adequate insurance restoration experience. They lack the equipment, experience and certified training required to perform water mitigation, smoke odor removal, content restorative cleaning, deodorizing and handling techniques. Also, they may not understand the proper methods for reconstruction and repairs under these unique conditions, not to mention how to identify and deal with the hazardous materials and dangerous structural conditions, after a disaster.

Tip #3: Do Not Choose a Contractor Who Has Little, or No Experience Working With Insurance Companies

As the insurance policy holder, it is your responsibility to disclose any loss to the insurance company and provide the necessary documentation required to process the claim. You will need an estimate from a restoration company that meets the strict insurance company requirements, created using specific estimating software. If the estimate format does not meet the insurance company standards, it may be rejected.

Tip #4: Do Not Choose a Cleaning Service

Carpet cleaning and house cleaning services are great for everyday, small-scale cleaning jobs. But when it comes to flooding, fire, and smoke damage, they don’t have the technical capabilities or knowledge to remove high levels of moisture that infiltrates the floors and walls, causing dangerous mold to accumulate in a matter of days. Smoke damage also goes far beyond the soot that is left on walls, ceilings and furniture. If not cleaned and deodorized properly, it can leave behind microscopic toxins and fine particulates that can be hazardous to the health of the occupants.

Years of experience and extensive training are required to be a certified restoration contractor, and obviously, there are many good reasons for that.

Topics: Wolgast Restoration, Water Damage, homeowners insurance, Restoration Contractor