The 1-800 Water Damage story began nearly three decades ago when our founders’ unique commitment to customer service helped them grow a family business into one of the most successful carpet cleaning companies on the west coast. Their reputation for being able to handle the most challenging jobs quickly led them to become the “go-to” carpet cleaning solution for Californians whose homes and businesses had sustained water damage. Our founders’ experiences working with these clients quickly led to an interest in doing whatever they could to help home and business owners recover from the unexpected, and often traumatic, effects of sewage, mold, and water damage.
To their amazement, the earliest members of our 1-800 Water Damage team realized that many of the most devastating consequences of structural water damage were largely avoidable. At the time, the approach used by virtually every restoration company was to completely tear out, and then rebuild, whatever portions of a building had been affected. This often forced customers to relocate their families or shutdown their businesses for weeks on end – leading to significant financial losses and disruption to their daily lives. Unwilling to accept that this “demolition and reconstruction” approach was the best possible solution, our founders formed Cure (Certified Union of Restoration Experts) Water Damage, and went to work on identifying a more convenient and cost-effective option for their clients. What they came up with revolutionized the restoration industry, as they helped pioneer a method called “Advanced Structural Drying” (ASD) which remains the gold standard in our field today. ASD combines elite restoration knowledge, accelerated emergency responsiveness, and a wide range of cutting-edge equipment to create a truly innovative solution: the ability to dry-out structures in place. By actually pulling the moisture out of a building’s existing flooring, drywall, framing, and other structural materials, ASD allows 1-800 Water Damage’s technicians to handle most jobs without having to demolish our customers’ valuable property. What’s more, the original 1-800 Water Damage technicians soon realized that ASD offered a number of additional benefits that our clients continue to enjoy to this day, including:
Though they were experiencing great success in the carpet cleaning industry, our founders’ desire to help people who had been traumatized by water, mold, and sewage damage only continued to grow. They were particularly concerned about the way they saw other restoration companies treat clients when they were on location with them to provide carpet-cleaning services. Their inside look at the work being done by these companies made it clear that many restoration professionals were choosing not to used ASD techniques even though they knew doing so would be in the best interest of their clients. Unwilling to invest their time or money into understanding the required equipment and re-training their existing staff, these companies instead chose to continue employing outdated methods at their customers’ expense. Ultimately, our founders’ desire to provide a better solution through ASD, and the enjoyment they got out of having the opportunity to come in and truly “save the day” for members of their community, led them to phase out carpet cleaning so that they could focus exclusively on developing their restoration services.
It did not take long before our company’s reputation for generating superior results with less cost and hassle grew – leading to a demand for services which could no longer be met by just one location. Our company’s owners wanted to meet this demand by making their cutting-edge water damage, mold removal and sewage cleanup techniques available to a greater number of people – and in 1992 decided that the most effective way to do so was by franchising. It was at that time that we relocated our corporate headquarters to the beautiful city of Seattle, Washington, and not too long thereafter we officially changed our name to 1-800 Water Damage.
Presently, the Seattle 1-800 Water Damage facility is not only home to the Puget Sound’s premier water damage, mold remediation, sewage cleanup specialists; it also serves as our company’s national training center. Throughout each year restoration professionals, insurance adjusters, and technicians from a variety of fields travel from across the country to undergo industry-leading training right here at our Seattle office. A major component of this training is hands-on, taking place in the state-of-the-art “flood house” that was custom built within our Seattle facility. Our flood house – one of only a handful which exist in the United States – is quite literally a fully-furnished home complete with a kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms, and a large crawl space. Each area within the house can be completely flooded. This interactive training environment has been specially designed to give our technicians experience drying-out all structures, including a wide variety of challenging objects and materials, such as:
The training which takes place in our flood house is only one example of our commitment to ongoing education here at 1-800 Water Damage. In our field credibility comes with certification – and when it comes to certifications we take pride in setting the industry standard. Unlike the majority of restoration companies currently in existence, every 1-800 Water Damage technician is licensed and certified by the only recognized accrediting body within our industry: The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) – also commonly referred to as the “Clean Trust.” When you contact 1-800 Water Damage for help here in Western Washington – or anywhere else in the country – you can rest assured that technician(s) dispatched to your location will have completed the extensive training required to receive the following Clean Trust certifications:
At the end of the day, our team’s goal here in the Puget Sound remains the same as our company founders’ was when they helped pioneer ASD over two decades ago: to provide our customers with unparalleled service and unsurpassed peace of mind. We accomplish this by not only quickly responding to and resolving your emergency, but also by ensuring you work with high-character technicians who have passed rigorous personal and criminal background checks. Bonded beyond industry regulations, and carrying a minimum of one quarter million dollars of insurance, each of our technicians provides the invaluable benefit of ensuring that their work within your home or business will be completely covered.
Getting a client’s homeowners and/or flood damage insurance to reimburse them at the highest level is ultimately a matter of experience – and more specifically of having a thorough understanding of our industry’s code books. Fortunately, our customers enjoy a significant advantage when it comes to maximizing their coverage, because we literally train many of the Washington State insurance agents and claims adjusters who make their reimbursement decisions within our Seattle facility. In the restoration field, reimbursement standards are set largely by the Clean Trust – producers of the S500 (water damage) and S550 (mold remediation) code books. Hiring technicians who maintain an up-to-date understanding of these codes, and are fully certified by the Clean Trust, is the most important step you can take towards guaranteeing you will receive the best possible insurance reimbursement. Beyond the reimbursement implications, utilizing technicians who are Clean Trust certified is critical because without this accreditation they cannot qualify for the comprehensive insurance that every professional working within our field should be carrying. With all of this in mind, it is concerning to our team here at that well over half of the restoration professionals working in our region are not Clean Trust certified.
As a customer, the number one thing you can do to protect yourself from fraudulent contractors is to make sure that the technicians working in your home are properly certified, insured, licensed, and bonded. One of the great things about working with our team here at 1-800-Water Damage is that people don’t have to worry about looking into these things themselves. We make our clients’ lives easier by doing the legwork for them and requiring every 1-800-WD technician to have each of these things in place. Our company will never send a technician into your home who doesn’t, so when you call us you really can have complete peace of mind!
Under the continued guidance of our CEO and Director of Operations, Lisa Bongi, our Seattle staff carries on the 1-800 Water Damage legacy of innovation by using our flood house to continuously test new products, technology, and techniques that we believe may be of benefit to our customers. In addition to aiding our ongoing research and development, the fact that we house the 1-800 Water Damage National Training Center literally enables us to provide our customers with the most highly-trained water damage, mod remediation, and sewage cleanup professionals available anywhere in the country. Whether you are a local home or business owner, plumber, insurance adjuster, home inspector, property manager, or simply a Puget Sound resident with a question about our company – we hope you will consider becoming a part of our ongoing success story the next time you have a need for the services we provide.
Your company technicians were very polite, prompt, and we appreciated their detailed explanations of the work involved and consideration of our work schedule. I am grateful for the consistency of service and Knowledge of all the 1-800 Water Damage Seattle personnel.