Water Damage Restoration-Equipment Rental a New Approach
From the beginning in the water damage industry little has changed when it comes to how restoration companies charge their services and in particular, equipment rental. Originally this was done from a lack of knowledge and experience, as the restoration industry was in its infancy stage. The industry has been utilizing what is tantamount to a modified “time & materials” methodology. Times change and this industry has migrated from infancy to adolescent and is moving into maturity. With this change the old ways need to be updated.
Much has changed in the water damage restoration business in recent years. Technology, techniques and a breadth of experience have allowed more maturity coupled with an understanding of building science to change how better to serve clients. The old model referred to a list of items and a claim “we will charge you and we promise we will try to be as efficient as possible”. That may or may not have been the case with many restorers, partially due to lack of knowledge, complacency or plain ignorance. As a new model becomes implemented, the burden or shifting of efficiencies should be placed upon the service provider. In this vein we have updated how to better serve the client by shifting the responsibility of efficiency to the restoration company.
This is done by no longer charging for equipment rental but applying a unit cost to the structural area affected by water intrusion. This forces the restorer to be as efficient as possible in the drying scheme. The IICRC S500*, Chapter 14, Sections 1.20 and 1.21, have already broken down and provided the basis for these unit cost calculations. We have broken down these units into two specific areas. The first component is air movement or evaporation processes. The second component would be the dehumidification or removal of the moisture from the atmosphere to accommodate a proper drying scenario.
With these two components applied to a three-dimensional area we then can begin to get a more complete picture of the costs up front. There may be slight variables such as occupancy of the structure, building component assembly, permanence of materials and saturation of such materials. Generally these are only slight variations as the IICRC S500 has addressed several of these issues in Classifications of Water Damage; see Chapter 11 – Section “Classes of Water” page 196.
Below we have outlined the two unit components coupled with a minimum charge if the units do not meet a certain base level of units. The component units will be calculated on a square footage area for the air movement. For the dehumidification the calculation will be based upon cubic foot, as outlined below:
- IICRC Class 1 – Category 1- Air Movement – unit Square Foot
- IICRC Class 1 – Category 1, 2, 3 – Air Modification or Dehumidification – unit Cubic Foot
- IICRC Class 1 – Category 1, 2, 3 – Minimum Equipment Install Use and Removal Charge – Unit Minimum
- IICRC Class 2 – Category 1, 2 – Air Movement – unit Square Foot
- IICRC Class 2 – Category 1, 2 – Air Modification or Dehumidification – unit Cubic Foot
- IICRC Class 2 – Minimum Equipment Install Use and Removal Charge – unit Minimum
- IICRC Class 3 – Category 1, 2 – air movement – unit Square Foot
- IICRC Class 3 – Categories 1, 2-air modification or dehumidification – unit Cubic Foot
- IICRC Class 4 – Categories 1, 2, 3 air movement – unit Square Foot
- IICRC Class 4 – Category 1, 2, 3 air modification or dehumidification-specialty with equipment modifiers could be applicable. – Unit Cubic Foot
- IICRC Class 3, 4- Category 1, 2, 3 minimum equipment install uses and removal charges – Unit Minimum
It may seem like there are quite a few line items, but in fact there are relatively only three components we need to concern ourselves with; air movement, dehumidification and the potential minimum charge. The classes of water have more to do with the volume of water that has entered the structure as laid out the S500 – Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration. With these components in place, the client can rest assured that the most efficient methodology possible will be employed when drying a structure. As it stands now there is no verification available to the client to ensure their best interests have been kept in mind. This model shifts the entire burden of efficiency to the restoration services provider which results in efficiencies, time saved and expenses reduced.
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*IICRC S500 – Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration – Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration – Third Edition