The ICS 2005 Disaster Restoration & Remediation Market Study

Chart I
The ICS Disaster Restoration & Remediation Market Study makes its debut this month, an intricate dissection of the mechanisms, both mechanical and organic, impacting the direction of the restoration and remediation marketplace.

The driving purpose behind the study's inception is to identify key issues and trends in the market based on the opinions, needs and expectations of professional carpet cleaners and restoration specialists. The total sample for the study consisted of 1,500 qualified ICS subscribers who cite their primary business as professional carpet cleaner and/or smoke/water damage restoration specialist. The sample was selected on an Nth-name basis from the magazine's domestic circulation.

More than 96 percent of survey respondents claim either professional carpet cleaning or restoration specialist as their company's primary business. Residential work makes up 72 percent of the disaster restoration and remediation work these companies perform (Chart I). And for 27 percent of respondents, disaster restoration and remediation comprises 50 percent or more of their total business.

Deflooding and water extraction, structural drying, and deodorization are the top three services, respectively, to which those surveyed attribute most of their disaster and restoration work. Respondents own an average of 28 standard air movers and blowers, and plan to purchase another 19 in the coming year. They are also increasing their inventory of trailer-mounted desiccant dehumidifiers, looking to add an additional 13 units, on average, to their current stock of seven.

Chart II
All in all, 45 percent of those surveyed plan to spend $10,000 or more on equipment in 2005.

The professionals responding to the survey use antimicrobials (81 percent), deodorizers (80 percent), rust removers (78 percent) and disinfectants (68 percent) extensively (Chart II). Obviously, they must purchase their own chemicals; to help supplement their privately owned equipment inventory, though, 37 percent of respondents use rental equipment, usually obtained from a local rental firm (61 percent) as opposed to a distributor (36 percent) or national rental firm (23 percent).

There have been many technological advances in restoration and remediation in the last decade. And with progress comes the need to be better prepared and educated to properly execute your duties. Forty-two percent of respondents have used, or plan to use, a laboratory for testing or verification, while 32 percent acknowledge having worked with an industrial hygienist.

Chart III
What may be most surprising, however, are the numbers surrounding education. Fully 78 percent of those responding say they or someone in their company have taken classes, attended seminars, or done course work relevant to disaster restoration and remediation.

And when it comes to certification, 84 of respondents claim a water restoration technician, or WRT, certification designation, while 40 percent have a fire and smoke restoration (FSRT) certification (Chart III).

The outlook for the disaster restoration and remediation business is good, judging by the 99 percent of respondents who believe their business will stay the same or increase. The factors most often cited that they believe will influence their success in the business include marketing (33 percent), relationships with insurance companies (23 percent) and the weather (21 percent)

(Chart IV).

Chart IV
The most significant concern held up by respondents, a full 48 percent of them, about their disaster restoration and remediation business is legal liability. Collection/cash flow and labor follow at 23 percent and 17 percent, respectively.

The ICS Market Study Series is intended to help manufacturers and professional end-users better understand their market and, more importantly, each other. The ICS 2005 Disaster Restoration & Remediation Market Study is a doorway to yet another important segment of the cleaning and restoration industry; it is up to you to step through it.

(Note: ICS Cleaning Specialist magazine's "Disaster Restoration & Remediation Market Study" is an in-depth survey designed to measure the opinions and preferences of professional carpet cleaners and restoration specialists. The preceding is an abridged look at study questions and responses. The study is available in its entirety for $195. For details contact Evan Kessler at (818) 224-8035, ext. 203, or by e-mail at

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