The ICS 2008 Disaster Restoration & Remediation Market Study

The ICS Disaster Restoration & Remediation Market Study is an examination of the opinions and preferences of restoration and remediation professionals concerning their business.

The driving purpose behind the study is to identify key issues and trends in the market based on the opinions, needs and expectations of professional carpet cleaning and restoration specialists. The total sample for the study consisted of 3,000 qualified ICS subscribers who cite their primary business as smoke/water damage restoration specialist. The sample was selected on an Nth-name basis from the magazine’s domestic circulation.

Ninety-five percent of survey respondents claim either professional carpet cleaning or smoke/water damage restoration as their company’s primary business. Residential work makes up 74 percent of the disaster restoration and remediation work respondents perform (Chart I). And for 26 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 again the top three services, respectively, to which those surveyed attribute most of their disaster and restoration work. Additionally, 15 percent of respondents answered “a great deal” when asked how much of their disaster restoration and remediation work could be attributed to fire/smoke damage restoration (for contents restoration and mold remediation, the numbers were 10 percent and 9 percent, respectively).

All in all, those surveyed plan to spend an average of $16,308 on equipment in 2008.

The professionals responding to the survey use deodorizers (82 percent), antimicrobials (80 percent), rust removers (73 percent) and disinfectants (60 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.

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. Thirty-three percent of respondents have used, or plan to use, a laboratory for testing or verification, while 31 percent acknowledge having worked with an industrial hygienist.

Still holding strong are the numbers surrounding education. Seventy-nine 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 percent of respondents claim a water restoration technician, or WRT, certification designation, while 45 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 98 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 (32 percent), the weather (26 percent) and relationships with insurance companies (23 percent) (Chart IV) .

The most significant concern held up by respondents, 41 percent of them, about their disaster restoration and remediation business is legal liability. Collection/cash flow and labor follow at 27 percent and 15 percent, respectively, showing slight drops compared to last year.

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 2008 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.

This article is a snapshot of a new comprehensive study examining the disaster restoration & remediation market. The conclusions are based on the opinions, preferences and purchasing behavior of restoration & remediation professionals who agreed to participate in the survey. The survey was conducted and findings were compiled by Clear Seas Research, a division of BNP Media.

More than 350 cleaning specialist, involved in smoke/water damage restoration and/or mold remediation participated in the study, which was conducted between October 12 and November 9, 2007. A total of 300 qualified respondents completed the entire survey.

This in-depth research study provides up-to-date information on key issues and market trends analyzed over a four-year period, starting in 2004. The comprehensive trended report is available from Clear Seas Research. For information about ordering or to find out more about Clear Seas Research services, contact Sima Patel at

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