The ICS 2012 Disaster Restoration & Remediation Market Study

The annual ICS Disaster Restoration & Remediation Market Study is an analysis of the opinions and preferences of restoration and remediation professionals as it pertains to their business.

Chart I

The annual ICS Disaster Restoration & Remediation Market Study is an analysis of the opinions and preferences of restoration and remediation professionals as it pertains to their business. These include:

•The types of restoration work most in demand today.

•The tools and equipment currently used for disaster restoration and remediation work.

•The cleaning chemicals most commonly used in disaster restoration and remediation jobs.

•The expectations restoration professionals have for future restoration/remediation work.


The total sample for the study consisted of 4,359 ICS Cleaning Specialist subscribers and 5,109 Restoration & Remediation direct-request subscribers. In order to participate, individuals must have purchase authority and primarily work as a smoke/water damage restoration specialist. The sample was selected on an Nth-name basis from the magazine’s domestic circulation.

Eighty percent of survey respondents listed either smoke/water damage restoration (62%), professional carpet cleaning (10%) or mold remediation (8%) as their company’s primary business (Chart I). Furthermore, on average, respondents reported that just over two-thirds (67%) of their business involves disaster restoration and remediation.

Respectively speaking, structural drying, deflooding/water extraction and fire/smoke damage are the top three services to which those surveyed attribute most of their disaster and restoration work. Additionally, 31% of respondents answered “a great deal” when asked how much of their disaster restoration and remediation work could be attributed to mold remediation (for deodorization and contents restoration, numbers were 24% and 17%, respectively).

Chart II

Survey respondents plan to spend an average of $26,160 on equipment within the next year, which is about $4,000 less than they planned to spend in 2011. Antimicrobials (85%), deodorizers (76%) and disinfectants (72%) top the list of chemicals survey respondents claim to most commonly use in disaster restoration and remediation (Chart II).

Industry professionals purchase their own chemicals. To help supplement their privately owned equipment inventory, 57% percent of respondents use rental equipment.

Technology is always changing. With this change comes the need to be better prepared and educated to properly execute and verify the work. Seventy percent of respondents report having used a laboratory for testing and 72% report having used a laboratory for verification purposes. Additionally, 74% report having worked with an industrial hygienist.

Chart III

Education is important to industry professionals. Nearly all of those surveyed (97%) indicate that either they, or someone in their company, have taken classes, attended seminars, or done course work relevant to disaster restoration and remediation. In terms of certification, 79% of respondents claim a water restoration technician, or WRT, certification designation. Sixty percent of respondents have a fire and smoke restoration (FSRT) and 56% hold an applied structural drying (ASD) certification (Chart III).

Chart IV

What’s more is that the outlook for the disaster restoration and remediation business is positive. About three-quarters of those surveyed (74%) expect their business to increase by an average of 24%. The top factors that professionals believe will most influence their business growth are relationships with insurance companies, marketing and the weather (Chart IV).

The most significant concern held up by respondents about their disaster restoration and remediation business is collection and cash flow (37%), however, that’s a 9% decrease from last year. Preferred Vendor Programs was the runner-up in concerns at 27% (a 4% increase from 2011) and legal liability (14%), labor (8%) and insurance (7%) rounded out the list.

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 Disaster Restoration & Remediation Market Study is a doorway to yet another important segment of the cleaning and restoration industry, but it’s up to you to step through it. This article is a snapshot of a comprehensive study examining the disaster restoration and remediation market. The conclusions are based on the opinions, preferences and purchasing behavior of 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. For information about ordering or to find out more about Clear Seas Research services, contact Beth Surowiec at

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