ICS Magazine

The ICS 2007 Disaster Restoration & Remediation Market Study

March 1, 2007


The ICS Disaster Restoration & Remediation Market Study is an examination 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 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.

More than 95 percent of survey respondents claim either professional carpet cleaning or smoke/water damage restoration 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 24 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. Respondents own an average of 110 standard air movers and blowers, and plan to purchase another 16 in the coming year. They are also adding their inventory of trailer-mounted desiccant dehumidifiers, looking to add an additional 3 units, on average, to their current stock of 15.

All in all, 50 percent of those surveyed plan to spend $10,000 or more on equipment in 2007.

The professionals responding to the survey use deodorizers (84 percent), antimicrobials (78 percent), rust removers (70 percent) and disinfectants (65 percent) extensively (Chart II). Obviously, they must purchase their own chemicals; to help supplement their privately owned equipment inventory, though, 40 percent of respondents use rental equipment, usually obtained from a local rental firm (60 percent) as opposed to a national rental firm (36 percent) or distributor (26 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. Sixty-two percent of respondents have used, or plan to use, a laboratory for testing or verification, while 36 percent acknowledge having worked with an industrial hygienist.

What may be most surprising, however, are the numbers surrounding education. Eighty-five 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, 86 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 97 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 (29 percent), the weather (25 percent) and relationships with insurance companies (23 percent)(Chart IV).

The most significant concern held up by respondents, 39 percent of them, about their disaster restoration and remediation business is legal liability. Collection/cash flow and labor follow at 30 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 2007 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.