The ICS 2009 Disaster Restoration & Remediation Market Study

March 8, 2009
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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 measure the opinions and preferences of restoration and remediation professionals concerning their disaster restoration and remediation business. The total sample for the study consisted of 1, 513 active, qualified ICS subscribers and 2,553 Restoration & Remediation direct-request subscribers who have purchase authority and 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.

Chart 1

Eighty-six percent of survey respondents claim smoke-water damage restoration (65%), mold remediation (11%) or professional carpet cleaning (10%) as their company’s primary business. Residential work makes up 71 percent of the disaster restoration and remediation work respondents perform (Chart I). On average, respondents report that two-thirds of their business (67%) involves disaster restoration and remediation.

Structural drying, deflooding and water extraction, and fire and smoke damage are the top three services, respectively, to which those surveyed attribute most of their disaster and restoration work. Additionally, 26 percent of respondents answered “a great deal” when asked how much of their disaster restoration and remediation work could be attributed to deodorization (for mold remediation and contents restoration, the numbers were 24 percent and 18 percent, respectively).

Chart II

All in all, survey respondents plan to spend an average of $28,740 on equipment in 2009.

Antimicrobials (86%), deodorizers (72%) disinfectants (71%) and biocides (59%) top the list of chemicals survey respondents claim to most commonly use in disaster restoration and remediation (Chart II). Obviously, industry professionals must purchase their own chemicals; to help supplement their privately owned equipment inventory, though, 55 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. Seventy-eight percent of respondents have used a laboratory for testing or verification, while 78 percent acknowledge having worked with an industrial hygienist.

Education is clearly at the forefront of the industry’s collective consciousness. Almost all (96%) of those responding indicate 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, 81 percent of respondents claim a water restoration technician, or WRT, certification designation, while 59 percent have a fire and smoke restoration (FSRT) certification. Fifty-six percent hold an applied structural drying (ASD) certification (Chart III).

Chart III

The outlook for the disaster restoration and remediation business is good; approximately three-fourths of respondents expect their business to increase by an average of 25 percent.  The factors most often cited that they believe will influence their success in the business include marketing (40%), relationships with insurance companies (28%) and the weather (12%) (Chart IV).

The most significant concern held up by respondents, 53 percent of them, about their disaster restoration and remediation business is collection and cash flow. Legal liability (19%) and labor (12%) rank just ahead of insurance (9%).

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 2009 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.  

Chart IV

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 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 Sima Patel at

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