When the invitations to participate were sent out, restoration contractors stepped up to bat and had much to say about the state of the disaster restoration industry. That’s right. The data is in. The statistics are tabulated. Each July, the Cleanfax staff compiles its annual Restoration Benchmarking Survey Report. It’s now time for you to analyze, review, and use the following information to continue to build a successful restoration company and help you handle major and everyday challenges.

Despite the wide range of years of experience shared by those participating in the survey, there was one common, often repeated theme: Challenges with competing against cheap or “low-ball” competition.

While most stay close to home, 32% travel outside their service area for large-scale disaster restoration.

Only  22% of companies opted to be part of a franchise system.

Nearly 3/4 of all respondents said the bulk of their business comes from the residential market. With that, according to many, come the challenges of dealing with insurance companies, especially adjusters, who question not only the expertise of restoration contractors,  but also their pricing and invoices, resulting in payment issues.

Water damage restoration once again topped the list as the most profitable disaster restoration service contractors can offer. And where there’s water, there’s mold, which was most profitable to 12% of respondents. With all services added up, you might notice 10% is missing. That belongs to a mixed bag of ancillary services offered by contractors.

Despite the contrasts between companies competing in restoration, the challenges they face are consistent.

The top three services contracted out by restoration contractors include wind damage, contents restoration, and biohazard/trauma cleaning.

Services offered by  those responding to the survey shows significant fragmentation. The percentage of overall company revenue from restoration services is across the board.

Biohazard/trauma cleaning is not only a specialized service but also the highest charged per hour.

Getting paid is important to any business, and restoration contractors understand and struggle with cash flow challenges, especially when 50% have a wait-time of 3-5 weeks to collect from insurance companies.

While employee turnover is always a concern, nearly 50% see employees staying with them between four and 10 years, with 10% staying more than 10 years.

Restoration contractors use a variety of sources for equipment and supplies, with 33% stating they purchase more than half online.

Wages paid per hour by restoration companies were fairly consistent across the country. Those working in the South earned less than the other three regions, with the Northeast and Midwest tying for highest average wages paid.

Everyone wants a vacation. Business owners make that a top offering in their benefits packages.

For vetting new employees, two categories topped the list: Criminal records and drug screening.

About this report: The data in this survey is based on results from restoration contractors responding to invitations to participate in the survey. Results are not necessarily based on audited financial statements.