Author: Rebecca Strait

How to choose a Water Damage Restoration company

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We hear this phrase a lot from people in Worcester looking for water damage restoration contractors. “Our insurance company gave us three names; how do I choose?”

Searching for reputable water damage companies in Worcester?

The good news is there are several ways to find a reputable company.

  • Start with visiting the IICRC.org website to find out if they are a certified firm. The IICRC is the governing agency for all cleaning, drying and inspection services in the restoration and flooring industry.
  • Visit the companies on several review platforms. ie: Google, Facebook, Angie’s list, Yelp. Recently I was told that online reviews are the new word of mouth. Other customers experiences can make a big difference when deciding who to choose.
  • Visit your states contractor registration lookup. For MA you can go here, type in the company name and if they are registered they will be visible.

“Recently I was told that online reviews are the new word of mouth”

It seems that there is an influx of water damage companies popping up, and it can be challenging to decide which Worcester area restoration company to choose. Craftech can help with that choice. We have been in the industry for nearly 50 years. Knowing that the company you are using has been around for a significant period can make a choice to go with them more manageable. Companies that are well established provide peace of mind; they are less likely to:

  • Go out of business and leave you wondering where to go next
  • Leave you with mold or other damge due to shoddy workmanship
  • Not follow federal and local rules regarding lead, asbestos and other toxins.

If you are looking for a Worcester water damage restoration company, look no further; you have found a great company!

Call our office today at 508-529-4505.

Direct Insurance Billing

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We know that working with your insurance can seem like a confusing and daunting experience, that is why Craftech bills your insurance company directly! Especially after a water or fire loss when you are already feeling overwhelmed and stressed. We have nearly 50 years of industry experience and are experts in dealing with various insurance companies and different requirements.

Craftech is an independent restoration company that is skilled in all levels of restoration work. Together our technicians hold over 25 IICRC certifications from carpet cleaning to mold removal, plus many more. Our employers have decades of experience, spending most of their careers with Craftech.

Direct Insurance Billing

Meet with Adjusters

Documentation

We are a preferred vendor for several major insurance carriers. We partner with USAA, Amica, Safety Insurance, Norfolk & Dedham Insurance, and many more! We write a fair estimate in industry-standard software, so there are never questions on our invoices. Our Production Manager Scott works with adjusters and homeowners to quickly resolve water or fire damage issues and get your claim resolved as soon as possible.

Craftech employees are diligent about testing for asbestos to keep our employees and customers safe from any harmful airborne contaminants. Testing costs are added to the estimate sent to your insurance company as part of the project, we use Hub, a certified testing and consulting company out of Waltham, MA. If your home comes back with any suspected asbestos-containing materials, we assist in setting up an accredited asbestos abatement company to remove any asbestos safely. Employee and customer safety is our number one priority.

If you are looking for a company that makes experiencing a disaster less stressful, then you have found the right place. We pride ourselves on making this experience easier for all parties involved. We take the time to listen to the needs and input of our customers. A recent customer says:

“Craftech was recommended by our insurance company and returned our call same day. Project Managers Jake and Chris were both efficient and professional. Jake arrived that day with his crew who quickly began removing water from basement and moving furniture to dry areas. Explained clearly every step needed and informed us of when their crew would return following day. Took wet carpet, cardboard and trash. Commercial fans were set up. Seriously, choose this company! Great service!”

-Ken E.

Whether you have fire, water, or mold damage, Craftech is there for you.

The Rise of Plant-Based Disinfectants

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When I started in this industry nearly 17 years ago, harsh chemicals were the only way to ensure that all the microbes, germs, and bacteria were entirely irradicated. So many things have changed in this industry since then, but my favorite change is plant-based products.

Before Plant-Based Products

Fifteen years ago, if you walked into a home with sewerage or mold, I could guarantee that near the end of completing the clean up you would don a Tyvek suit and a full-face respirator. Explain to the homeowner they had to leave their home for our company to apply a chemical that would kill any remaining germs and microbes in their home. Over the years, I have had homeowners hesitant to allow us to spray these products in their homes. Worried about their pets, children, and themselves being around after it was applied created quite a bit of pushback.

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Water or Fire Damage? You have the right to choose!

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After a fire or flood, most people call their insurance company. While on the phone, most insurance companies have either a list of preferred vendors or go through a program that assigns claims to contractors. They assure you this is the fastest way to restore your home to its original condition. Many homeowners think they are obligated to use the insurance companies contractor, but it is ultimately up to you to decide who you would like to work with.

It’s your choice!

Homeowners aren’t usually aware that they have the right to hire whomever they choose without penalty from their insurance company. These companies create agreements with national vendors based on price and branding, which leaves many great local companies on the outside. As a homeowner, having the right to choose whom you want to do business with gives back power to the consumer to keep money in their local communities.

When choosing your own restoration contractor, you can look at reviews and their website and decide for yourself which company will offer you the best customer service and benefit your local community the most. Instead of a company showing up that you are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with, you get to decide who you invite into your home.

How to choose

When selecting a restoration contractor always make sure they are IICRC certified, licensed and insured.

Check the status of IICRC certified firm here. Once you locate a firm, you can make sure they have the proper certifications by clicking on services. If you can’t find the firm’s name and would still like to use them, you can check by asking for their certification number and entering it on the website as well.

Check out Craftech’s Ratings on Google, Angie’s List, and our website to discover why so many local homeowners choose us for their restoration needs!

Steps to take before the restoration professionals arrive.

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At, Craftech we get this question a lot “What can I do to help before you arrive?” Today I am going to answer that.

Don’t forget, safety first! Watch out for sagging ceilings and wet electronics! If you are unsure if it is safe, it most likely isn’t.

Things you can do immediately to help:

  • Make sure the source of the water is shut off and fixed.
  • Extract excess water with a mop or shop vacuum.
  • Remove standing water from the top of any hard furniture.
  • Remove any area rugs from wet carpet as they can bleed through to the mat below.
  • Move anything of value to a safe place to minimize secondary damage. (includes wall art, furniture, or collectibles)
  • Prop up any furniture that is on wet flooring. You can use plastic sliders or aluminum foil. (When wooden furniture is exposed to excessive moisture, the wood’s stain can transfer to the carpet leaving permanent stains. Metal furniture can leave rust marks)
  • Remove any wet soft materials, including curtains, towels, throw pillows, etc.
  • Unplug any electrical items.

We do not recommend the following:

  • Do not leave papers or books on wet surfaces; move them to an unaffected area to dry out.
  • Please refrain from using electronics or outlets exposed to water damage; plugging these in can result in electrical shock.
  • Refrain from turning on light fixtures in a room with wet ceilings until an electrician has inspected the connection.
  • Do not enter rooms that have sagging or falling ceilings.
  • Refrain from removing any wet building materials as these can be extremely heavy. Please leave this for our IICRC trained technicians.

We know it may be tempting to complete the work yourself, but Craftech’s highly trained technicians are adept at finding moisture where it doesn’t always appear visibly. We use state of the art moisture meters with both penetrating and non-penetrating probes to gauge the extent of damage in homes and businesses. Leaving this messy job to the professionals will save you from future problems like rot and mold. We hope this answers the question, “What can I do to help before you arrive?”

Please contact us if you have any questions.

Containment, one of the most underrated parts of remediation work

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Containment setup in an entry.

Containment matters. At Craftech, we take great pride in our cleanliness. When we remove most materials from a structure, we test for asbestos before removal; once we get a negative result, we contain the area before removing it.

Containment helps in numerous ways including;

  • Prevent potentially hazardous substances – such as mold spores, lead-based paint, silica dust, and more – from spreading throughout the entire structure.
  • Creates a barrier to keep dust and other particles confined within a workspace, which helps make clean-up easier for our crews.
  • Creates a closed drying chamber, so we don’t waste time drying unaffected areas.
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Nicotine Stinks! (literally)

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We all know the distinct smell of a house that has been smoked in too long. Have you recently moved a relative who smoked for 20+ years in their home? Did you recently buy a home and cant get rid of the yellow walls and smoke smell? Did a tenant move out and leave an apartment full of nicotine damage? We can help!

Nicotine is greasy and may seem impossible to remove.

Should I clean it myself?

Taking on the cleaning of a nicotine filled house can feel like an impossible task. While it may be tempting to paint over the surfaces, this is a terrible idea. Nicotine will bleed through the paint once it is painted over. I moved into an apartment a few years back, and every time I would shower in the bathroom, there would appear yellow sticky drip marks. Unless nicotine is cleaned up properly, it will never fully go away.

Why does it stain the walls yellow?

Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 different chemicals, included in that it is over 400 toxins, 43 cancer-causing chemicals, nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, ammonia, arsenic, and DDT. The full list of ingredients can be found on most cigarette packaging now, and given that list, it isn’t a surprise that the smoke causes stains. As someone smokes, the cigarette emits a yellow-brown smoke, mostly from the tar and nicotine. When the smoke is exhaled into the air, the smoke particles settle on the surface or objects. Any lightly colored items cannot hide this staining and will become more discolored and deeper color over time.

Why choose our team?

Craftech technicians are expertly trained in the process of nicotine removal. Our lead technician Kristina has over 20 years of experience and expertise in cleaning smoke, fire, and nicotine. She and her team are highly rated per customer feedback. If you or anyone you know needs our expertise, you will not be disappointed.

The door on the left is untouched, covered in nicotine. The door on the right is after our cleaners expertly removed the nicotine stains.

Basements & Sump Pumps

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Living in New England, most people are familiar with cellars and basements. You’ve either had a wet basement or know someone who has. Often those claims are covered, sometimes they are not. Most people are unaware that groundwater is typically not covered by insurance companies. But sometimes, you can purchase something extra to help out with your wet basement.

The Destruction of a Sump Pump Failure

Sump Pumps: In 1932, Howard D. Yoder patented one of the first portable sump pumps, according to HGTV.com. The machinery was designed to pump water from a flooded basement after an automatic water sensor detects water and jumpstarts the pump.  These sensors work just like the float in your toilet bowl; when the water gets too high, the pump kicks on. Proper maintenance is crucial to making sure your pump functions correctly. Keep the area around the pump clear of debris, and regularly check to make sure the pump is functioning correctly.

Sump pump coverage: Sump pump failure coverage typically is a rider or endorsement attached to a standard homeowner’s insurance policy. Premiums are relatively cheap, and you can receive up to $10,000 to replace or repair anything resulting from a flood or backup if the pump fails. If water starts seeping into your home and the pump fails to respond, you can claim it and seek reimbursement.

Your Responsibility as the Property Owner: When you find the pump malfunctioned, call your agent and put in a claim. Call a restoration company (like Craftech) to come out to remove the water and begin drying out the structure. We will leave your property looking as good as new!

After Craftech Removed the Water and Dried the Wet Areas.

*Everyone’s coverage is different; check with your agent to see what is covered and if you are eligible for a rider.

Restoration Services Since 1972

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Craftech has been in business since 1972. Starting in a small 1 bedroom apartment in Upton, MA.

The original crew when Tom purchased the company in 2003 outside of the small, one bedroom apartment where it all began. Two of which still work for Tom, check out Kristina’s and Garry’s Bio’s

Tom, the present owner, purchased the business in February of 2003 from the original owner, Gerry Tello.  When he bought the company it was comprised of 1 vehicle and a small crew.

In 2005 Craftech expanded again, Tom had outgrown the small apartment, the fleet and crew had grown. He leased a building on Milford St. in Upton. It was in this building that Scott started working for Tom. Scott quickly showed he was an invaluable employee and soon was handling the daily responsibilities as Craftech’s Production Manager.

In 2008 Craftech had grown again! The fleet grew to 6 vehicles and about a dozen employees. Tom decided to purchase our current location on Walker Drive in Upton. With that came a 13,000 Sq Ft warehouse, we were able to expand our equipment storage and pack out space drastically.

Craftech in 2020

Tom in front of Craftech’s restoration equipment January 2020

Since taking over the company in 2003, he has driven Craftech to a new level of excellence.  He has expanded our coverage area, team, equipment and fleet in the last two decades.  When he bought the company it was comprised of 1 vehicle and a small crew.  We now have 8 Vehicles and a team of over a dozen people.  Our territory covers Worcester, Norfolk and Middlesex counties. We cover portions of Rhode Island and Connecticut as well. Tom encourages education and this shows through Craftech’s 9 highly educated IICRC technicians.

This year Craftech upgraded our job management software, to an industry specific software program. It has enhanced our level of customer service, for both insureds, and insurance providers. With all of our claim information being updated in real time, it gives us an edge over the competition, and allows us to provide a direct link to homeowners and agents. This allows them to be able to keep up to date on their claim, without having to make a phone call. If you experience a disaster, give us a call and find out what sets us apart from our competition.

We Were Featured In Westborough Magazine

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The owner Tom Smart pictured above in front of our fire and water damage equipment

“People often call Craftech while the problem is at it’s worst. Once the water is stopped or the fire is put out, residents need to hire a company like Craftech to come in and so the cleanup. Contractors don’t want to do this messy work, and honestly they aren’t qualified to do it. “

“Some contractors will say they can do restoration,like cleaning up the mold on a project. But people don’t realize that as soon as you start tearing out mold, you’re spreading spores, so you need specialized equipment and trained personnel to prevent the mold from spreading throughout your home.”

Local homeowner Pawan couldn’t have been more impressed, “The guys at Craftech came in, assessed the damage and got to work right away. From start to finish, these guys were professionals, from the office manager (Scott) fielding the call, all the way to the technicians that came in to prevent mold from forming in our house. Every employee treated us with respect and communicated with us on how to go about dealing with an issue of this magnitude. They restored my faith in the theory ‘putting the customer first’ They’re a great company, run by a great group of people”

Craftech had the pleasure of recently being featured in the January edition of Westborough Magazine. We were honored to be included in this Edition of their publication.

Tom is proud of his company and crew for providing such a high level of service to our water and fire damage customers. We look forward to serving our community for many more years to come.

Read what our customers have to say

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