Starting a Service Business

How to Start a Damage Restoration Business

June 16, 2022

Accidental damage can happen at any time. A damage restoration business will offer building and homeowners a sense of relief in knowing that their damages will be repaired properly. The following will discuss what a damage restoration service offers, whether this type of business is profitable, and how to start your own restoration business.

What Are Damage Restoration Services?

At any time, homes and office buildings can become victims of water, smoke, mold, and fire damage. Damage restoration services offer a wide range of restoration services for clients affected by these disastrous situations. 

When providing damage restoration services, crew members go into a home or office building and restore what has been destroyed. This can include removing and replacing drywall, carpets, exposed beams or wires, and more. 

The following will cover four of the most common types of restoration services. 

Flooding and Water Damage Restoration

Flooding and water damage — caused by broken pipes, extreme rain, or other means — can lead to structural damage to any home. Water removal contractors are specialists in this field of damage restoration. They handle the process of removing water, replacing what was damaged, and cleaning up. 

There are three different levels of water damage

  • Clean water: Rainwater, melting snow, and malfunctioning pipes or appliances can cause typically light water damage. Clients can choose to fix this first level of damage on their own, but after 48 hours they will need to call a professional. This is because the water begins to settle and can pose a risk to their overall health.  
  • Grey water: Once the water has settled into the home or building, the risk of exposure and ingestion can increase. Grey water can also be referred to as “sullage” because this type of water damage is contaminated by waste but not fecal matter. Saturated walls or flooring are the typical indicators of grey water damage. 
  • Blackwater: Natural disasters like hurricanes, tsunamis, and floods can automatically be classified as black water due to their consistent high rates of contamination of fecal matter and other pathogens. Because upholstery, carpets, and drywall are highly unsanitary once infected by black water, they are often deemed unsalvageable. 

The average cost to repair water damage is over $11,000, and this type of damage accounts for over one-quarter of homeowners insurance claims. Considering over 65% of Americans own a home, flooding and water damage restoration have a high demand.

Mold Removal

Rooms with showers, sinks, or toilets are some of the most common areas in the home that require mold removal and other residential restoration services.

Mold and moisture damage restoration crews will come into a home first to inspect the area affected by mold. The crew will seal off the area and make quick work of removing any drywall, floorboard, or insulation that has been damaged by mold. 

They will then clean the air with HEPA air scrubbers and cleaners. These are professional-grade air filters that collect mold spores. The goal is to capture as much moisture in the air as possible. This process typically takes three days to complete. 

Fire Damage Restoration

Household fires account for 358,500 instances of home structural fire damage in the United States. 

Fire damage restoration teams come in after the fire has been put out by the local fire department. Because the fire department will most likely put out the fire with water, it is crucial to first remove all moisture from the damaged area. This will help prevent mold or rot from forming and becoming an additional problem. 

Once all the moisture has been removed, fire restoration contractors will remove soot, smoke, and damaged items from the property. For an additional cost, fire damage companies may offer deodorization of salvageable items. This includes the process of ozone treatments where odors of heavy smoke and ash lie. 

The costs associated with fire restorations vary from $400 to $20,000 depending on the area that needs the most repairing. 

Natural Disaster Restoration

Disaster restoration services include performing property repairs that may be necessary after a home has been affected by a hurricane, earthquake, or other natural disasters. Homes are rid of fallen debris, water, ash, and more. 

For example, if a home has suffered damage from a flood, natural disaster restoration crews will come in and first remove all water and moisture from the damaged area. They will then seal off the parts of the home that have the largest impact from the flood. Damaged drywall, flooring, carpeting, or wiring will then be fully repaired. 

Projects can take up to twelve or fourteen days to complete for homes that have been damaged by flooding. This is because the crew must remove all water and moisture from the home before they can start to remove mold, debris, or make any repairs. The home has to be fully dried before the restoration can begin. 

Is Providing Damage Restoration Services Profitable?

As of 2021, the restoration industry is worth $210 billion

Damage restoration companies can make up to $750,000 annually with smaller projects and roughly $2.4 million if they include higher valued projects. Start-up restoration services can expect to make anything between $3,500 and $12,000 monthly depending on if they are doing mitigation work or rebuilding. 

Certifications Needed for Damage Restoration Services

Certain damage restoration certifications, licenses, and training courses are recommended for the safety of service providers. Common damage restoration service requirements include: 

  • Contractor license: State-by-state rules and regulations for damage restoration services should be the first thing you become aware of. A contractor license will ensure that you are familiar with all state laws pertaining to their most common disasters. 
  • 10-hour OSHA card: For entry-level contractors, this training course from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) signifies an understanding of basic safety procedures. 
  • 30-hour OSHA card: Intended for supervisors or workers who handle safety responsibilities while onsite, this training provides more in-depth knowledge of the safety procedures previously learned through the 10-hour OSHA card. 
  • Disaster Site Worker card: These training courses are beneficial for each crew member to acquire since they cover all basic safety procedures, the importance of proper gear, and the steps to restoring all types of damages. 

If you are looking to become certified for a damage restoration service, the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and the Restoration Industry Association (RIA) offer classes on building moisture inspection, becoming a fire and smoke or water damage restoration technician, and more. 

Likewise, being well informed and equipped with the right safety licenses and training will only benefit you and your team in the long run. Accidents and injuries are less likely to occur when everyone is familiar with the safety protocol.    

How to Start a Restoration Business in 4 Steps

There’s a lot of prep work that goes into kick-starting any new business venture. To help make the process seem less daunting, here are four main steps to starting a restoration business that you should pay extra attention to. 

1. Obtain Warehouse Space

As a restoration business, you will come across many homes that need large belongings stored so you can then repair them. Furniture rarely gets repaired onsite. Thus, having a place to store the salvaged items that need repairing would be smart. 

Additionally, the warehouse space can hold all necessary equipment and tools that you will use per project. Remaining well stocked within your warehouse will save you time and money from having to stop mid-project to go purchase more plywood or drywall. 

2. Acquire Proper Tools of the Trade

When choosing which type of disaster damage restoration you would like to offer, be aware of the necessary equipment and tools that come with the job. 


  • Fire extinguishers
  • Dehumidifiers 
  • Air scrubbers 
  • Moisture meters and thermo hydrometers 
  • HEPA vacuums 


  • Disinfectants and sanitizers 
  • Mold remediation solutions 
  • Degreasers 
  • Bacteria odor removal solutions
  • Smoke and soot cleaners 


  • Containment zip wall 
  • Poly sheeting
  • Respirators and filters 
  • Tyvek suits 
  • Sprayers 
  • Rubber gloves 
  • Heavy-duty trash bags 
  • Matting 

These items are the most common tools for damage restoration services. Once you are able to obtain all necessary equipment, chemicals, and supplies for your type of damage restoration service, you can then begin positioning yourself in the market.

3. Offer a 24/7 Response Team

Some homeowners insurance companies will deploy their own damage restoration teams to nearby accidents. Even so, not all homes are covered by the additional disaster policies insurance can offer. 

By providing a 24/7 response team, your crew will most likely have more opportunities at work. 

Furthermore, being readily available for anything will allow you to have your first big break as a startup company. Consumers who are in need of damage restoration services do not want to wait a few days or weeks to have their homes repaired. The quicker you are able to be there for your consumers, the more likely you are able to retain those customers. 

4. Network With Local Insurance Companies

Sometimes local insurance companies will put out referrals to local restoration services that are available 24/7. Insurance companies do not always have their damage restoration teams working through all hours of the day. 

With this being said, operators of insurance companies may direct their callers to your company if they are aware of your services. 

Optimize Your Damage Restoration Team

Once your damage restoration services company is up and running, consider investing in a platform to streamline the communication and management of your team. 

Taskbird is a user-friendly platform focused on optimizing cleaning and maintenance teams’ management and communication. Download our free app today.

Angela Rush Avatar

By Angela Rush