Restoration technicians offer hope to victims of catastrophes such as fires or floods. You’re the first person to help victims return to normalcy. You guide the property owner through the process of determining what can be restored and the options for doing so. When the job is done, you can take satisfaction knowing you helped someone put the broken pieces of his life back together.
Assessing Your Skills
As a restoration worker, you need to know how to use basic hand tools such as hammers, saws and drills. The work can be strenuous, and you need the ability to lift 50 pounds routinely. You also must be comfortable with personal protection equipment such as a respirator to protect you from mold resulting from water damage. You’ll need to read blueprints to know what a structure looked like before it was damaged so you can rebuild it. Communications skills and social awareness are important to interact with customers, coworkers and supervisors.
Picking Up the Pieces
Before you can restore a damaged property, you need to assess what can be saved. Damaged property must be meticulously cleaned and properly stored until you can return it to the home. You’ll remove damaged wallboard, lumber and carpet, then you’ll install new materials. Structural feature of a home that can be saved must be completely cleaned and sanitized. Restoration technicians can be called at all hours in the event of an emergency. Customer service duties include answering complaints, keeping a neat workspace and explaining job specifications and invoices.
Much of a restoration technician’s duties center on water damage issues. When you come across standing water, you need to open all the windows and remove excess moisture through the optimal placement of fans and dehumidifiers. Most water restoration technicians wear some kind of protective clothing or respirator due to mold. You’ll use a hygrometer to assess the space’s humidity level and to weigh whether to heat the air or rely on outside air currents to remove moisture. Mold removal requires the use of sanitizers and cleansing agents.
Building a Career
Most restoration workers have at least a high school diploma. About 42 percent of maintenance workers have a post-secondary certificate, which shows you meet industry standards. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification offers a certificate in water damage restoration, for instance. The average annual salary for a maintenance worker with similar qualifications to a restoration technician was $35,640 a year in 2013, according to O*Net OnLine. With hard work, a restoration technician could become a crew chief, a job superintendent or a self-employed contractor.
- O*Net OnLine: Maintenance and Repair Workers, General
- American Restoration Disaster Specialist
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: General Maintenance and Repair Workers
- Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification: The Concepts of a Water Damage Restoration Course
- Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification: What Does a Water Damage Restoration Technician Offer?
- Photo Credit Todd Arena/Hemera/Getty Images
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