Educational Corner

IICRC Certification: Absolutely Vital for Restoration Companies

  • 09/15/2020
  • 08:26:03

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is a certification and standard-setting non-profit organization for the inspection, cleaning, and restoration industries. With a board of directors comprised of 15 industry leaders elected by the IICRC shareholders, the IICRC functions in over twenty-five countries to protect the interests of both consumers and professionals.  When you hire an IICRC-certified company, you can count on a professional contractor committed to doing the job the right way the first time. 

Company Certification

A company that wishes to be IICRC certified must go through a rigorous application process and meet certain standards to ensure they’re both trustworthy and reliable.  A company with an IICRC certification is a company you can trust.

  1. Insurance

Certified companies are required to show proof of insurance, which protects both the customer and the company.Continuous coverage is required, and the company must provide documentation of this coverage when asked.

  1. Employee Training

Continuous training and support are required for all employees to gain and maintain their certifications, which ensures all member companies offer the best service possible.

  1. Code of Ethics

The IICRC has a strict set of codes set forth by which all members must abide.Called ANSI or IICRC standards, these codes set the standard of care for the entire industry.

  1. Customer Complaints

The IICRC is dedicated to customer support and satisfaction.Because of this, certified companies are required to have a well-maintained, written customer complaint policy that includes documented follow-up for all complaints.

Technician Certification

The IICRC offers certifications for individual technicians as well as companies.  Technicians are given industry-specific training that helps you, the customer, be confident that the people working in your home will maintain the utmost level of professionalism and care. 

  1. Standardized Training

All credentials offered by the IICRC are equivalent no matter where the training takes place, so you can trust that your technician has met the highest standard in the industry.

  1. Continuous Learning

Continued education is required to maintain certifications.The restoration industry is continuously evolving, so it’s necessary to stay ahead with regular training.Some of the courses offered by the IICRC are:

  • Water Damage Restoration Technician (WRT)
  • Applied Structural Drying Technician (ASD)
  • Fire and Smoke Restoration Technician (FSRT)
  • Health and Safety Technician (HST)
  • Building Moisture Thermography (BMT)
  • Applied Microbial Remediation Technician (AMRT)
  • Commercial Drying Specialist (CDS)

IICRC certified companies are the preferred choice for insurance providers and property owners.When you choose and IICRC-certified company, you can rest easy knowing that both the company and its employees abide by rigorous standards and guidelines set in place to ensure the best care possible.

How to Tell What Kind of Water is On Your Floor

  • 09/04/2020
  • 9:08:54

When it comes to cleaning up water from your home, not all water should be treated equally. Some water may be perfectly sanitary while other types of water should be treated with extreme caution. Here, you’ll learn about the different types of water, what they look like and how to handle each type.


A good indication of the type of water you’re dealing with is the actual color of the water. If the water is clear, it is usually safe to handle. This type of water may be rainwater or water from a busted pipe. However, you should still use basic safety precautions when dealing with clear water. Now that the water has come in contact with the floor or other parts of your home, it could be contaminated with whatever it has come into contact with. Use common sense measures like washing your hands after cleaning up the water no matter how clean it looks. Clean water should also be dried immediately because even though it is clean, any type of moisture can cause water damage and mold growth.


Gray water may appear cloudy or a bit dirty and is less safe than white water. This type of water comes from dishwashers, washing machines, sinks and other sources from your home (other than the toilet). Basically, gray water is white water that has been used. Therefore, gray water is contaminated with whatever it came into contact with like soap or food particles. Like white water, gray water should be cleaned up immediately, especially since gray water may contain bacteria that will multiple if left stagnant.


Black water is water that is brown or black. It is very dangerous and should be treated with extreme caution. Also known as sewage or brown water, black water has come into contact with human waste (fecal matter and urine). This means the water may be contaminated with bacteria, viruses and other disease-causing biological contaminants. If you have black water in your home, also known as an unsanitary flood, you should avoid contact and call a professional immediately.


White, gray and black water can be identified a few different ways. One way is a visual inspection. As described above, each type of water is a certain color: white water is clear; gray water is cloudy or dirty; and black water is black or brown. Another indicator of the type of water you’re dealing with is the smell: white water will not have a smell, while black water certainly will. Basically, the darker the water is, the more dangerous it is. And the more the water smells, the more contaminated it is. Another way to determine the type of water is where the water came from, if known. A leak on a rainy day or water from a busted water supply pipe is white water. Dirty water from a non-plumbing appliance (like the dishwasher or washing machine) is gray water. And black water is water from the toilet or plumbing system that contains human waste.


No matter what type of water you’re dealing with, a professional water removal company is your best friend when it comes to cleaning it up. They will have the knowledge and expertise, plus the right equipment, to remove the water safely and effectively. They also know how to deal with different types of water and understand the dangers of certain types of water. If you need help with a water incident, call Scott and his team at Master Clean. They've been helping property owners in Northern Wisconsin deal with their water damage for decades.

DIY Property Damage Pitfalls: Insurance, Building Codes and More

  • 08/26/2020
  • 11:37:34

When your property is damaged by water, fire, mold, or sewage, it may be tempting to save a few bucks by repairing the damage yourself. Take a moment, though, to consider some practical and financial ramifications of this choice.

DIY Restoration Affects Insurance Payouts

While some insurance policies will allow homeowners to be reimbursed for costs associated with do-it-yourself repairs, it's at a much lower rate than they would pay out if you had hired a professional restoration company. While you can submit receipts from the local home improvement store for supplies, what about your time and energy?

Are Your Repairs Up to Code?

If you are confident you can repair the damage yourself, are you also confident that your repairs will keep your house up to code? Local and county building ordinances change frequently, and not knowing the guidelines won't be an excuse. If you wish to sell, the home inspector will scrutinize your DIY repairs. If they don't meet the requirements, you'll have to hire a professional to redo the job correctly.

Update Your Home for Less Money – Yes, Really!

One thing many homeowners don't realize is that the "pre-loss condition" restoration covered by most policies will also cover any necessary updates to bring your property up to current building code. Was your knob-and-tube wiring impacted by a storm? You won't be able to replace it with the same type of materials; you'll need to upgrade to the twenty-first century. The same goes for some other materials and structures in your home. A professional restoration contractor will know when and how to maximize the value of your insurance claim and provide crucial updates to your home. Just think of the increase to your home's resale value! If you went with DIY restoration, you would have missed out on this great benefit.

Wisconsinites are known for their thrifty nature. We roll up our sleeves, get to work, and "get 'er done." While that attitude is commendable, it can also blind property owners to the opportunities and benefits that come from asking for help and letting a professional take care of property damage restoration. Contact Scott and his Master Clean crew in Medford if you'd like them to take a look at your property damage. As a trusted, locally owned company with decades of well-earned trust throughout Central and Northern Wisconsin, we will never insist that you can't do the work yourself unless we truly feel it's in your best interest, either financially or for safety reasons, to do otherwise.