Full Disclosure

Scott Walden is a U.S. Army veteran who believes strongly in authentic servant leadership. He promises full disclosure on all things restoration and leadership-related in his monthly columns.

You can catch the latest from Scott in the C&R eNewsletter the first Tuesday of every month.

Employee Training Focus

The 2022-2023 State of the Industry survey revealed 52.5% of respondents identified employee training as their top area of investment for the year. There is no doubt a focus on employee training would help combat systemic employee turnover in our industry, and as an approved IICRC instructor, I’m obviously a fan of this initiative. I wonder though, how are companies investing and what sort of training is their focus? It’s one thing to respond that investing in training is a top priority – that’s the easy part. The hard part is determining how best

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The 3-Day Drying Myth – Revisited

To begin, let’s try to define what we mean about the 3-Day Drying concept. Essentially, this is a mindset where some believe nearly all water damage restoration projects can be returned to pre-loss moisture content in 3-days or less. There are a ton of theories regarding the origin of this – some more plausible than others as you would imagine – and, at least to my knowledge, none fully confirmed. Is the origin important? I think not, but what is important, regardless of origin, is the fact that the myth is still something professional

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An Open Letter to…

There’s a morning radio program I listen to which features a weekly “Open Letter” to some random topic. This week’s topic was, “An Open Letter to People Who Text and Drive”. It began (as they all do) with – “Here’s an open letter to people who text and drive. Dear people who text and drive – seriously?” While listening to that segment, I had the idea to craft my very own Open Letter addressing some of the egregious – some may say ridiculous, insurance carrier estimating guidelines. Here goes… Dear Carrier Estimating Guidelines –

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My Love/Hate Relationship with Storms

On Sept. 28, 2022, Hurricane Ian made landfall onto Southwest Florida’s Gulf Coast. It was just shy of a Category 5 hurricane, and it left a path of devastating damage as it traveled eastward across the state. It was a historic event and will take years for affected areas to fully recover. My October article was in draft form when a direct hit to Florida became imminent – that article had nothing to do with natural disaster relief – this article certainly does because our organization specializes in hurricane damage-related restoration, and I wanted

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The Squeeze

So let me see if I understand this correctly. Some time ago, property insurance carriers began insulating themselves from unscrupulous, litigation-prone, transaction-driven contractors by “partnering” with contractors they could trust. They formed departments responsible for locating and vetting contractors of various trades, and in exchange for feeding claims to these contractors, the contractors would abide by the carrier’s service level agreement – including mostly reasonable estimating guidelines. In concept it makes sense. The estimating guidelines typically resulted in lower invoices, but the contractor was receiving these claims with no business development expense. The carriers,

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Measuring Drying Performance

This month we are diving into some big-brain concepts regarding structural drying. I think it is safe to say there are a ton of restorers actively working in the industry who do not understand even the most basic concepts of vapor pressure and the crucial role it plays in drying. I could be wrong – but I doubt it – especially when it comes to the “old school” restorers. Each time I have taught WRT, students have a noticeable “AHA” moment when they learn how they can use vapor pressure differentials to formally evaluate

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It’s About More than the Money | Full Disclosure vol. 1

Editor’s Note (Sept. 2021): As promised, here is the second of four new columns we are unveiling in C&R in the next few weeks. You’ve already met Marcie and her Team Talk column. This week, meet Scott Walden, the man behind our Full Disclosure column. Scott is a U.S. Army veteran who believes strongly in authentic servant leadership. He promises full disclosure on all things restoration and leadership-related in his monthly columns. You can catch the latest from Scott in the C&R eNewsletter the first Tuesday of every month.  UPDATE: As C&R has grown

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The S500: It’s Not All Black and White

Last month, I emphasized the importance of studying the ANSI IICRC S500 in order to enhance water damage restoration operations and to provide sound justification for the line items presented in your estimates. It is a good document – and the 2021 version is the best our industry has ever had – but it’s not perfect and never will be. There will always be room for interpretation as so much of what we do as water damage restoration professionals is not always black and white. Until I was given the opportunity to teach the

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50 Years of Learning with IICRC

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and I’ve chosen this month’s article to highlight what this organization has meant to me during my career as a restorer. In doing so, I’m hopeful some of the readers might reflect on what the IICRC means to them – or could mean to them – and just maybe I can spark a little motivation in others to seek out opportunities to make our IICRC, and our standards, even better. When I was presented with the opportunity to come to

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Look Them In the Eyes…

I suspect each restorer who has been in the industry for a while has a handful of jobs permanently etched in your brain. From the horrific CAT-3 loss, tragic fire loss, and major losses resulting from natural disasters – we are introduced to our clients during some of most challenging times of their lives. As the first responders to property damage, we’ve seen the good, the bad, and most certainly the ugly. The ugly is what I want to share with you this month. These are difficult times right now in so many ways

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