There are no special licenses required to work in the water mitigation industry. Any man with a van and a fan can get into the business and start making money, and trust me a lot of them do.

However, there is a standard that all legitimate companies should be following. It is set by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). They have laid out the “guidelines” of our industry in a book titled the “S500 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration”.

The S500 includes key words, definitions, operating procedures, and a list of other great information specific to the water mitigation field.


S500 standard and reference guide for professional water damage restoration


Have you ever bought a new toy that came with a booklet of specific directions? You had a choice in that instance to either follow the directions, or “wing it” and figure it out on your own. There isn’t anyone making you do it one way or another.

If you decide to “wing it” the worst that can happen is the toy doesn’t get assembled correctly and you’ll have to go back and start from scratch.

If a water mitigation company isn’t following the S500, the worst that can happen is causing serious injury or even death in a customer’s home. When you’re dealing with water, fire, and mold damage, problems can escalate very quickly if they are not being handled properly.

At that point, the man with a van and a fan who decided to “wing it” will be explaining why he didn’t follow the S500 “guidelines” to an attorney in a court of law.

While the S500 is technically a book of “guidelines”, reputable water mitigation companies treat its content very seriously. It serves as the standard for how we do things and why.



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