Restoration and recovery companies; specialized and profitable

by Jim Williams

Mother Nature can be shockingly cruel.

Case in point, it’s estimated that this summer’s hurricanes Harvey and Irma caused nearly $200 billion in damage in Texas and Florida, making them the costliest disasters in U.S. history, according to Moody’s Analytics.

Natural disasters such as Harvey and Irma, as well as Hurricane Maria that devastated Puerto Rico, are a boon for the restoration and recovery industry. That’s not to say these companies take any solace in the additional business.

“The damage caused by these recent hurricanes presents both a tremendous challenge and opportunity for our industry,” said Ciro Affronti, operations manager at Affronti Property Solutions, LLC in Scottsdale, AZ. “Our job now is to step up and focus on doing our best work for these impacted communities and help bring people’s lives back to normal so they can move forward.”


Affronti has been in the restoration and recovery business since 2006, and has worked both as a painter and a general contractor handling entire projects from start to finish.

“The margins are higher in restoration and recovery,” Affronti admitted. “We see 15–25% higher gross margins on these types of jobs versus regular residential re-paints.”

Restoration and recovery jobs require more specialization than most companies possess, explained Kevin Godfrey, president of Washington-based Heritage Restoration, Inc.

“Contractors and restoration companies, though our paths cross, the differences are night and day,” Godfrey said. “Many types of contractors—from commercial, new homes and remodeling—do not specialize in odor control, 24-hour responses, mold remediation or water extraction.”

Affronti agrees, and says there’s a different level of customer service in the recovery and restoration world.

“We have a good understanding of how working with a customer on a recovery/restoration job is different than a standard project, and we adapt and rise to the extra level of care that’s required,” he said. “We preach that understanding at all levels of our business from the owners and management down to the cleaning crews. Simple things like always answering communications, calls and texts on time and with helpful answers.”

Last year, nearly 75% of recovery and restoration companies experienced sales growth, and 28% of those companies maintained that weather-related damage was the primary reason for that growth, according to a Cleanfax survey.

But empathy and understanding still rule the day, says Affronti.

“I think the companies that look at the bigger picture of the entire recovery effort, and how they can best get involved and serve the community, will have much more success than ones coming in looking to make a quick profit and turnaround off a disaster.”

For more on the world of restoration and recovery, visit

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