As Freezing Temperatures Continue to Grip the Nation, Home and Business Owners Contend with Frozen Pipes, Flooding, Potential Nightmare
ServiceMaster Restore disaster experts fielding record number of calls and mobilizing quickly to help homes and businesses recover from expensive water damage.
January 24, 2014 // Franchising.com // MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Following the massive polar vortex and sub-freezing temperatures that have engulfed much of the country this month, homeowners and businesses are contending with one of winter’s most costly and damaging exercises: fixing the damage caused by frozen pipes. Also, with a large amount of snow in some portions of the Northeast and Midwest, isolated melt-related flooding could also accompany any pipe-related issues.
Just as the polar vortex has been an unprecedented storm, the need for qualified service professionals to help clean up related damage has exceeded all previous catastrophic weather events, because it is impacting such a huge part of the country. ServiceMaster Restore® and ServiceMaster Clean®, the industry’s leading restoration and cleaning franchises for more than 60 years, are ready to respond to any home or businesses that may experience damage during this unprecedented weather event. With a nationwide footprint, local crews, equipment and mobile command centers are assisting homeowners and businesses impacted by the severe winter weather.
The extreme cold temperatures were only the beginning to what CNN called "a ticking time bomb of sorts." The scope of this storm has been massive, and experts aren’t sure how much additional damage this week’s weather will bring. The effects were so great in much of the Northeast and Midwest, ServiceMaster Restore mobilized at least 20 franchise crews from the West Coast to help respond to the record-breaking number of customer leads for restoration assistance.
The Michigan Insurance Review reported that damage from a single frozen pipe can easily reach $5,000. Damage from burst pipes and the resulting water damage are still requiring clean-up across the country, even as another deep freeze threatens many states this week. According to the Insurance Information Institute, severe winter weather claims, including those from winter storms, ice damage and deep freezes that can wreak havoc on plumbing, accounted for more than 7 percent of all insured catastrophic losses over the past 19 years, making them the third-largest cause of losses behind hurricanes and tornadoes.
"Emergencies are never planned and are not something anyone wants to experience, especially in extreme cold temperatures," said Sherry Rose, vice president, customer service, ServiceMaster Restore. "We are finding that even though people prepared their homes and followed the proper steps to prevent frozen pipes from bursting, they still walked into flooded homes and businesses."
Rose says excellent customer service, communication with customers and insurance agents are critical during this time. "Our customers are our priority before, during and after the actual clean up and restoration service is performed," she said. "We monitor storms 24/7 so we have franchises ready to deploy as soon as we get the call." The company’s residential response line for homeowners is 1-800-RESPOND and for businesses, the commercial recovery line is 1-866-RECOVER. According to Rose, calls to the company fielded by the ServiceMaster Customer Care Unit during the second week in January surpassed the average number of calls typically received in a full month.
"The polar vortex is another example of how our national franchise network is ready to mobilize 24/7/365," said Mike Pearce, chief development officer, ServiceMaster Restore. "The increased activity around the weather has prompted many inquiries from potential franchisees." ServiceMaster Restore and ServiceMaster Clean are expanding and to help fuel growth, the company is offering licenses at a low investment with minimal equipment required. To learn more about franchise opportunities with ServiceMaster, visit www.servicemasterfranchise.com or call 1-800-230-2360.
About ServiceMaster Clean and ServiceMaster Restore
With more than 4,500 franchised and licensed locations around the world, ServiceMaster Clean®, ServiceMaster Restore® and ServiceMaster Recovery Management® serve customers through a global network of franchises that provide a range of residential and commercial services. The company services include disaster restoration work resulting from damage caused by water or fire, janitorial services, commercial carpet cleaning, hard surface floor care, and residential carpet and upholstery cleaning. With management team experience in 27 different countries on countless disasters, including clean-up after Hurricane Katrina and the Pentagon after September 11, 2001, ServiceMaster Recovery Management is one of the largest large commercial disaster recovery companies. Visit www.servicemasterrestore.com, www.servicemasterclean.com, or www.srmcat.com for more information.
With a global network of more than 6,900 company-owned, franchise and licensed locations, Memphis-based ServiceMaster® is one of the world’s largest residential service networks. The company’s high-profile brands are Terminix®, American Home Shield®, ServiceMaster Clean®, Merry Maids®, Furniture Medic® and AmeriSpec®. Through approximately 13,000 corporate associates and a franchise network that independently employs an estimated 31,000 additional people, The ServiceMaster Family of Brands provided services and products to approximately 5 million customers during the last 12 months. The company’s market-leading brands provide a range of residential and commercial services including termite and pest control; home warranties and preventative maintenance contracts; furniture repair; home inspections; home cleaning; janitorial services; and disaster restoration. Go to www.servicemaster.com for more information about ServiceMaster or follow the company at www.twitter.com/ServiceMaster or www.facebook.com/TheServiceMasterCo.
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