Case Studies

ICC Restoration and Cleaning Services: Insurance Restoration Specialists that Truly Care

  • Written by: ICC Restoration and Cleaning Services: Insurance Restoration Specialists that Truly Care
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Tom Laska established ICC Restoration and Cleaning Services (ICC) in 1989 with the energy and determination stemming from being 21 years of age and the proud father of a bouncing baby boy. What began as a small carpet cleaning company gradually expanded to include a full spectrum of carpet cleaning and mitigation-oriented insurance restoration services, performed by a staff of over 30 professionals. Almost a quarter-century after ICC’s founding the team retains the feeling of a close-knit working environment by assuring every project is an exercise in expediency, efficiency and compassion. This pledge allows ICC to help property owners resume their normal lives as quickly as possible in the wake of a disaster.

“There is a lot of passion within these four walls and I consider myself incredibly fortunate to work with the team I have,” reflects Laska, founder and president of ICC. The company maintains headquarters in Woodbury, Minn., located just a few minutes outside of St. Paul, Minn., and just 15 minutes from the Wisconsin border. ICC’s location allows its professionals to serve residential and commercial clients on both sides of the St. Croix River. ICC’s 27,000-square foot facility provides the team with enough space to house the gamut of mitigation, reconstruction and property restoration services, including specialties like mold remediation, trauma and biohazard cleanup, carpet and upholstery cleaning, and content management and restoration services.

Total Transparency, Accountability

In fact, the space is so expansive that ICC numbers among the few insurance restoration specialists in the area to have enough space for all content’s restoration, storage and cleaning services to transpire on ICC property. Above all the space provides confidence, ensuring the highest degree of accountability and transparency to each ICC customer.

“We operate on an entirely transparent business model,” asserts Laska. “Everything we do is completed with the understanding that a third-party inspector should be able to come in and see that we have done exactly what was necessary to restore the property to its pre-loss condition.”

In practical terms, ICC’s focus on transparency means clients receive abundant and comprehensive documentation for all services recommended and performed. Given the company’s 23-year history, its A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, and its long-standing membership with industry organizations like the Restoration Industry Association and the Independent Mitigation and Cleaning/Conservation network, it’s no wonder the ICC team can deliver up-to-date services that are held in such regard.

ICC proudly leverages the team’s expertise to supply all the relevant documentation in a format specifically tailored for landowners, claims adjusters, property managers and homeowners respectively. Doing so ensures that work proceeds through the proper channels and all claims can be handled and settled expeditiously with fewer headaches for all involved.

For cases requiring extra manpower and specialized expertise, the company retains a loyal base of subcontractors to call in with confidence. In such situations, ICC professionals arrive on-site early and promptly to secure the area, helping clients pack up contents and begin the mitigation efforts that stop the spread of the damage. The team includes highly qualified project managers whom manage the network of competent, vetted sub-contractors for the majority of reconstruction work.

Investing in Shared Success

“Our subcontractor base accounts for a huge part of our success and many of them have been working with us for over 15 years,” adds Laska. “We pride ourselves on just being really fair with them, because we want to make sure they succeed with us, as an extension of our own team.”

ICC takes care to establish loyalty in its working relationships, and ensures the subcontractor’s mutual and continued success by providing timely payment and providing feedback after each project. Laska and the ICC team have found throughout the years that building a network of loyal subcontractors can make the difference between truly being there for those in need and falling short and extending the hardships inflicted on the property owners and occupants. Luckily for those in Minnesota and Wisconsin, Laska has a team that wouldn’t dream of falling short.

Unfortunately, Laska and the team at ICC can’t control everything. On Tuesday, July 11, 2012, an apartment fire at Park Lawn Estates in Edina, Minn., left hundreds displaced. ICC mobilized its forces to get the majority of residents back in their homes within 24 hours, and notably completed the full restoration within a few months. The multiple-alarm fire occurred just before midnight and attracted the response of 10 different fire departments, with one person treated on site for smoke inhalation, two more injured and zero fatalities.

People Helping People

Even so, the damage was extensive, as the fire began in a first-floor unit and spread to wreak significant damage on units on the upper two floors and damaging dozens more with smoke. Firefighters extinguished the fire within an hour and spent the next few hours inspecting the rest of the building. By 5:00 a.m., ICC crews were on site and ready to begin getting things back to normal. By Laska’s account, ICC cleared and released some 50 to 60 units by 2 p.m. Wednesday and a total of 103 units by 8 p.m.; a testament to how dedicated this team truly is.

The remaining units had to be reconstructed and restored over the following months. “We were able to get a large majority of the residents back into their homes within 24 hours of the fire, which I feel is an amazing accomplishment, especially because I was out of town and the last to hear about it,” admits Laska. “I truly feel this project is a great reflection on our team’s ability to help give people their lives back and I consider myself very lucky to have such a capable and caring team.”

The feeling appears to be mutual, as ICC has ranked amongst the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal’s Top 20 Best Places to Work for three of the past five years. ICC landed at No. 15 in 2007, No. 1 in 2009 and at No. 6 in 2012, which holds particular meaning for Laska as the awards are basely solely on employee nominations and surveys.

Laska attests that the company’s current markets hold sufficient potential to keep the ICC team busy throughout the next few years. However, he does have plans to eventually expand outside the Minnesota-Wisconsin area.
Meanwhile, Laska and the team will focus on building the kind of working environment that keeps employees safe, satisfied and capable of always providing superior, compassionate service. These qualities, among others, fashion ICC Restoration and Cleaning Services as truly one of the best places to work.

Published on: March 16, 2013

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