Japanese knotweed growing in a drain

How to choose a suitable specialist to remove Japanese knotweed from development sites and residential gardens

There are a lot of companies claiming to be specialists.

Here are some top tips to help you determine which company you should use for your Japanese knotweed problem.

Financial strength

You’ll want to choose a company that has the financial resources to honour its obligations under any guarantee they provide. A quick credit check will show whether the company has any significant capital reserves, if they don’t, tread carefully, because the risk of them becoming insolvent and not therefore performing whilst you have a guarantee is high.

Time trading

There are some good new entrants to the market, but also many who you perhaps should not entrust with one of your biggest assets, e.g. your home. A company that has been trading for at least ten years should provide some comfort that they have the requisite experience, and will hopefully still be trading in the foreseeable future. Environet celebrates its 21st birthday this year.  

Insurance backed guarantees

Always make sure to check the fine print of any guarantees being proposed by a knotweed specialist. Some mislead by saying their guarantees are insurance backed. A check on the small print will reveal that the insurance to which they refer is simply their Professional Indemnity or Public Liability insurance, neither of which would entertain a claim if the company ceased trading.  

Make sure the insurer behind any insurance backed guarantee (IBGs) is rated. We offer insurance backed guarantees for up to 10 years underwritten by an “A” rated syndicate at Lloyd’s, with limits of liability up to £100,000. Ask to see a sample guarantee and read the small print – you might be surprised to hear that for some you have to pay to make a claim, and that there is no certainty as to when the insurance element of the guarantee kicks in. 

Decide whether your aim is for eradication or just control

There is a big difference and it will affect the chosen method you should employ. Control is easy and cheap usually involving application of herbicide. If you are serious about eradication, which should certainly be the goal where the land is being developed, you probably need to consider a removal method. 

If you have plans to develop your garden or site, then talk to us about our Xtract™ and Resi-Dig-Out™ methods, which provide rapid and reliable knotweed removal, in an eco-friendly way.

Trade body or not?

There are two trade bodies representing the knotweed industry, the PCA and INNSA. They provide their members access to insurance backed guarantees and set standards for their members. Unfortunately merely being a paid up member of a trade body does not guarantee you that the knotweed specialist is up to your job. 

There’s also a myth that in order to obtain mortgages on property affected by knotweed that you need a guarantee from a PCA member. That is simply not true. You need a reputable specialist able to provide insurance backed guarantees for 10 years.

We can demonstrate this by our insurance backed guarantees being underwritten by an “A” rated syndicate at Lloyd’s. They provide the necessary security for banks and building societies, and provide our customers with the peace of mind they deserve. 

Call us today on 01932 868 700 to find out how we can help you. 

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