FairPoint Communications’ unionized workers fear they’ll find a mess when they return Wednesday from a four-month strike in which replacement workers handled call center duties and maintained the telecom network in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

There were widely documented customer service problems during the strike of more than 1,700 workers, and union members said they saw shoddy and dangerous work, some of which will need to be fixed.

“We have to win back the confidence of our customers,” said Adam Frederickson, a FairPoint worker in Nashua, New Hampshire, who cited shoddy workmanship and unsafe practices during the strike.

North Carolina-based FairPoint disagreed that the problems were serious. “The FairPoint network performed exceptionally during the work stoppage and our well-trained and qualified contract workforce provided superb support of that network,” said company spokeswoman Angelynne Amores Beaudry.

Barry Sine, an analyst who follows FairPoint for Drexel Hamilton, a New York-based brokerage, said he believes it will take 30 to 45 days for the company’s workforce to restore service quality to pre-strike levels.

As a twist of fate, replacement workers will remain on the job for a couple of weeks, overlapping with the return of FairPoint workers. But the two groups won’t be working side by side, and they won’t be located under the same roof, officials said.

After striking since October, workers ratified a new contract in three days of voting that ended Sunday.

Peter Keefe, a FairPoint worker based in Lewiston, said he’s looking forward to getting back to work. But he shares concerns about mopping up.

“We’re going to have a lot of messes to clean up,” Keefe said Tuesday. “We’re just looking forward to getting out there and repairing some of the damage that was done while we were gone.”