FAQs

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Water & Fire Damage, Mold, & More

Water Damage Questions

questions about water damage

How long will it take my property to dry?
Drying time is determined by a combination of factors, including the location, duration and source of water, the types of building materials, the weather conditions and how quickly emergency services begin. Through consistent monitoring and evaluation of the drying process, we can determine when the drying is complete. Your carpet may feel dry to the touch, but padding and subfloors may still be wet underneath. While there are no rules to determine how long your property will take to dry, we can tell you it may take between three and five days or more, depending on the conditions.
How do I know when my property is completely dry?
Proper testing with our specialized equipment is the correct way to determine if things are completely dry. Touch alone may be false indicator.
Will turning up the heat help dry things out?
Not necessarily. We will adjust the temperature to its optimum setting for the proper drying conditions. Please do not change the setting or shut off the HVAC system; doing so may prolong the drying process.
My ceilings are wet. What needs to be done?
Our technicians will evaluate moisture content, determine the severity of the damage and may have to remove some of your ceiling for ventilation. Wet insulation can also be a hazard and may need to be removed.
Can my carpet be restored or will it have to be replaced?

A few reasons your carpet may not be salvageable:

  • Delamination (occurs when the backing separates from the carpet fiber)
  • Loss of adhesion (may be caused by prolonged exposure to water or age of the carpet)
  • Permanent stains
  • Carpet covers wood flooring (to salvage the wood flooring)
  • Sewage contamination
Why did the technician leave wet carpet on my stairs?

Carpet on the stairs is generally not removed for safety reasons. Exposed tack strips or staples, especially on steps, is dangerous. However, there are situations where removing carpet from stairs is necessary to prevent damage to hardwood steps or in the case of sewage contamination. Removing tack strips is not advised, as this may damage the hardwood or the subfloor. Extreme caution must be used whenever the tack strip is exposed or when the carpeted stairs are damp. If carpet left on the stairs is unsalvageable, it will be removed when new carpet is installed.

Why are air movers and dehumidifiers used?
When water damage has occurred, water can be absorbed into the drywall (sheetrock), baseboards, subflooring, etc. Drying these surfaces requires high velocity air movers to accelerate the release of absorbed water into the air. Dehumidifiers are necessary for removing this excess moisture to help protect property and create conditions for efficient drying. Please do not turn off or move drying equipment without first calling ServiceMaster Restore.
Who is responsible for monitoring the drying equipment?
Our water damage mitigation specialists will place and monitor equipment to achieve optimal results in the shortest amount of time. Please make sure no one turns the equipment off or moves it. Please notify our office immediately if the power goes off or if the equipment turns off.
Who is responsible for paying for the service?
Ultimately you, the property owner, are responsible for payment. As the property owner, you will need to sign a form authorizing the work and payment. If this is an insurance claim, ServiceMaster by David generally collects only the deductible amount and bills the balance to your insurance provider as a service to you. If you have a large loss, your mortgage company may be included as a payee on the payment from your insurance company, and you may need to obtain a signature from them as well. If your claim is not covered or you decide not to file a claim, you will be expected to pay in full at the time of service.

Fire Damage Questions

questions about fire and smoke damage

How long will the restoration process take?
Because there are many variables and many services involved in fire and smoke restoration, it is difficult to predict exactly how long the complete restoration will take. Consult with your ServiceMaster by David Restoration Technician on the estimated dates and phases of your restoration project.
Can I clean it myself?
We suggest that you do not attempt any “do-it-yourself” cleaning methods without consulting your ServiceMaster by David Restoration Technician. Pretesting, using the right cleaning agent for the particular item, mixing deodorizing agents with cleaning solutions and using correct dilution rates are just some of the ways a fire restoration technician expertly controls the results. Professional cleaning systems and products used by experienced, trained ServiceMaster by David Restoration Technicians give you the best chance for complete restoration of your belongings.
What are some safety concerns?
At ServiceMaster by David, occupant and worker safety is top priority. During the initial inspection, safety hazards are identified and addressed, including debris removal, air quality, electrical hazards, slip and trip hazards, etc. Burnt electrical cords and appliances are separated out for disposal, and questionable electrical appliances are unplugged and tagged for evaluation of safe operation. Electrical power may be turned off and kept off until evaluation by a licensed electrician.
Do I need to move out of my property during this process?
This is ultimately your decision. Some things you may want to consider are safety concerns, odors, electricity, noise from equipment, etc. If vacating your premises for any length of time consider the following: forward your mail to your temporary residence; stop newspaper and other deliveries; notify utility company, cable company, etc., of temporary suspension of services.
Do I need General Contractors?
There are some items that may require general contractors such as drywall/painting; electrical; plumbing; roofing; framing/finish carpentry; flooring/carpet; installation of doors, windows, cabinets, post-construction cleanup, etc.
Who is responsible for paying for the service?
Ultimately you, the property owner, are responsible for payment and will need to sign a form authorizing payment for the restoration services. If this is an insurance claim, ServiceMaster by David generally collects only the deductible (co-payment) amount from you and bills the balance to your insurance provider as a service to you. If you have a large loss, your mortgage company may be included as a payee on the payment from your insurance company, and you may need to obtain a signature from them as well. If your claim is not covered by insurance or you decide not to file a claim, you will be expected to pay in full.

Mold Remediation Questions

questions about mold removal

What is mold?
Mold is a microscopic fungus that is part of the natural environment and necessary for our ecosystem. While it is necessary in the outdoor world, too much mold inside a structure can be dangerous and unsanitary. Mold produces spores as part of its lifecycle, and these spores float through the air both inside and outside.
Why is mold a problem?
Many people aren’t aware that mold can cause serious structural damage to homes and businesses, which, if left undetected, can cause a property to lose value and/or require significant repairs. And if you have ever suffered from allergies, exposure to molds can often cause nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, skin irritation or even more severe reactions.
How can I tell if I have mold?
If you see mold growth or water stains, a mold test can help identify related microbial activity. You can also look for areas where water leakage has occurred, such as roofs, pipes, ceilings or walls. Musty smells may also indicate the presence of mold.
What can I do to prevent the growth of mold in my home?
The most effective means to keep mold in check include keeping the humidity level of your home at 40–60 percent, using an air conditioner and/or dehumidifier during humid months and in damp spaces like basements, and always utilizing exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens, along with dryer vents outside your home. Lastly, if there are leaks in your roof, walls or plumbing, it is important to repair them as soon as possible.
When does mold need to be handled by a professional remediation company?
Most experts recommend a professional remediation company when elevated mold levels are detected. Remediation professionals are specially trained to isolate and treat mold-affected areas to avoid contaminating adjacent spaces.
Some molds have the reputation of being more dangerous than others. Is identifying the mold important?

Sometimes you will hear terms like “toxic mold” and “black mold” used to refer to molds. While identifying the type of fungus or mold may be interesting, it doesn’t affect the course of action. If mold is present, the CDC has strongly recommended that it be removed, no matter the type*.

*Source: “Facts about Mold and Dampness.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 18 September 2012. Web. http://www.cdc.gov/mold/dampness_facts.htm

Reconstruction Questions

Questions about repairs and re-construction

How long will the reconstruction project take?
Because of the many variables involved, it is difficult to predict exactly how long the reconstruction project will take. Consult with your ServiceMaster by David Project Manager on the phases of your reconstruction project and estimated completion date.
What does pre-loss condition mean?
ServiceMaster by David is responsible for returning your home to how it was before damage occurred, or its pre-loss condition. We use materials of like kind and quality. There may be some damage that existed prior to your loss. Therefore, these damages have not been included in the scope of repairs. At your request, ServiceMaster by David will provide you with an estimate for any additional renovation projects, also called non-insured work.
What is non-insured work?
Any renovation project unrelated to your loss is considered non-insured work. At your request, ServiceMaster by David will provide a separate estimate for a non-insured renovation project, and we will require separate authorization and payment terms. If non-insured work will delay the completion of an insured portion, then the situation must be discussed with your Insurance Adjuster and the ServiceMaster by David Project Manager.
Do I need a permit?
When required, your ServiceMaster bu Davod Project Manager will take out the appropriate permit(s) on your behalf, identifying the ServiceMaster by David Franchise Business as the general contractor. If applicable, permit fees are included in the estimate and may be covered by the insurance company.

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