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Answers to Common Questions about Water Damage


ServiceMaster

(281) 668-5912

It’s common for home and business owners to have questions about the water restoration process. After all, you are waiting to move back in. So here are the answers to common questions that may be able to put some of your worries at rest.

If you don’t see your question listed here, please feel free to contact ServiceMaster. We would be more than happy to answer other unique or detailed questions regarding your service.

All of the following include common questions about the water damage restoration process:

  • What will happen to my wet items and furnishings?
  • Do I need to move out during the service?
  • How long will it take everything to dry?
  • How will I know everything is dry?
  • If I turn up the temperature, will it speed up the drying process?
  • How can my wet ceilings be restored?
  • Why is there a musty smell?
  • Is it OK to walk on a wet carpet?
  • Should I open the windows to allow for proper air conditions?
  • How much will it cost to run the equipment?
  • What will happen to my items and structure that were damaged by sewage water?
  • Who will be setting up the drying equipment?
  • Will my carpeting be repaired or replaced?
  • What will happen to my specialty floors?
  • Who will be paying the final bill?
  • How can I prevent this from happening in the future?

What will happen to my wet items and furnishings?

All wet items and furniture will be restored using a service called content cleaning. This process can either be done on-site or at our facility. In this situation, items will be packed, creating a detailed inventory, cleaned, and stored in our climate-controlled warehouse. When your property is ready, the items will be delivered to your door. For any items that are not able to be restored, we will work with you and your insurance agent to find replacements.

Do I need to move out during the service?

The drying equipment can pose an inconvenience, but in most cases, moving out isn’t necessary. Just keep in mind that this equipment can create noisy and drafty conditions. Drying materials may also produce a musty odor; however, this will also be removed by ServiceMaster.

If you do decide to relocate temporarily, remember to take care of the following: suspending cable, newspaper, other utility services, and forwarding mail to your temporary address.

What is the drying time?

Most drying times will last between 3 and 5 days, but some cases may call for additional time with larger properties and severe damage. The maximum drying time usually does not exceed 2 weeks. You can also check the water damage cleanup checklist to see the details of the process.

The length of time needed to restore the affected surfaces will depend on the following:

  • Location of the damage
  • Duration of the flood extraction services
  • Current weather conditions
  • Extent of the damage

While our specialists are trained and experienced to ensure an efficient process, please keep in mind that building materials will take time in order to be fully dried. Some of the structure may also feel dry on the surface, but may still be wet on the other side. Using measuring equipment, we will be able to determine when all building materials are completely dry.

How will I know when everything is dry?

Ceiling Water damage

ServiceMaster uses specific measuring tools and equipment that allow us to determine when everything is fully dry. Just keep in mind that although the structure may feel dry to the touch, the structure beneath it may still be wet. So everything will depend on the condition of the property, but as long as the equipment is kept on, the process won’t take long. If for any reason that it turns off unexpectedly, just call ServiceMaster.

If I turn up the temperature, will it speed up the drying process?

No. Our experienced technicians will set optimal drying conditions, allowing for an efficient drying process. The use of our products and equipment will also aid in the process, helping things to move along. We just ask that at this time, all machinery be left on to allow for an efficient process.

How can my wet ceilings be restored?

We may need to remove a section of the wet ceiling to allow proper air flow through the space. All wet insulation will also be removed.

Why is there a musty smell?

When the structure and furnishings are drying, it is natural for them to produce an odor. But this is not to be confused with mold; the odor will dissipate on its own. Upon request, our technicians can apply a deodorizer to speed up the process.

Is it OK to walk on a wet carpet?

ServiceMaster encourages to keep all foot traffic on wet carpet to a minimum. But if necessary, please wear shoes to prevent any health issues.

Should I open the windows to allow for proper air conditions?

ServiceMaster will advise if this would be helpful for the drying process. Keep in mind that any humidity from outside can prolong the drying process.

How much will it cost to run the equipment?

This will depend on your electric company, but typically, the rate is $1 per day per machine. But for exact rates, your electric provider can provide this information for you.

Sewage Contamination

What will happen to my items and structure that were damaged by sewage water?

In the case of sewage cleanup, all porous materials, including any wood, fabric, insulation, and sheetrock will be removed and discarded during the first visit. Replacements will then be ordered and installed by our technicians. All hard surfaces will then be disinfected to remove the remaining bacteria.

Carpeting and Floor Coverings

Lady-with-Dehumidifier

Woman with Portable dehumidifier colect water

Who will be setting up the drying equipment?

ServiceMaster is responsible for setting up and repositioning the drying equipment, creating the perfect conditions for an efficient drying process. The process will also be monitored to ensure efficiency. If you need to schedule additional appointments, simply give us a call and we will come by at a time that works best for you.

Will my carpeting be repaired or replaced?

This will depend on the flooring’s current condition. But if any of the following have occurred to the carpet, it may have to be replaced:

  • The carpeting covers water damaged wood flooring (the flooring must be dried underneath)
  • Permanent stains (red wine, food, dirt, and ink)
  • Loss of adhesion (over-exposure to the water or old carpeting)
  • Delamination

What will happen to my specialty floors?

ServiceMaster will do a full inspection of the specialty floors as well as decide if they will be replaced or restored. If they can be restored, our advanced dehumidifiers and air movers will enhance the drying process. Although if you have wood flooring with a urethane finish, the process can last up to 3 weeks in order to be dried fully. If your situation is cost-sensitive, a technician will work with you and your insurance agent to determine if restoration or replacement is best for you.

Services Payments

Who will be paying the final bill?

As the primary owner of the property, you are the one responsible for the payment of all services. If you chose to file an insurance claim, the deductible will be due before the end of the service and the remaining balance sent to your insurance provider. If not, the full payment will be required at the time of service. If there was a large loss, your mortgage company may also be listed as a payee on the form and their signature required before beginning the service.

Water Damage Prevention

How can I prevent this from happening in the future?

While there is no guarantee to prevent another disaster from happening again, there are numerous steps that can be taken in order to minimize chances. By following our water damage prevention guide, you can save thousands of dollars and time in repairs in the future.


Recent Reviews

April 12, 2019
Amy Kelly
Houston, TX
The service I received was outstanding. I called the main number and was told a local representative would call me back. Less than 15 minutes later, I received a call from my local branch and was told a technician would be at my home that afternoon. The technician called to tell me when he would arrive and he arrived promptly at that time. From the time I called to the time a technician was in my home, it was less than 2 hours. The technician was professional, efficient and explained my options thoroughly. He completed the work independently and efficiently and informed me when he would return. I was extremely pleased with the service.
April 12, 2019
David Henson
The Woodlands, TX
Quick and knowledgeable
April 1, 2019
A.T.
Houston, TX
quick response and good personnel