Water Damage Cleanup FAQ
Read the full list of questions and answers, courtesy of ServiceMaster of St Charles MO 63301
- 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 sub-floors 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 to 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 a 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 system; doing so may prolong the drying process.
- My wood floors are wet and buckling. Will they have to be replaced?
Wood flooring must be evaluated during the drying process. We employ specialized drying systems and dehumidifiers which enable us to create an environment where wood floors can dry more efficiently and resume their original shape. Due to the density of hardwood flooring and urethane finishes, drying may take up to three weeks or longer. If you filed a claim, your insurance adjuster will work with you to make the final decision as to whether floors will need to be refinished or replaced.
- What about my wet furniture?
The extent of damage and the construction of the furniture will determine if your furniture can be restored. Your furniture must be dried before damage can be adequately assessed. Non-salvageable furniture will be documented for you and if any items need to be discarded, a customer release form will need to be signed.
- Do I need to move out of my property during the water damage restoration process?
If you file an insurance claim, you may receive guidance from your insurance representative. However, this is a decision you must reach on your own. Here are several things to consider. Safety is paramount. Our equipment is as childproof as possible, but we require your supervision for making sure no children play with it. Air movers and dehumidifiers will create some noise and make your property drafty for a few days. It is important that the equipment remains on, so if the noise is disruptive to you, you might want to consider an alternate place to stay.
- What is that smell?
It is not unusual to smell odors during the drying process. Increased heat and humidity can also lead to increased odors that may be coming from the drying building materials, or dormant spill and accident areas. Do not confuse these normal odors for the odor of mold. As the drying process continues and humidity levels drop, you will notice these odors disappearing on their own. Deodorizers are often used to minimize these effects as well.
- Does everything need to be moved out during restoration?
Not usually. If items need to be moved out, we will let you know in advance.
- 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.
- Should I open the windows to help the drying process?
Opening your windows to assist the drying process is not always recommended. Outside weather conditions may vary, so the technicians will determine when and if the outside air is appropriate.
- Can I walk on the area during the drying process?
It is strongly suggested that you keep the traffic to a minimum. Wearing shoes is recommended for your safety.
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 my prolonged exposure to water or age of the carpet)
– Permanent Stains
– Carpet covers wood flooring (to salvage the wood flooring)
– Sewage contamination
- Why does my specialty floor need to be removed?
Non-porous flooring can trap water and prevent it from drying properly.
- Why did the technician leave wet carpet on my stairs?
Carpet on the stairs is generally not removed for safety reasons. Exposed tack strip or staples, especially on steps is dangerous. However, there are situations where removing carpet from steps is necessary to prevent damage to hardwood steps or in the case of sewage contamination. Removing tack strip is not advised, as this may damage the hardwood or the sub-floor. Extreme caution must be when ever 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.
- How will you match my carpet pad?
A sample of your pad is brought to the office for a match. When available, an identical pad will be used. When your original pad is not available, we will provide a pad of the same quality, thickness and density. Similar pad may differ in color based upon the time it was manufactured.
- What will you do with my area rugs?
Rugs are taken to our warehouse for special care. They need to be dried carefully to minimize bleeding and colors and discoloration. Your rugs will be dried, cleaned and returned.
- Why are air movers and dehumidifiers used?
When water damage has occurred, water can be absorbed into the drywall (sheetrock), baseboards, sub-flooring, 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 Clean.
- 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.
- What will it cost to run the equipment?
Based on average electrical rates, it may cost about one dollar per day to operate the drying equipment.
- What about sewage contamination?
Hard surfaces can be cleaned and sanitized. Affected items that cannot be sanitized require disposal. Porous materials such as drywall, ceiling tiles, insulation, particleboard, paneling, etc. that have been directly affected should be removed during the emergency service visit.
You can find more information on water damage cleanup and restoration cost here.