Water Damage FAQs

  • Question: What is your water removal & drying process?
    Answer: We use flood pumpers, sump pumps, commercial centrifugal pumps and extractos to remove the freestanding water. We use turbo dryer fans, axial fans and large dehumidifiers to speed drying. This generates airflow and heat, which can become uncomfortable, Drying is monitored in 24-48 hour intervals. Our main goal is to get the structure dry as quickly as possible.
  • Question: What precautions should I take regarding electricity safety?
    Answer: Avoid flooded areas until the electricity has been turned off at the electrical panel. Have a licensed electrician assess safety concerns.
  • Question: Are there health concerns regarding bacteria?
    Answer: Please refer to this site: American Rivers
  • Question: Are there industry standards that are used for drying structures?
    Answer: Yes, the IICRC S-500 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional water Damage Restoration.
  • Question: When can I reuse the affected area?
    Answer: Upon being certified that the area is dry and free of excess microbial growth. A certified industrial hygienist may be required for clearance.
  • Question: Are there health concerns regarding mold?
    Answer: Air quality can become compromised when there is water damage. Mold can produce pathogens, allergens, irritants and toxins. Bacteria from sewage and groundwater can pose severe health risks. For more information on health risks, please go to www.epa.gov/iaq
  • Question: Can my wood floor be saved?
    Answer: Wood floors can typically be salvaged. Engineered wood and laminate flooring usually will not be salvageable.
  • Question: Can I just let it dry out on its own?
    Answer: Very small spills may avoid bacterial growth, but permanent damage can still occur, and indoor air quality will be affected.
  • Question: What can I do now until ServiceMaster arrives?
    Answer: The following are guidelines for the period following a flood from the EPA:
    • Listen for news reports to learn whether the community’s water supply is safe to drink.
    • Avoid floodwaters; water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage. Water may also be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
    • Avoid moving water.
    • Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.
    • Stay away from downed power lines, and report them to the power company.
    • Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.
    • Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters.
    • Use extreme caution when entering buildings; there may be hidden damage, particularly in foundations.
    • Service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits, and leaching systems as soon as possible. Damaged sewage systems are serious health hazards.
    • Clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Mud left from floodwater can contain sewage and chemicals.
  • Question: Who determines when/if my home is dry?
    Answer: ServiceMaster is certified and uses the IICRC S-500 Standards for clearance.
  • Question: What should I do if mold is present?
    Answer: If mold is over 10 square feet, you should call a professional mold remediation company. If under 10 square feet, you can attempt to remove it yourself, but follow EPA guidelines.
  • Question: Is this a covered loss?
    Answer: Your insurance agent will be able to let you know if this is a covered loss. If an agent isn’t available, locate your insurance company’s emergency number.
  • Question: Can wet furniture be restored?
    Answer: Most furniture can be restored and salvaged. The exception is upholstered fabrics that bleed or have been contaminated by dirty water. If swelling has occurred in fiberboard, it cannot be repaired.
  • Question: Should I contact my agent or call the insurance company directly?
    Answer: Contact your agent first, as they are local and can give you the best information.
  • Question: Can my carpet be salvaged?
    Answer: Carpet that hasn’t been wet for over 24 hours can usually salvaged. Permanent staining can occur from wood furniture sitting on the carpet.