Over the thousands of jobs we have handled over the years, these are the most frequently asked questions. We are happy to provide our best counsel for any question you might have about your particular emergency.
What kind of damage can occur if treatment is delayed?
Delay in removing the water and treating the affected area will result in property and structural damage that increases exponentially the longer the water sits. Carpeting, furniture and draperies are the most obvious items that get damaged, but water seepage into walls and floor boards can cause much more costly damage that can be harder and more expensive to remedy. Prompt removal of the water is essential and our highly trained staff and high powered equipment does just that- fast.
What happens to carpeting when subject to water damage conditions?
If excess water is not removed within 24 hours carpeting will begin a process called delamination in which the latex that holds the carpet fibers to the net like backing begins to break down, resulting in the two layers separating and making it difficult if not impossible to reinstall. In such cases the cost of treatment of the situation is increased by the carpet having to be replaced. Also if water is left standing, or even if the carpeting is damp, bacteria and mold will set in quickly causing a health hazard. Early and effective treatment can save valuable carpeting from be being damaged as well as keeping problems like mold, mildew and bacteria from ever developing.
How is Water Damage treated?
First the source of the water must be stopped to eliminate any further buildup of water. Then all excess water will be extracted from the carpeting and padding to limit the damage and aid in drying out the carpeting and floors. The carpeting will be taken up and the padding underneath removed (it is less expensive to replace padding than to spend the time and money to restore it after water damage).
The next step is to apply anti- mildew and anti-bacterial agents to the top and back of the carpeting, as well as the floor, to prevent any mildew or bacteria from developing on the damp surfaces.
Carpet dryers and dehumidifiers will be placed in the room to circulate air above and below the damp carpeting. The drying process can take as little as 24 hours or several days depending on the size of the area, type of carpeting, and the nature of the damage.
If the carpet is salvageable and in good condition it will be reinstalled over new padding. If not, new flooring can be installed.
If the original carpeting is being reinstalled the final step will be a thorough cleaning and another final treatment of anti-mildew and anti-bacteria agents.
What about sewage backups?
For situations where sewage is involved, like toilet backups, replacement of carpet and padding and heavy disinfection of all surfaces is the only safe solution for the health and well-being of the residents.
Clear water backups can usually be fully recovered if treated in the first 24 hours. Time is the most important factor in the treatment of any water damage case to prevent loss of property and health risks.
What are the first 3 things I need to do after the authorities let us back in?
Call your insurance agent or carrier to file a claim and to review available coverage. If you need assistance, we will be happy to assist you. Try not to touch anything before damage is recorded on film, digital image or videotape.
Call a bonded, licensed restoration specialist to help assess the damage. There should be no charge for this service. The more reputable companies will have the resources to start work immediately.
Is it safe to sleep in a house with smoke, sewage, or water damage?
Only if the damage is minor or confined to a small area. Otherwise, the answer is NO. Residual smoke and ash contain hazardous particles, such as carcinogens, that can lead to serious illness if inhaled. In commercial structures and older homes, smoke and ash may also contain asbestos particles. Standing water or raw sewage may contain dangerous pathogens and bacteria, both airborne and settled, which are extremely dangerous if inhaled.
Can I begin the clean up myself?
In the case of a burned structure with soot and ash present – the answer is NO. If you or your employees do attempt to stem further damage from a water or sewage leak, you must wear PPE – personal protective equipment, including Suit, Mask, Gloves, Respirator, and Boots.
How fast can cleanup begin?
That’s up to you. It’s always best to check your homeowners’ policy for coverage issues. Once you decide, we can be on-site, starting cleanup, within hours.
This is a stressful time. How do I make sure I’m getting all that my insurance policy entitles me to?
Be Methodical. Be knowledgeable. Be detailed.
Document your damages. If you are not prepared to do so, at your request, we will do it for you.
We carefully document all damages with digital cameras and video recorders.
Make sure you know how to prepare a detailed damage assessment. We are fully prepared to assist you with detailed cost breakdowns in the exact format insurance companies require.
Can I touch things in my flooded property?
You should move valuable items that are in harm way as quickly as possible. If furniture and antiques are sitting in standing water, move them to a dry location if possible. Remove any fragile, personal or valuable items. Do not try to remove carpeting, drywall, or flooring.