FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

WATER

  • How do you fix water damage?

    If you have experienced water damage in your home, drying out the affected areas should be your first priority. It’s important to get rid of all moisture as quickly as possible in order to prevent further damage, electrical hazards and the spread of mold.

    Depending on the extent of the water damage, your drying options may include:

    • High-powered fans
    • Large-capacity dehumidifier
    • Sump pump
    • Professional water extraction services

    The length of time it will take for the affected areas to dry is determined by a combination of factors including the location, duration and source of the water, the types of building materials, the weather conditions and how quickly emergency services begin.

    The only way to have peace of mind that your property is completely dry is through proper testing with specialized equipment, as touch alone may be a false indicator.

    Materials must be dry before damage can be adequately assessed. Porous materials that have been soaked in water, such as wood, carpet, insulation and padded furniture, may need to be removed and thrown out, as they are especially vulnerable to mold and mildew growth and can become permanently warped.

    Once all necessary materials have been removed, it’s important to disinfect all remaining items and surfaces in order to eliminate any lingering mold spores.

  • How do you fix water damage on ceilings?

    Common causes of water damage on ceilings include:

    • Clogged gutters
    • Leaky pipes
    • Leaky roof
    • Worn-out caulking
    • Natural disasters

    Once you have located the source of the leak and made the necessary repairs, you will need to dry the damaged area, both above and below the ceiling (if possible). Depending on the severity of the water damage, you may need to use towels, fans or a dehumidifier. If damage is extensive, professional water damage restoration services may be required.

    Once the area is completely dry, you will need to assess the extent of the damage and remove any affected materials, including loose, bulging or mold-ridden drywall.

    Depending on the extent of the damage, repairs may involve:

    • Installing new drywall or plaster
    • Replacing insulation
    • Replacing damaged wood
    • Painting the ceiling

  • How do you fix water damage on wood floors?

    The first step to fixing water damage on wood floors is to thoroughly dry out the affected areas. It’s important to act quickly, because water damage can cause permanent warping and trigger mold growth. Depending on the severity of the damage, you may need to use fans, a dehumidifier or a sump pump. If the damage is extensive, professional water damage restoration services may be required, and floors may need to be refinished or replaced.

  • How do you prevent basement flooding?

    Here are several basic tips on how to reduce the risk of basement flooding:

    • Clear debris from eavestroughs and downspouts
    • Repair cracks in the foundation
    • Grade your property away from the house
    • Turn off outdoor taps before the winter months to avoid freezing

    If you have already experienced basement flooding, contact your local ServiceMaster Restore contractor. They will respond to your needs and restore your home with minimal disruption to you and your family.

  • How do I know when my house is completely dry?

    The most accurate method to determine if your house is fully dry is through proper testing with specialized equipment. Touch alone may be a false indicator as to whether everything is completely dried out.

  • Can I walk on the area during the drying process?

    It is highly recommended that you keep traffic to a minimum during the drying process. If you do walk on the affected area, wearing shoes is recommended for your safety.

  • Do I need to move out of my property during the restoration process?

    It is ultimately your decision as to whether you remain in or leave your property, but there are some things to take into consideration. These include safety concerns, odours, noise from the drying equipment, etc.

    If you are considering vacating your property for any length of time, it is important to consider the following:

    • Forward your mail to your new temporary residence
    • Stop all scheduled deliveries
    • Notify your utility/cable company of the temporary suspension of services

FIRE & SMOKE

  • How much does fire & smoke damage restoration cost?

    The cost of restoration widely varies depending on the severity and extent of the fire and smoke damage; as such, it is determined on a case-by-case basis. For example, fire and smoke may have been isolated to a small part of your home, causing minimal damage, or it may have spread across the property, requiring extensive repairs and costly furniture replacement.

    Fire damage costs may be covered under your property insurance policy; however, you will be responsible for paying a deductible. To determine coverage information and deductible amounts, talk to your insurance agent.

    If damage is extensive, the best step you can take is to consult with a local restoration technician. Once a full consultation takes place, the cost as well as estimated dates and phases of your restoration project will be provided.

  • What steps are involved in the fire damage restoration process?

    While no two circumstances are exactly alike, the fire damage restoration process typically involves:

    1. Inspection: In order to develop an effective plan of action, the first and most important step is to determine the cause of the fire and the extent of the damage. At this time, safety hazards will also be evaluated and addressed, including:

    • Water damage
    • Air quality
    • Electrical hazards
    • Slip and trip hazards

    2. Removal: Items required for immediate use will be collected (e.g., clothing, prescriptions, school books, etc.) and remaining contents will be packed for cleaning and storage.

    3. Restoration: Structural restoration will be performed, which may include:

    • Evaluating and removing damaged contents
    • Inspecting the framing of the house and subfloors for safety
    • Coordinating general contractors for repairs (if required)

    4. Cleaning: The cleaning process includes:

    • Eliminating odours
    • Deodorizing surfaces
    • Returning items to their original location

  • How do I clean up fire damage? Can I repair fire damage myself?

    It is strongly recommended that you do not attempt any DIY cleaning methods without first consulting a ServiceMaster Restore professional. There are many factors that technicians take into consideration to expertly control the results, such as using the right cleaning agent for the particular item and using the correct dilution rates, so it is best to not attempt this yourself.

    Professional cleaning systems and products used by trained ServiceMaster Restore technicians are the best method to ensure the complete restoration of your belongings.

  • Can I turn on my heating and AC unit after fire damage?

    It is strongly recommended that you do not turn on your furnace or air conditioning unit without first receiving clearance from an HVAC contractor.

  • Do I need to move out of my property during the restoration process?

    It is ultimately your decision as to whether you remain in or leave your property, but there are some factors to consider. These include safety concerns, odours, noise from the drying equipment, etc.

    If you are considering vacating your property for any length of time it is important to consider the following:

    • Forward your mail to your new temporary residence
    • Stop all scheduled deliveries
    • Notify your utility/cable company of the temporary suspension of services

MOLD & MILDEW

  • How do you detect mold & mildew in your home?

    A telltale sign of mold growth in your home is small discoloured spots on your walls, floors, appliances or furniture. Mold growth may also be accompanied by a musty or earthy odour, depending on the type of mold that is present.

    Mold grows in damp environments, which is why it is often found in bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms and basements. It can also be found in areas where water leakage has occurred, such as pipes, ceilings or roofs.

    If left untreated, mold can cause significant structural damage to your home or business, resulting in costly repairs. Mold exposure can also cause allergy and respiratory symptoms such as eye irritation, skin irritation, coughing or wheezing—or potentially more severe reactions.

  • How do you remove mold & mildew in your home?

    A small patch of mold or mildew can potentially be removed without any professional help using a vinegar or bleach solution. If you do attempt to remove mold or mildew yourself, it’s important to wear proper safety gear such as gloves, goggles and a respirator to protect your skin, eyes and lungs from mold exposure.

    For larger mold and mildew removal projects, expert remediation services are strongly recommended. Remediation professionals are specially trained to safely and effectively isolate and treat mold-affected areas without contaminating adjacent spaces.

  • My house smells musty. Do I have mold?

    If your house smells musty, it's possible there is a mold outbreak. To be certain of whether the smell is an indication of a mold issue, it’s best to consult with a ServiceMaster Restore technician.

  • How does mold grow in a house? What does mold need in order to grow?

    For mold to grow it requires a few factors, including a moist environment, temperatures above freezing and an organic food source such as cellulose, which is found in wood and drywall. Additionally, mold is more likely to be found in damp, dusty spaces or areas with stagnant air.

  • What are the side effects of mold in the house?

    There are many side effects of mold in the house that include not only the health of your home, but your personal wellbeing as well. Unattended mold issues can cause structural damage to homes and businesses. If left undetected and unaddressed, this can cause a property to lose value and require significant costly repairs. On top of the potential damage to your home, mold can also take a toll on your personal health. If you have ever suffered from allergies, exposure to mold can often cause nasal stuffiness, wheezing, eye and skin irritation or potentially even more severe reactions.

  • What type of molds are dangerous or toxic?

    Identifying the type of mold is an important step in any removal process. While terms like “toxic mold” or “black mold” are used to refer to specific variations that may exist, all mold should be viewed as a serious issue and addressed accordingly.

  • When does mold need to be handled by a professional company?

    Experts recommend that a professional service such as ServiceMaster Restore is called when elevated mold levels are detected. One of the reasons for this is that ServiceMaster Restore technicians are specifically trained to isolate and treat mold-affected areas to avoid further contamination of adjacent spaces.