Fire Recovery Frequently Asked Questions

STRUCTURAL DRYING

  • How long will the restoration process take?
  • Can I clean it myself?
  • What are some safety concerns?
  • Can I turn on my heating and air conditioning unit?
  • What items do I keep in my possession?
  • How do I keep track of non-restorable items?
  • Do I need to move out of my property during this process?
  • Do I need general contractors?
  • Do my belongings need to be moved away from premises?
  • Will I have access to my belongings while they are in storage?
  • What about special items? Artwork, china, heirlooms, etc.?
  • Who is responsible for paying for the service?

  • How long will the restoration process take?

    Consult with us and a restoration technician will be able to fill you in on estimated dates and phases of your restoration process. Because there are many variables and many services involved in fire and smoke restoration, it is difficult to predict how long the complete restoration process will take.


    Can I clean it myself?

    Professional cleaning systems and products used by experienced, trained restoration technicians give you the best chance for complete restoration of your belongings. We suggest that you do not attempt any do-it-yourself cleaning methods without consulting us first. Our fire restoration technicians pretest, use the right agent for the particular item, mix deodorizing agents with cleaning solutions, and use correct dilution rates to control the best results.


    What are some safety concerns?

    At ServiceMaster of Kalamazoo, occupant and worker safety is top priority. During the initial inspection, safety hazards are identified and addressed, including debris removal, air quality, electrical hazards, slip and trip hazards, etc. Burnt electrical cords and appliances are separated out for disposal, and questionable electrical appliances are unplugged and tagged for evaluation of safe operation. Electrical power may be turned off and kept off until evaluation by a licensed electrician.


    Can I turn on my heating and air conditioning unit?

    We recommend that you do not turn on your furnace or air conditioning unit without clearance from the HVAC contractor.


    How do I keep track of non-restorable items?

    We recommend you make a list of items (including food items) deemed non-restorable. Use a format like the sample below or download a copy of the non-restorable items sheet, or obtain a similiar items sheet from your insurance company.


    nonrestorable things sheet preview

    What items do I keep in my possesion?

    • Cash
    • Checkbooks
    • Flammables
    • Gasoline Cans
    • Medications
    • Personal Documents
    • Pets
    • Stamp/Collections
    • Valuable Jewelry
    • Valuable Paintings
    • Weapons/Ammunition

    Do I need to move out of my property during this process?

    This is ultimately your decision. Some things you may want to consider are safety concerns, odors, electricity, noise from equipment, etc. Consider the following if you’re vacating your premises for any length of time: (1) forward your mail to your temporary residence (2) stop newspaper and other deliveries (3) notify utility company, cable company, etc., of temporary suspension of service.


    Do I need general contractors?

    There are some items that may require general contractors such as drywall/painting, electrical, plumbing, roofing, framing/finish carpentry, flooring and carpet, installation of doors, windows, cabinets, post-construction cleanup, etc..


    Do my belongings need to be moved away from premises?

    It depends on the source and extent of the fire. It might be best to remove all belongings to secure facility for cleaning, storage and to make room for restoration or construction. ServiceMaster of Kalamazoo will work with you and your insurance claims representative to manage this process.


    Will I have access to my belongings while they are in storage?

    Yes. All we need is advance notice, and we can schedule time for a restoration technician to meet with you and provide access to your requested items. A service charge may apply.


    What about special items? Artwork, china, heirlooms, etc.?

    Some higher valued items require restoration by a specialist. We will work with your insurance claims representative to help you identify these items and locate a restorer.


    Who is responsible for paying for the service?

    Ultimately, the property owner is responsible for payment and will need to sign a form authorizing payment for the restoration services. If this is an insurance claim, we generally collect only the deductible (co-payment) amount from you and bill the balance to the insurance provider. If you have a large loss, your mortgage company may be included as a payee on the payment from your insurance company, and you may need to obtain a signature from them as well. If your claim is not covered by insurance, or you decide not to file a claim, you will be expected to pay in full.