Water Damage Frequently Asked Questions

STRUCTURAL DRYING

CARPETS AND FLOOR COVERINGS

EQUIPMENT

SEWAGE

PAYMENT

STRUCTURAL DRYING

How long will it take my property to dry?

On average, 3-5 days, depending on your conditions. Drying time is determined by a combination of factors: (1)location, (2)duration, (3)source of water, (4)types of building materials, (5)weather conditions, and (6)how quickly emergency services begin. We monitor consistently during the drying process and we know when drying is complete. Sometimes, your carpet will feel dry to touch, but the padding and subflooring might be wet underneath.


How do I know when my property is completely dry?

We use specialized equipment to perform proper testing. Touch is a false indicator, and we rely on our equipment.


Will turning up the heat dry things out?

Not necessarily. We will adjust the temperature to its optimum setting for proper drying conditions. Please do not change the setting or shut off the HVAC system; doing so will prolong drying process.


My wood floors are wet and buckling. Will they have to be replaced?

If you filed a claim, your insurance adjuster will work with you to make the final decision as whether to replace or refinish your floors. Wood flooring is evaluated during the drying process. We use specialized drying systems and dehumidifiers to create an environment so the wood floors can dry efficiently and resume original shape.


What about my wet furniture?

Your furniture must be dried before damage can be adequately assessed. Depending on extent of damage and construction, your furniture might be able to be restored. Non-salvageable furniture will be documented for you, and if any sale items need to be discarded, a customer release form will need to be signed.


Do I need to move out of my property during this 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. Several things to consider: (1) Safety is most important. Our equipment is as childproof as possible, but we require your supervision to make sure they don’t play with it. Air movers and dehumidifiers will create noise and make your property drafty for a few days. It is important that the equipment remains on, so if noise is disruptive to you, you might want to find a different place to stay.


What’s that smell?

It is not unusual to smell odors during the drying process. Increased heat and humidity leads to increased odors from, the drying building materials, dormant spills, and accident areas. Do not confuse these normal odors with the odor of mold. As the drying process continues and humidity levels drop, you’ll notice these odors disappearing on their own. Natural 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 to determine the severity of the damage. We 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?

Our technicians will determine if it’s appropriate to open them. We figure out humidity in and outside your home. Opening the windows is not always recommended because of how often and quick the weather changes.

Can I walk on the area during the drying process?

It is strongly suggested to keep all traffic to minimum. Wearings shoes is highly important.




CARPETS AND FLOOR COVERINGS

Can my carpet be restored or does it have to be replaced?

Here’s a few reasons your carpet may not be saved:

  • Delamination (occurs when the backing separates from the carpet fiber)
  • Loss of adhesion (may be caused by 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 speciality flood need to be removed?

Nonporous flooring can trap water and prevent it from drying properly.


Why did the technician leave wet carpet on my stairs?

If carpet is left on the stairs, it is more than likely unsalvageable, and it will be removed when new carpet is installed. Carpet on the stairs is generally not removed for safety reasons. Exposed tack strips or staples is dangerous. However, there are situations where removing carpet from stairs is necessary to prevent damage to hardwood steps or because of sewage contamination. Removing tack strips is not advised, as this may damage floor or subfloor. Extreme caution must be used when tack strips are exposed.


How will you match my carpet pad?

A sample of your pad is brought to our 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. A 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 of colors and discoloration. Your rugs will be dried, cleaned, and returned.



EQUIPMENT

Why are air movers and dehumidifiers used?

When water damage has occurred, water can be absorbed into the drywall (sheetrock), baseboards, subflooring, 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 more drying equipment without first calling ServiceMaster of Kalamazoo.


Who is responsible for monitoring the drying equipment?

Our water 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 equipment turns off.


What will it cost to run the equipment?

Based on average electrical rates, it may cost about $1.00/day per piece of drying equipment to operate. Actual costs can vary depending on current rates from local electricity provider.



SEWAGE

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.



PAYMENT

Who is responsible for paying the service?

Ultimately you, the property owner, are responsible for the payment. As the property owner, you will need to sign a form authorizing the work and payment. If this is an insurance claim, ServiceMaster of Kalamazoo generally collects only the deductible amount, and then we bill the balance to your insurance provider, as a service to you. 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 or you decide not to file a claim, you will be expected to pay in full at the time of service.



Additional Resources