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ServiceMaster NCR

National Capital Restoration
Headquartered in Alexandria

ServiceMaster NCR

(855) 957-6627

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Water Damage FAQs

  • Question: Can my carpet be salvaged?
  • Answer: If the water is from a clean source and the carpet has not been wet for over 24 hours, it can usually be salvaged. Exceptions are permanent staining that can occur from wood furniture sitting on the carpet.

  • Question: Should I contact my agent or call the insurance company directly?
  • Answer: Whenever possible, try to contact your agent first. They typically are local and can give the best information quickly.

  • Question: Can wet furniture be restored?
  • Answer: Most furniture can be cleaned and sanitized. The exception is upholstered fabrics that bleed or have been contaminated by “dirty” water. If swelling has occurred in MDF (medium-density fiberboard), used in many case goods, it cannot be repaired.

  • Question: Is this a covered loss?
  • Answer: Check with your insurance agent. If agent is not available, contact you insurance company’s emergency number.

  • Question: What should I do if mold is present?
  • Answer: If visible mold is over 10 square feet, you should call a professional mold remediation company like ServiceMaster. If under 10 square feet, you may attempt to remove it yourself, but beware of the health concerns and follow the EPA guidelines.

  • Question: Who determines when/if my home is dry?
  • Answer: ServiceMaster is certified and uses the IICRC S-500 Standards for clearance.

  • 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: Can I just let it dry out on its own?
  • Answer: Rarely is this a good idea. Very small spills may avoid microbial growth, but there is no guarantee as to whether or not permanent damages may occur or if indoor air quality will be affected.

  • Question: Can my wood floor be saved?
  • Answer: Bound water in solid wood floors can usually be removed using special desiccant dehumidification. Using the right equipment and processes, wood floors can typically be salvaged. The exceptions are engineered wood and laminate flooring.

  • Question: Are there health concerns regarding mold?
  • Answer: The EPA has excellent information regarding this topic here.

  • 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 industry standards that are used for drying structures?
  • Answer: Yes, the IICRC S-500 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional water Damage Restoration.

  • Question: Are there health concerns regarding bacteria?
  • Answer: Please refer to this site:

  • 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.

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