What can I do to help before you get here?
While it is best to leave the restoration process to professionals, there are things you can do to prevent further damage and ensure your own safety.
- Take up saturated area rugs
- Remove lamps, telephones and decorative items from wet furniture tops
- Place square protector pads under furniture legs to protect the furniture and avoid carpet staining
- Inspect surrounding rooms (also above and below) for evidence of additional water damage
- Stay out of rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water
- DO NOT use a vacuum to attempt to remove water
When can I call you and should I wait until Monday to call?
First Restoration Services has a live operator 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You should NEVER wait until Monday to call; if there is damage, you need to have a restoration specialist respond and evaluate the damage immediately. Even if you are unsure if there is significant damage, it is smart to call a restoration specialist to take a look at your home or business to help prevent further damage.
Can I turn the equipment off at night?
No. The drying equipment should stay running continuously to ensure that drying progresses at it’s optimum pace. Interruption of the drying process may extend the amount of days required and prevent a thorough drying, which increases both the costs, the extent of secondary damage and the potential for antimicrobial growth. It is safe to leave the equipment running while you sleep and during the day.
Are you replacing what you removed?
First Restoration Services is a full service restoration company; however, while we DO provide repair services, it is considered a separate service and not automatically assumed after the restoration is complete. After responding to the emergency work, First Restoration will send an estimator to provide an estimate for all repairs, free of charge. At this stage of the project, it will be your decision on which company you would like to perform the repair work. If you’d like First Restoration Services to perform repairs, please contact us to ensure that the project can be scheduled and coordinated.
How do I know when the structure is dry?
Determining whether water damage has been dried properly can be done only with professional moisture detection instruments. Moisture readings should be taken prior to the start of the restoration process, throughout the project and upon completion to ensure the progression and completion of drying.
I have water damage. How can I prevent mold?
Water damage should be mitigated by a certified professional immediately upon its discovery. The sooner the drying process begins, the less potential there is for antimicrobial growth, so rapid response is vital.
What makes mold grow in my home?
There is no way to get rid of all molds and mold spores from your home. Mold is naturally occurring in all environments; however, an excessive amount of mold creates a problem. Mold enters your home as tiny spores. The spores need moisture to begin growing, digesting and destroying. Mold can grow on almost any surface, including: wood, ceiling tiles, wallpaper, paints, carpet, drywall and insulation. The mold grows best when there is a lot of moisture from a leaky roof, high humidity or flood damage.
Can mold affect my health?
Some mold also produce mycotoxins that can pose serious health risks to humans and animals. Some studies claim that exposure to high levels of mycotoxins can lead to neurological problems and in some cases death. Prolonged exposure, e.g. daily workplace or household exposure, may be particularly harmful.
Symptoms caused by mold allergy are watery, itchy eyes, a chronic cough, headaches or migraines, difficulty breathing, rashes, tiredness, sinus problems, nasal blockage and frequent sneezing.
Where can Mold be found?
Mold in the home can usually be found in damp, dark or steam filled areas e.g. bathroom or kitchen, cluttered storage areas, recently flooded areas, basement areas, plumbing spaces, areas with poor ventilation and outdoors in humid environments.
How fast does Mold grow?
How fast growth occurs depends on the combination of conditions. Spores can germinate after only 12 hours in some conditions and some grow in 24 to 48 hours. Houses offer an ample food supply-drywall, wood, insulation, paper. When these materials become damp or wet, settled spores can become growing molds.
What is Mold Remediation?
The first step in the proper removal of mold is to get air samples taken and sent to an independent testing laboratory. This test will give you your indoor spore count. The goal in mold remediation is to remove all visible mold growth on the surface and behind a surface of building materials and structure and make the indoor air quality mold spore count better than what is found in the outdoor air.
What is the difference between Mold and Mildew?
Mold is a type of fungus that produces growth on various types of moist or decaying surfaces. It can grow on leather, clothing, walls, ceilings, and food or almost anywhere that moisture is present. It can often be identified by its color, which can range in blues, greens, blacks and reds. While some mold is harmless, some can be toxic and cause health problems in both humans and animals.
Mildew is also a type of fungus that grows on moist surfaces. However, mildew is generally found in showers, bathtubs and windowsills. It can be identified by its color of gray or white. Mildew is also more distinct since it can only take on a powdery or fuzzy form. Although mildewing surfaces are not toxic, they can cause problems for people who are allergic to mold.
What should I do after a fire?
- Secure the property and retain a contractor to board up windows, roofs, or other penetrations in order to prevent additional damage (First Restoration Services – 828.684.1582)
- If you need emergency housing, food, clothing, basic furniture, counseling for you or your children, you may contact the Red Cross, Salvation Army or your church.
- Contact your insurance agent.
- If weather permits, open windows for ventilation.
- If electricity is off empty refrigerators and freezers.
- Call a plumber to drain and blow out all water lines if heat is off in winter (also known as winterizing your home).
- Retain receipts for any money you spend. These receipts may be necessary for possible insurance reimbursements.
- Nothing should be thrown away until the items are listed on an inventory of damaged belongings (for the insurance company to reimburse).
What should I NOT do after a fire?
- Do not enter the structure without the proper Personal Protective Equipment.
- Do not enter the structure until you meet with the Fire Official in charge. Inform the Fire Official of the presence of important papers or valuables.
- Do not wipe or attempt to wash fire residues from walls, ceilings, contents, or other absorbent surfaces without professional assistance (First Restoration Services – 828.684.1582).
- Do not use carpeting or upholstered furniture impacted by heavy smoke residue or debris.
- Do not use food items or canned goods exposed to heat.
- Do not turn on computers, televisions, stereos or electrical appliances until they have been cleaned and checked.
- Do not touch anything. Oil from your hands can permeate upholstery, walls, and woodwork, causing additional damage.
- Do not use any electric fixtures, switches, or outlets.
What about my contents?
Throughout the restoration and rebuild process it may be necessary to remove your personal property from your home or business for better restoration and for storage until the structural repairs are completed. Typically, the process starts with an initial review room by room with the property owner to evaluate certain items which may not clean up 100% and which need to be placed on a non-salvageable list. Next we will inventory, box and secure all items to be transported to our state-of-the-art cleaning facility. Here, the contents will be put through the appropriate cleaning process, dried and deodorized if needed. Once the cleaning process is complete, the contents will be re-boxed securely and stored until all structural repairs are complete.
Do not under estimate sewage as an easy cleanup problem, sewage carries many virus and bacteria that can cause serious illness. When dealing with sewage you must always wear protective clothing and gloves on your hands, goggles for your eyes and a resperator for breathing.
What should I do if I have sewage damage?
- Keep people and pets away from the affected area(s).
- Do not attempt to clean it yourself.
- Turn off central heat and air system and prevent flow from reaching floor vents.
- Call an experienced restoration company for cleanup and removal of affected surfaces.
- Leave items in the affected area for the experts to handle.
- Report a claim to your homeowner’s insurance carrier.
- If you had recent plumbing work, contact your plumber or contractor.
- If you have a claim against your city or local sewer district, file your claim as soon as possible.
Can I use bleach to clean up sewer backup?
Although bleach is a common solution for most people, it is a poor solution for sewer backups. It may do a good job of making stains disappear, however it does a poor job of making the contamination of sewer (category 3) water disappear. We understand that the label may say “It kills 99% of common household germs.” We just don’t think that contamination from sewer water falls under the category of “common household germs.”
THE CLAIMS PROCESS
WHO CAN I USE?
In the state of North Carolina your insurance policy DOES NOT state that you have to use a specific restoration specialist; this entitles you to use any restoration company you prefer.
DO YOU WORK FOR ME OR MY INSURANCE COMPANY?
First Restoration Services always works for the property owner. Our scope of work will apply the appropriate restoration procedures to complete the job correctly the first time and any needs and requests the property owner may have. Our project managers will work with the adjusters assigned to the job to come to an agreed upon price.
HOW MUCH DO YOU CHARGE?
First Restoration Services always scopes the work on each project to be completed correctly the first time. If insurance is involved on standard residential projects, we use Xactimate Estimating Software, which is industry specific software designed to standardize the billing and pricing for the restoration industry. Price lists are updated monthly and are specific to the area in which the property is located. The services provided are estimated using this software and standardized price lists, to ensure fair and comparable billing. Commercial pricing may differ.
DO I NEED TO WAIT FOR MY ADJUSTER?
No, you do not. It is important to get a qualified restoration specialist on site to evaluate the damage and start mitigation. By applying the appropriate restoration procedures within the first few hours of a water loss you can save thousands of dollars in secondary damage. Time is of the essence when dealing with water damage to a building.
Have any questions that have not been answered, contact us and we will respond with an answer.