Water Damage FAQ
If you are experiencing a water damage incident, you definitely have questions. We have provided a list of frequently asked questions and their corresponding answers to help you in your time of need.
My house was flooded and I have cleaned up all of the water; how do I know if the walls are still wet?
Although your floors and walls may look and feel dry on the surface, there may still be potentially damaging moisture present inside the walls. Our certified technicians use a variety of specialized tools, including Thermal (infrared) imaging technology, to uncover moisture that is not visible to the eye and to ensure that your structure is properly dried. Remember, it is better to dry your building properly than to perform a costly mold remediation. Click here to learn more about Thermal Imaging Technology
How long will it take for my house/commercial building to dry?
All situations are unique, but a typical water loss takes 3 to 4 days to dry out. This includes extracting any standing water, removing any non-salvageable structural materials and returning the structure to its pre-loss condition. Some factors that affect the drying time include; the extent of the damage, the length of time before the initial response, the structures electrical capacity (determines how much drying equipment can be used), the types of building materials affected and the amount of personal property in each room. If we use our Heat Drying System, the drying time will be drastically reduced, as will the need for demolition and the reconstruction costs associated with removing, baseboards, drywall, etc. Click here to learn more about Heat Drying
How will you dry my house/commercial building?
Our certified technicians typically use a combination of high velocity air movers, dehumidifiers and thermal energy (Heat) drying equipment in response to a water intrusion. Air movers increase the rate of water evaporation while dehumidifiers remove the evaporated moisture from the air. Thermal energy drying techniques combine controlled heat with airflow to produce high-speed evaporation, dramatically reducing drying times and minimizing the need for demolition and reconstruction.
How long does it take for mold to develop?
Mold can begin to grow in 48-72 hours. That’s why it is so important to start the drying process as quickly as possible.
How do I know that that my property has been dried properly?
Our technicians are certified by and comply with the drying standards specified by the IICRC, The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, the main certifying body for the restoration industry. We conduct regular progress checks, monitoring the drying process with moisture meters and thermal imaging cameras to ensure that all of the affected areas are dried to industry standards. All of our moisture content readings are recorded and compiled in a report, complete with thermal images and digital pictures to give you the assurance that all of the structural materials have been dried properly.
How much will it cost?
It is not possible to give a cost estimate without first inspecting the damage. Many types of water losses are covered by homeowner/commercial insurance policies and AM/PM works closely with insurance companies to ensure that our costs are fair and competitive. Remember that drying out your property is only a portion of the cost. There will likely be costs for structural repairs (drywall, paint, floor coverings, etc.) as well as repairing and /or replacing personal property.
Will my insurance policy cover everything?
That depends on your individual carrier and the limitations of your insurance policy. Most insurance carriers will cover damages caused by a sudden and unexpected occurrence such as a burst toilet supply line, but they will not cover on-going issues like mold that develops from a slow leak, nor do they typically cover losses from ground water that enters your property from the outdoors. The best way to determine your coverage is to speak to your agent or to the claims department of your insurance carrier. Remember, you must act quickly and call a professional restoration company to avoid further damage and more costly repairs.
Is it true that when drywall gets wet it’s ruined and must be replaced?
No, when properly dried, drywall can almost always be salvaged.
If the carpet is wet, does it have to be discarded and replaced?
It depends on the class of water that the carpet has come into contact with. Here are the possible scenarios:
a) If the water was from a clean or “Category 1” water source such as a water supply line, then it can typically be dried in place and restored.
b) If the water had a mild degree of contamination, such as fire sprinkler discharge or an air conditioning condensation line, then it is considered “Category 2” and the treatment must be judged on a case-by-case basis. In a residential Category 2 flood the carpet pad is typically removed and the carpet dried in place.
c) If the water contains sewage or flowed in from the outdoors it is considered “black water” or “grossly contaminated” and is classified as “Category 3”. This water could contain blood-borne pathogens, diseases and/or chemicals of concern (pesticides, fertilizers, etc.). All porous materials affected by Category 3 water should be removed.
When structural materials get wet, will they grow mold and create a health hazard for the occupants of the building, despite the drying efforts of a professional restoration company?
If the moisture source is eliminated and the saturated areas are dried properly the chances for mold growth are diminished. Immediate response, the right technology, cutting edge equipment and procuring a knowledgeable, experienced restoration company are the key components in preventing mold growth. These factors could mean the difference between a $1,500.00 loss and a $20,000.00 loss.
Heat Drying FAQ
How can using heat dry a structure without removing carpet, baseboard, tile cove base, cabinets etc.?
Heat penetrates deep into building materials, drying areas that are not accessible. Intelligent ventilation, when necessary, requires little to no repair. Certain materials become irreversibly damaged when wet, such as MDF or compressed paper pressboard. However removing these damaged materials after drying, versus removing them when they are wet, reduces the chance of unnecessary secondary damage.
Result: Considerable savings on demolition and reconstruction costs.
Dry it in place and reduce the chance for damage. Carpet backing loses strength when it is saturated. However, manipulating the carpet, not the water itself, is what damages the carpet. In most cases, carpet and padding can be dried in place with the heat drying method, without causing any additional damage, eliminating the need for replacement.
Result: Considerable savings on carpet and pad replacement.
Is heat drying damaging to the structure?
Heat properly controlled is not damaging to the structure. Thermostatically controlling the heat keeps the heat in the proper range for optimum drying without creating unnecessary or secondary damage. Drying usually occurs within 48 hours
Are there condensation problems associated with heat drying?
Heat drying constantly flushes out old air and introduces new fresh air never allowing an increase in relative humidity and maintaining optimum drying conditions from start to finish. Therefore, no dehumidifiers are necessary in the heat drying process and the structure sees no damage due to condensation.
How can heat drying reduce A.L.E. Additional Living Expenses & Content Pack-outs?
Heat Drying dramatically reduces the demolition as well as the drying time of a structure. In most cases, the furniture can be left in place during the drying, which reduces the expense of handling pack-outs. This less invasive method allows the occupants to move back into the home/office immediately. Ultimately, heat drying reduces the inconvenience and costs associated with managing property damage.
Will heat drying promote or prevent mold growth in my home, after a water loss has occurred?
The heat drying method dries faster taking away the time and conditions necessary needed for mold to grow. Mold requires water, oxygen, nutrients and favorable temperatures in order to grow. Nutrients for mold consist of organic materials such as wood, paper or fabrics. Mold requires moisture although some mold species can obtain moisture from moist air, when the relative humidity is above 70 percent. Many molds thrive at normal indoor temperatures. However, few if any are able to grow below 40F or above 100F. Outside this range, molds may remain dormant or inactive; they may begin to grow again when temperatures are more favorable. Temperatures well above 100F will kill mold and mold spores, but the exact temperature required to kill specific species has not been determined.
Heat drying creates a healthier environment:
The well-known Louis Pasteur method of heating liquids if for the purpose of destroying viruses and harmful organisms such as bacteria, protozoa, molds, and yeasts. Along with the direct benefits of heat drying, the environmentally conscious indirect benefit is the reduction of usage of toxic chemicals.