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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I estimate the extent of the damage?

Water damage and flooding can cause structural damage to your home. Once it is safe, you can survey the home, noting any visible damage as well as the water lines. When you enter a structure, use extreme caution and evaluate the damage from top to bottom. As a professional restoration firm, we can also help evaluate and estimate the damage.

How can I secure my property after water damage?

Your home is susceptible to looting and vandalism if it is damaged and unoccupied. Even if you have an alarm system, it may not be functioning if your electricity or telephone service is interrupted. Lock and secure any vulnerable entry points into your home while you are away.

Should I enter my home after a flood?

If your home has suffered from a flood or water damage, extreme caution should be exercised when you first enter your home and begin cleanup. Always make sure your home is structurally stable, and turn off the power and gas supply lines to your home. Do not drink water from the tap until it is declared safe. Wear protective gear to protect yourself from contaminants that may be in the floodwaters.

My insurance company recommended a repair contractor, but do I have to use them?

The homeowner has the right to choose the contractor of their choice, and this is written in your insurance policy. Never feel pressured to use a contractor recommended by your insurance agent—choose a repair contractor that you feel comfortable with and confident in their abilities. 

Water Damage Prevention

Do I need an exhaust fan in my bathroom?

A bathroom exhaust fan serves the vital purpose of ventilating the bathroom to maintain low humidity levels. Exhaust fans reduce the risk of mold growth and should be used every time you use the shower or bathtub. Continue to run it for 5-10 minutes afterward to dissipate the remaining moisture. We recommend installing an exhaust fan if you do not have one.

There is discoloration and softening of the wall behind my utility sink. Should I be worried?

Discoloration and soft walls generally point to a water leak in the pipes behind the sink. Call a professional for help repairing the pipes. A water damage professional can perform an infrared inspection to confirm water damage.

Where should I check for water damage around my refrigerator?

Refrigerators are sometimes overlooked as a source of water damage in the kitchen. Check for moisture behind or under the refrigerator. You should also check water supply line collections and seals. The drain pan should be inspected too since this is a common source of mold growth.

I think my attic insulation is wet. What should I do?

Once insulation is wet, it is ineffective and hard to dry out. Wet insulation can create high humidity and contribute to mold growth. Identify and address the source of the leak, and then we recommend replacing the insulation.

There are water droplets in the washing machine when it is not in use. Should I be worried about water damage?

Water in the washing machine can indicate a failing shutoff valve that is letting water through the line when the machine is not in use. Consider installing a new shutoff valve to prevent water damage. Also inspect the water supply lines to ensure they are in good condition.

Should I be concerned about attic vents contributing to water damage?

Attic vents can lead to water damage, but they are essential for proper attic ventilation and to circulate air in the attic to reduce humidity, which wards off mold problems. Inspect the vents regularly to ensure proper operation and prevent leaks.

Where should I look for water damage in the bathroom?

Bathrooms have multiple sources of potential water damage. Check for leaks around the toilet and sink, making sure that everything is dry and functioning properly. Check the tiles, grout, and drain in the bathtub or shower for any damage, paying special attention to any discolorations or soft areas around the bathtub.

What are the signs of water damage in the kitchen?

If you suspect that you have water damage in your kitchen, look out for water spots under the sink, slow draining pipes, damaged tile or grout, or soft or stained walls. You may also spot water leaks around, under, or behind your refrigerator or dishwasher.

Should I be concerned about electrical shock after water damage?

The short answer is yes—whenever there is water damage, there is a risk of electrical shock. Turn off the power to your home or business by turning off the main circuit breaker panel. Even if the power is out in your neighborhood, it could be re-energized at any time. Do not use electrical appliances while standing on a wet floor. Never use a regular vacuum cleaner to remove excess water.

Recovering from Water Damage

My family photos were damaged by water, what should I do?

We understand the value of saving family photos. If you cannot dry the photos immediately, additional damage may be prevented by freezing the photos. Gently rinse the photos and place them in a plastic bag before placing them in the freezer. Be sure to consult a professional conservator before freezing any photos.

Can my books be saved after water damage?

Books submerged in clean water, such as water from a broken pipe, for less than 24 hours may be saved as long as mold is not present. Collectible, rare, or expensive books can be placed in plastic bags and placed in the freezer until they can be dried by a professional.

My house was flooded. Do I need to throw away all my kitchenware?

Yes and no. Wooden cutting boards, plastic utensils and containers, baby bottle nipples, and pacifiers should be thrown out, as they cannot be safely cleaned after contamination with flood waters. Other items made from glass, stainless steel, or stoneware can be sanitized, disinfected, and reused as long as they do not have physical damage, such as cracks or chips that can trap contamination.