FAQs about Damage Restoration
Who chooses the Restoration Contractor?
Some Insurance companies have Preferred Vendors or contractors, you have the option of using the insurance company provider(s) of selecting one of your own. Your Insurance Company does not hire a contractor, it is the responsibility of the homeowner to hire a license general contractor who will work within the limits of the insurance quote. When conducting a search for general contractors, it is important that your building contractors are familiar with the insurance claim procedure. There is an abundance of detail involved in the process of filing property insurance claims, of which the property owner is often unaware. ServiceMaster Restoration of Wilmington has the expertise in insurance claim renovations. .
What would be considered non-insured work?
Any construction project unrelated to your loss is considered non-insured work. At your request, we will provide a separate estimate for a non-insured construction project, and we will require separate authorization and payment terms. If non-insured work will delay the completion of an insured portion, then the situation must be discussed with your Insurance Adjuster and the Project Manager.
Do I need a permit?
When required, your Project Manager will take out the appropriate permit(s) on your behalf, identifying our company as the general contractor. If applicable, permit fees are included in the estimate and may be covered by the insurance company.
Do my belongings have to be moved away from the premises?
Depending on the scope of work, contents may remain on location. We will take appropriate measures to securely cover and protect contents. Any construction related dust that collects would be addressed in the post-construction cleaning. For large restoration jobs, it may be best to move all affected contents to a secure, climate-controlled facility in order to protect them and make room for construction. Be assured that our technicians are fully trained and will treat your possessions with the utmost care. Our Automated Inventory Control System tracks the status of your belongings from move out to move back. We will work with you and your Insurance Claims Representative to manage this process.
Who is responsible for paying for the service?
Ultimately you, the property owner, are responsible for payment and will need to sign a form authorizing payment for the restoration services. If this is an insurance claim, we generally collects only the deductible amount from you before work begins, and bills the balance to your insurance provider as a service to you. If your project is not covered by insurance or you decide not to file a claim, you will be required to pay in full. A payment schedule may be agreed upon prior to the start of any non-insured work.
Fire & Smoke
Can I clean up myself?
We suggest that you do not attempt any “do-it-yourself” cleaning methods without consulting your Restoration Technician. Pre-testing, using the right cleaning agent for the particular item, mixing deodorizing agents with cleaning solutions and using correct dilution rates are just some of the ways a fire restoration technician expertly controls the results. Professional cleaning systems and products used by experienced, trained technicians give you the best chance for complete restoration of your belongings. Using the wrong product can damage your property, increasing the cost of restoration.
What are some safety concerns?
Occupant and worker safety is our top priority. During the initial inspection, safety hazards are identified and addressed, including debris removal, air quality, electrical hazards, slip and trip hazards, etc. Burnt electrical cords and appliances are separated out for disposal, and questionable electrical appliances are unplugged and tagged for evaluation of safe operation. Electrical power may be turned off and kept off until evaluation by a licensed electrician.
My Electric was turned off after the fire, how long can it take to turn on the electricity?
In more serious fires, the Fire Department can request your meter be pulled. A temporary pole may need to be placed, and inspected prior to electricity being turned on. Your electricity provider can take as much as 7 days to restore electricity to that temporary pole. This will not restore electricity to your whole house, however, it will allow electricity for you contractor to begin the cleaning and restoration process.
How long can the restoration process take?
Depending on the scope of the project and the amount of damage, the restoration process may require several phases before completion. Through it all, your Project Manager will make the process seamless.
Do I need to move out of my property during the restoration process?
Depending on the extent of damage, this is ultimately your decision. Some things you may want to consider are safety concerns, odors, electricity, noise from equipment, etc.
Can I turn on my heating and air conditioning Unit?
We recommend that you not turn on your furnace or air conditioning unit without clearance from the HVAC Contractor.
What about special items? Artwork, china, heirlooms, etc.
Some high-value items require restoration by a specialist. Working with your insurance claim representative, we can help you identify these and locate a qualified restorer.
Water & Flood Damage
Why are air movers and dehumidifiers used?
When water damage has occurred, water can be absorbed into the drywall (sheetrock), baseboards, sub-flooring, 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.
Who is responsible for monitoring the drying equipment?
Our water damage mitigation specialists will place and monitor equipment to achieve optimal results in the shortest amount of time. Equipment should never be turned off or moved by anyone other than the damage mitigation specialist.
What will it cost to run the equipment?
Based on average electrical rates, it may cost about one dollar per day per piece of drying equipment to operate. Actual rates can vary depending on current rates from your local electricity provider. Your insurance company may assist you with the extra cost.
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.
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.
My ceilings are wet. What needs to be done?
Our technicians will evaluate moisture content, determine the severity of the damage and 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?
Opening your windows to assist the drying process is not always recommended. Outside weather conditions may vary, so the technician will determine when and if the outside air is appropriate.
Can I walk on the area during the drying process?
It is strongly suggested that you keep the traffic to a minimum. Wearing shoes is recommended for your safety.
What about my wet furniture?
The extent of damage and the construction of the furniture will determine if your furniture can be restored. Your furniture must be dried before damage can be adequately assessed. Non-salvageable furniture will be documented for you and if any items need to be discarded, a customer release form will need to be signed.