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Water Damage FAQ

For both residential and commercial water damage restoration
Home » Water Damage Restoration FAQ

Water Damage Restoration FAQ

Structural Drying

How do I prevent mold?

Mold requires a constant supply of moisture and cellulose, a prime ingredient within all building materials. By immediately calling ServiceMaster EMT at (800) 376-6678, we can remove the water, dry out the building structure, and prevent any mold growth from developing.

How long will it take my property to dry?

The amount of time it takes for your building materials to dry will depend on the following factors:

  • Source of water
  • Types of building materials
  • Current weather conditions
  • How quickly emergency services begin
  • Location, duration, and source of water

After consistent monitoring and evaluation of the drying process, ServiceMaster EMT will determine when it is completed.

Although your carpeting material may feel dry, it is possible that the sub-floor and padding may still be wet underneath. There are no specific rules in determining exactly how long it will take for your carpet to dry, but we will let you if it is between 3 and 5 days or more, depending on current conditions.

How do I know when my property is completely dry?

You will know when your property is completely dry it is tested by our restoration equipment. Simply touching the floors or carpeting is a false indicator.

Will turning up the heat help dry things out?

Not necessarily. We will adjust the temperature to its optimum setting for the proper drying conditions. Please do not change the setting or shut off the system; doing so may prolong the drying process.

My wood floors are soaked and cracking. Will they need to be replaced?

As there are different types of wood flooring, they will be evaluated carefully in the drying process. ServiceMaster EMT uses advanced drying equipment, allowing us make the water damage restoration process more efficient while they resume their original shape.

Please be aware that drying wood flooring may take 3 weeks or longer, due to its density and urethane finish.

Provided you filed a claim, your insurance adjuster will work with you to determine whether the floors will need to be refinished or replaced.

My furniture is wet. What do I do?

Whether or not your furniture can be repaired will depend on the extent of the damage and their construction. But they must be dried before they can be assessed adequately. Any furniture that cannot be salvaged will be recorded for you and a customer release form will need to be signed for any items that need to be discarded.

Do I need to move out of my property during the drying process?

Your insurance adjuster will advise you on whether or not you should leave your home during the drying process. But the decision is ultimately yours to make.

If you decide to stay, please consider the following:

  • Our equipment is childproof, but it is important to supervise your children around it at all times.
  • Air movers and dehumidifiers will create noise that can make your property drafty for a few days. It’s important for the equipment to stay on, so if it is disruptive, you may want to consider living moving somewhere else temporarily.
Why does it smell musty?

Musty odors are common during the drying process. Increased odors may be permeating from the drying building structure, dormant spills, and accident areas with increased heat and humidity. These are not to be confused with mold odors (although we can provide mold remediation if needed).

As humidity levels drop, you will notice that these odors will dissipate. ServiceMaster EMT also makes use of professional deodorizers to minimize these effects.

Do I need to move everything out during the drying process?

Usually not. Our technicians will let you know if any items need to be moved out.

What can you do about my wet ceilings?

ServiceMaste EMT will determine the severity of the damage through evaluating the amount of moisture within the ceiling material. It may need to be remove to allow for proper air circulation. Keep in mind that any wet insulation can be a hazard and may also need to be replaced.

Will opening the windows help the drying process?

It’s not always recommended to open your windows during the drying process. As outside weather conditions may vary, our technicians will determine if it is best to evaluate if outside conditions will aid in the drying process.

Can I walk on the drying area?

It’s important to keep all foot traffic on the drying area to a minimum. It is also recommended to wear shoes throughout the house for your house.

Carpet and Floor Coverings

Why does my specialty floor need to be removed?

Any flooring that is non-porous can trap water, preventing it from drying efficiently.

Does my carpet need to be replaced?

Whether or not your carpet will need to be replaced will depend on the following:

  • Lamination: If the backing of the carpet has separated from the fiber.
  • Adhesion: If there is loss of adhesion due to prolonged exposure to water or the carpet’s age, replacement will be necessary.
  • Permanent Stains: If the carpet is permanently stained, replacement will be necessary.
  • Carpet Covers Wood Flooring: In order to dry the wood flooring, the carpeting will need to be removed.
How will my carpet pad be matched?

We will bring a sample of your carpet pad to the office for a match. If available, we will use an identical pad. If not available, ServiceMater EMT will provide a similar one of the same quality, density, and thickness. Although it may differ in color according to the time it was manufactured.

Why is my carpet still wet on the stairs?

For safety reasons, ServiceMaster EMT does not usually remove carpeting on stairs. Tack strips and staples that are exposed are particularly dangerous. But it is necessary to remove the carpet in the case of sewage contamination or to prevent damage to the hardwood underneath.

It’s not recommended to remove the tack strip because it may damage the hardwood sub-floor. It’s important to be very careful when walking across damp carpeted stairs or when the tack strip is exposed. If the carpeting on the stair is not salvageable, replacement carpeting will be installed.

What will happen to my area rugs?

Area rugs will be taken to our warehouse to be cleaned professionally. To minimize any bleeding of colors and/or discoloration, they will need to be dried carefully. They will then be returned to you by one of our technicians.

Sewage Contamination

What happens in the case of sewage damage?

During sewage cleanup, all items that cannot be cleaned will be recorded and disposed of properly. All hard surfaces will be disinfected. Building materials that are porous, including particleboard, paneling, ceiling tiles, and insulation will be removed during the emergency service visit.


Why do you use air movers and dehumidifiers?

During water damage, excess water and moisture are absorbed within the drywall, sub-flooring, baseboards, and other porous materials. In order to efficiently dry out these surfaces, high-velocity air movers are needed to accelerate the dehumidification process.

ServiceMaster EMT uses dehumidifiers to eliminate the remaining excess moisture from the air and to protect building materials and furnishings from further damage. Please do not turn off this equipment without calling our technicians first.

Who monitors the drying equipment?

Our water damage technicians will strategically place and monitor the drying equipment to ensure an efficient and effective service. During the drying time, please do not turn off or move the equipment and notify our office right away if it turns off by itself.

How much does it cost to run the drying equipment?

Based on average electrical rate, it costs about one dollar per day per machine to use the drying equipment.


How much will this all cost?

ServiceMaster EMT will not bill any services up front after filing an insurance claim. Your insurance company will be billed directly for all services and are usually paid in full direct. If you chose not to file a claim, contact us to get a quote on our services.

Do I need permission from my insurance adjuster before I do anything?

No. You are responsible for having your home restored. It’s important to notify your insurance company of the destruction to your home, but it is your responsibility to ensure that it is restored effectively in a timely manner.

Mold and mildew are on the of the biggest problems associated with moisture that’s left to set. Frequently, the insurance adjuster arrives and finds that the carpet and baseboards are removed. ServiceMaster EMT will bring in air movers and dehumidifiers to jumpstart the drying process and prevent mold and mildew.

But if it is present, we will present an additional quote to remove it. If this goes unmitigated, additional damages may occur, such as mold.

What is a deductible and how does it work?

Your deductible is the payment applied in addition to the claim from your insurance company to pay for the repair. Say if your restoration company billed you for $2500 for repairs and your deductible is $1000, the insurance company will write a check for $1500.

Who is responsible for paying for the service?

While you may think your insurance company is responsible for the payment after approving the claim, you as the property owner are ultimately responsible for the payment of the service. ServiceMaster EMT will provide you with a form to sign that authorizes our work for your payment.

If you chose to file an insurance claim, our team will only collect the deductible and bill the remaining balance to your insurance company. If you are involved in a large loss, your mortgage company may also be included as a payee on the check from your insurance agency, and you may need to obtain an additional signature from them. If you are not filing a claim, or it is not approved, a full payment will be needed at the time of service.

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  • 24/7 Emergency Service
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  • Certified Technicians
  • Professional & Dedicated Staff
  • Complete Start to Finish Restoration
  • No Job too Big or Too Small

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