What should I do until the insurance adjuster arrives?
Most of the time after a fire, your home will need to be secured. Windows and the outside doors are often broken and will need to be boarded up. This not only protects your home from the outside elements. It also will keep anyone from entering your home. Occasionally, roofs or chimneys will need to be tarped. During the winter months the water supply line to your home will need to be shut off. The water inside your pipes need to be drained. Your hot water heater will need to be drained.
The adjuster will not be here for a few days, all of my furniture, clothes and possessions are either wet or smoke damaged. What should I do?
The home owner has the right to contract with any emergency fire service company to remove your personal possessions from the wet and smoked environment. We can take care of your contents such as your couches, chairs, tables. They can be packed out, cleaned and stored until the reconstruction is complete. The earlier you have this done, the easier it will be to get clean.
All of our clothes have smoke on them, what can be done?
We can get some of your garments cleaned and back to you in less than 24 hours. The other items that you won’t need right away can be delivered later as you need them.
The fireman put out the fire upstairs but the water came thru the ceilings and now my furniture is wet. What should I do?
Unfortunately, the water was contaminated. Items such as couches, chairs with cushions or fabric backing, beds, box springs will have to be replaced. Some hardwood items can be saved, solid wood chairs and so on. You will find most insurance companies will not give you trouble replacing these items.
If I have a water damage what should I do first?
The first thing a home owner needs to do is to stop the source of the water. We suggest you call a plumber, but for more experienced homeowners, you may be able to shut the water supply valve off. Each sink or toilet in your home has a turn off (simply turn it clock wise until it stops). If this does not work you can shut the main valve off at the street. (You will need a special meter key, you can get them from Lowes or Home Depot for under $10.00)
Should I wait to call my insurance company?
You should call your insurance company as soon as possible. Your insurance company will contact a mitigation company like Deas Builder and Remodeler to come out and evaluate the damage.
My floors are wet, can they be saved?
This depends on how “clean” the source of the water is and the type of flooring you have. Vinyl flooring for example will have to be removed no matter how clean the water is. Your carpeting almost always can be saved. Floors infected by “category 3″ (toilet overflow or flooding from the outside) water no matter what type of flooring you have, it must be removed and the surface under it must be disinfected. This includes pre finished wood floors, laminate floors, ceramic tile and carpeting.
What causes Mold?
Mold is an organism that requires nutrients, water, oxygen and favorable temperatures to grow. The nutrients are organic materials such as wood, paper or fabrics. Mold requires moisture to multiply.
Where can I get more information about mold?
Is it possible to completely eliminate mold from an inside environment?
Even in hospital operating rooms and manufacturing “clean rooms” it would be next to impossible to remove every mold spore.
Are there reliable tests to indicate the presence of mold?
Almost everyone already has two effective detectors: our eyes and our noses. If you see something fuzzy growing in a wet or damp area it is probably mold. If you detect a musty odor in a building, there probably is mold somewhere in that building. Air sampling is useful for determining if there may be a hidden reservoir of mold and to determine the success of remediation procedures.
How much mold is harmful?
No one knows the answer to this question. Everyone has a different exposure limit that is determined by many factors including age, allergies, and etc.
Are there harmful and non-harmful molds?
There are only a few molds that can cause infection in healthy people. Young and elderly people along with people with compromised immune systems are more susceptible to infection. The biggest problem from exposure is allergy and/or asthma like symptoms. There are over a 100,000 types of mold and studies have only been completed on a small number. Most people tolerate exposure to moderate levels without any adverse effects.
How does mold get into a building?
Mold spores enter buildings through the air or on people, animals and objects that are brought into the building.
How much are these emergency services going to cost me?
Because the emergency service typically needs to take place immediately to minimize further damage or secure the property the insurance companies have arranged with pre-approved contractors to handle the emergencies. The bill for the service is then sent directly to the insurance company.
Do I have to use the same contractor for the repairs that did the emergency work?
No, you are under no obligation to use the contractor that did the emergency work for the permanent repairs.
Who should I contact if the emergency service I received is not what I had expected?
You should contact the contractor that did the emergency and give them the opportunity to explain or correct the issue. If they are unable to satisfactorily answer your questions or meet your expectations you should call your insurance representative.