Water Damage FAQs:
Q: How long does your drying process usually take?
A: The amount of time it takes to complete a water restoration project depends on the extent of the water damage, what materials might be wet, the length of time they have been wet, and how much the building materials can absorb.
Extracting water and drying carpet and pad usually is a 1-2-day process. Drying sheetrock walls can be an additional 1-2-day process. Hard to dry building materials such as insulation, hardwood flooring, plaster walls, or double sheetrock walls are all challenging and will take additional time to dry.
Q: How do you know what is wet?
A: We use a variety of tools and instruments designed to detect the moisture content of building materials. One such tool is a thermal imaging camera which helps us find trapped pockets of moisture within the building structure. Penetrating meters are also used to find moisture that has passed below the surface material.
Most structural materials (wood, plaster, sheetrock, etc.) will hold excess moisture but will not show visible signs. If these materials are left to “slow dry”, this can produce odors and can rapidly start to grow mold. Our goal is to bring the moisture levels down to a normal pre-loss condition.
Q: My contractor said the sheetrock should be removed instead of drying, why do you think you can dry it?
A: When sheetrock is wet, it is considered to be in a damaged state, which is temporary. Sheetrock dries quickly if the conditions are conducive to drying. Once dry, sheetrock will regain its strength and integrity.
If it is determined that sheetrock is beyond restoration and should be removed, then that process should begin as soon as possible to avoid environmental problems such as mold growth.
Q: If my walls are wet, isn’t it cheaper to replace the sheetrock compared to the cost of drying it?
A: Replacing wet sheetrock is always an option. There are several variables that you would want to factor into your decision.
- Cost – Usually drying is a cheaper alternative. Even though sheetrock as a commodity is relatively inexpensive, a more substantial cost involved is the labor to sand and then finish the sheetrock.
- Time – Drying sheetrock walls or ceilings is usually a 1-2-day process. You would have to factor how soon a contractor would begin their tear-out, and if not removed timely, wet sheetrock could pose a mold problem. Once the sheetrock has been removed, the wall cavity would still have to be dried before the new sheetrock should be hung. If sheetrock is replaced, you will also need to factor in the time to refinish (paint, wallpaper, etc.) the room.
- Convenience – By drying, you avoid the mess that comes from the tearing-out of the old sheetrock and the sanding of the new sheetrock. This dusting may not only affect the water damaged room and its contents, but it could also get picked up in the HVAC system and be redistributed throughout the house.
Q: I am not having you complete the drying on my property, and your technicians are asking me to sign a “Refusal of Recommendations” document, why?
A: Our Refusal of Recommendations document is a written agreement that confirms that you understand our recommendations, and you are choosing to go in another direction. We will always follow your instructions, even if we don’t think it is the best answer for your restoration. If a problem should arise as a result of incomplete drying, this document serves as a reminder to us that we followed your direction in the restoration process of your property.
Q: I turned off some of the drying equipment early, yet I am still being charged for the rental, why?
A: We always prefer that you allow us to determine when the drying is complete as we monitor and confirm the actual drying process has taken place with instruments designed to detect moisture content.
Regarding the charges, the actual rental fee is based on the equipment being on the job site. The daily rental charges accrue as the equipment is placed on-site and continue until each piece is returned from the site.
Naturally, we would review any rental charges if we were unable to pick up the equipment because of a scheduling conflict on our end.
Q: My insurance company has sent out their preferred vendor to assess the damage, and they think some of the structure will dry out on its own. Does that sound right?
A: No, it does not sound right. Any time building materials are wet they are in a damaged state. If they are left to dry slowly, there is a high potential that your water damage will become a mold problem.
Q: Your crews mentioned using dehumidifiers to avoid “secondary damage”. What exactly does that mean?
A: Secondary damage would be considered the moisture damage to all surfaces that didn’t get wet, but as a result of exposure to high humidity, they might receive swelling, cupping, buckling, rusting, or mold damage.
Prolonged exposure to this high moisture or elevated humidity situation will lead to environmental problems of a much higher cost if left in that condition.
Q: I got an estimate for $1,200.00 for drying out my basement, but the carpet new was only $1,000.00. Wouldn’t it be better to replace my carpet again?
A: There is no doubt that restoring a finished basement from water damage can be an expensive proposition. If you look at what is at stake, restoring your structure compared to replacing it or doing nothing at all can seem like a much more reasonable way to protect your investment. Depending on the amount of moisture involved, what is at risk goes beyond the carpet and pad, as moisture will begin to wick up into the base trim and sheetrock. Your list of replacement items will continue to grow beyond just carpet and pad as the structure remains wet.