Frequently Asked Questions

Residential FAQs  Commercial FAQs
 
 
 

Residential

Water Damage and Flood Restoration

How long will it take my property to dry after flooding or other water damage?

Drying time after water damage in your home is determined by a combination of factors including the location, duration and source of water; the types of building materials in your home; weather conditions; and how quickly emergency restoration services are started. Through consistent monitoring and evaluation of the drying process, our trained technicians can determine when the drying is complete. For example, your carpet may feel dry to the touch, but padding and subfloors may still be wet underneath. While there are no hard and fast rules to determine how long your property will take to dry, we can tell you it may take between three and five days or more, depending on the conditions.

Do I need general contractors to reconstruct my home after flooding or other water damage?

There are some aspects of the restoration process that may require the services of general contractors such as drywall/painting; electrical; plumbing; roofing; framing/finish carpentry; flooring/carpet; installation of doors, windows, cabinets, post-construction cleanup, etc. ServiceMaster Restore also offers full reconstruction services.

How long will the water damage restoration project take?

Depending on the scope of the project and the amount of damage to your home and its contents, the restoration process may require several phases before completion. A thorough evaluation and assessment of all damage will be done before the estimate of a completion date can be established. Through it all, your ServiceMaster Restore Project Manager will communicate details to you and your Insurance Provider clearly and effectively, to make the process seamless.

Do I need to move out of my home during the restoration process?

Depending on the extent of damage, your insurance representative can help you answer this question. Ultimately, however, this is a decision you must reach on your own. Some things you may want to consider are safety concerns, odours, electricity, and disruption as a result of the equipment, work and noise that may be necessary to complete the restoration process in your home. If vacating your premises during the process, consider forwarding your mail to your temporary residence; stopping your newspaper and other deliveries; notifying your utility company, cable company, etc., of the temporary suspension of services during the restoration process.

During the water damage restoration process, do my belongings need to be moved away from the premise

Depending on the scope of work, your belongings and contents of your home may remain on location. In this case, we will take appropriate measures to securely cover and protect contents. Any construction related dust or dirt that occurs as a result of the work, would be addressed in the post-construction cleaning. For large restoration jobs, it is advisable 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 efficiently.

How do I know when my property is completely dry?

Professional testing with specialized equipment is the correct way to determine if your property and contents are completely dry. Touch alone may be a false indicator.

Will turning up the heat help dry things out?

Not necessarily. Our trained technicians will adjust the temperature to its optimum setting for the proper drying conditions. Once set, do not change the setting or shut off the HVAC system; doing so may prolong the drying process.

Why are air movers and dehumidifiers used?

When water damage occurs in your home, the water can be absorbed into the drywall (sheetrock), baseboards, sub-flooring, carpeting, etc. Drying these materials effectively requires high velocity air movers to accelerate the drying process, before mold and other more serious problems occur. The use of professional-standard dehumidifiers are also necessary for removing the excess moisture to create conditions for efficient drying and prevent further damage to your property.

Who is responsible for monitoring the drying equipment?

ServiceMaster Restore’s water damage mitigation specialists will place and monitor specialized 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 technician.

What will it cost to run the drying equipment?

Based on average monthly electricity billing rates, it may cost approximately one dollar per day per piece of drying equipment to operate. Actual rates will vary depending on the energy rates charged by your electricity provider.

What about sewage contamination?

Hard surfaces can be cleaned and sanitized after water damage occurs. Affected items that cannot be sanitized will require disposal. Porous materials such as drywall, ceiling tiles, insulation, particleboard, paneling, etc. that have been directly affected by the damage should be removed during the emergency service visit.

My wood floors are wet and buckling. Will they have to be replaced?

Wood flooring in your home that has been damaged by water must be continually evaluated by qualified technicians during the drying process. We use professional-grade drying systems and dehumidifiers to create the ideal environment for wood floors to dry efficiently, and optimally to resume their original shape. Depending on the density of hardwood flooring and the type of finishes used, complete drying may take up to three weeks or longer. If you file a claim, your insurance adjuster will work with you to make the final decision as to whether the floors in your home will need to be refinished or replaced.

What will you do with my area rugs?

Rugs damaged by water will be taken to our warehouse for special treatment and care. They will need to be dried carefully to minimize bleeding of colours and discolouration. Your rugs will be dried, cleaned and returned to your home after the complete drying of the rest of your home is completed.

Why does my specialty floor need to be removed?

Nonporous flooring can trap water and prevent it and the materials under it from drying properly.

Why did the technician leave wet carpet on my stairs?

After water damage in your home, stair carpeting is generally not removed for safety reasons. Exposed tack strips or staples, especially on steps, can be dangerous. However, there are situations where removing carpet from stairs is necessary to prevent damage to hardwood steps underneath, or in the case of sewage contamination. Removing tack strips is not advised, as this may damage the hardwood or the subfloor. Extreme caution must be used whenever the tack strip is exposed or when the carpeted stairs are damp. If carpet left on the stairs is unsalvageable, it will be removed when new carpet is installed.

How will ServiceMaster Restore match my carpet pad?

A sample of your carpet pad is brought to our office for a match. When available, an identical pad will be used. When your original pad is not available, we will provide a pad of the same quality, thickness and density. A similar pad may differ in colour based upon the time it was manufactured.

My ceilings are wet. What needs to be done?

ServiceMaster Restore’s water damage specialists will evaluate moisture content in your ceiling areas to determine the severity of the damage. They may also have to remove some of your ceiling for ventilation purposes. Wet insulation inside the ceiling can also be a hazard and therefore may also need to be removed.

Should I open the windows to help the drying process?

Opening the windows in your home to assist the drying process is not always recommended. Outside weather conditions may vary. Your ServiceMaster Restore technician will determine when and if opening windows to let in outside air is advisable.

Can I walk on the area during the drying process?

It is strongly suggested that foot traffic is kept to a minimum during the drying process. When necessary, wearing shoes during the drying process is also recommended for safety concerns.

What about my wet furniture?

The extent of damage and the construction of the furniture will determine if it 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.

Fire Damage and Smoke Restoration

Can I clean up fire and smoke damage in my home myself?

After fire and smoke damage in your home, we do not recommend you attempt any “do-it-yourself” cleaning methods without first consulting your ServiceMaster Restore qualified Restoration Technician. Pre-testing, using the right cleaning agent for particular items, mixing deodourizing agents with cleaning solutions and using correct dilution ratios are just some of the ways an expert fire restoration technician attains professional and controlled results. Professional cleaning systems and products used by experienced, trained technicians give you the best chance for successful restoration of your property and belongings.

What are some safety concerns after smoke and fire damage in my home?

Occupant and worker safety is ServiceMaster Restore’s top priority. During the initial inspection, safety hazards are identified and addressed, including debris removal, air quality, electrical issues, slip and trip hazards, etc. Burnt electrical appliances are separated out for disposal, and questionable electrical appliances are unplugged and tagged for evaluation of safe operation. Electrical power may have to be turned off until evaluation by a licensed electrician is completed.

Do I need general contractors to for reconstruction of my home after a fire?

There are some aspects of the restoration process that may require the services of general contractors such as drywall/painting; electrical; plumbing; roofing; framing/finish carpentry; flooring/carpet; installation of doors, windows, cabinets, post-construction cleanup, etc. ServiceMaster Restore offers full reconstruction services.

How long will it take to repair or reconstruct my home after a fire?

Depending on the scope of the project and the amount of damage to your home and its contents, the restoration process may require several phases before completion. A thorough evaluation and assessment of all damage will be done before the estimate of a completion date can be established. Through it all, your ServiceMaster Restore Project Manager will communicate details to you and your Insurance Provider clearly and effectively, to make the process seamless.

Do I need to move out while you restore my home after a fire or smoke damage?

Depending on the extent of the fire or smoke damage, this is ultimately your decision. Your insurance company may provide some guidance on this matter. Some things you may want to consider are safety concerns, odours, electricity, and disruption as a result of the equipment, work and noise that may be necessary to complete the restoration process in your home. If vacating your premises during the process, consider forwarding your mail to your temporary residence; stopping your newspaper and other deliveries; notifying your utility company, cable company, etc., of the temporary suspension of services during the restoration process.

Do my belongings need to be moved away from the premises during the fire restoration process?

Depending on the extent of the fire or smoke damage, it may be advisable to move all your belongings to a secure facility for cleaning and storage, and to make room for restoration or construction. ServiceMaster Restore will work with you and your insurance claim representative to manage this process seamlessly.

Mold Removal

What is mold?

Mold is a fungus that can be found both indoors and outdoors. No one knows how many species of mold exist, but estimates range from tens of thousands to even three hundred thousand, or more. Mold spreads and reproduces by creating spores. Spores can survive conditions that are too sunny, hot, cold, dry or wet for mold to grow. When spores are released they can be carried by air or water to new locations and cause new mold growth.

What causes mold in my home?

Excess moisture caused by leaks or flooding in your home — especially in typically damp environments like your kitchen, laundry room and bathrooms — creates the perfect breeding ground for mold or mildew. To control and reduce the risk for mold growth in these areas, you must properly maintain your plumbing system and monitor appliances that use large quantities of water, such as dish washers and washing machines. Small amounts of indoor mold are unavoidable and usually harmless. In damp environments, however, mold spores can more easily reproduce and cause more serious and difficult to remove mold problems.

How does mold spread?

For molds to grow and reproduce, they need a damp environment and an organic food source, such as cellulose, which is found in many building materials such as wood, drywall, ceiling tiles, and other household materials such as carpeting and fabrics. Mold can also grow in a home’s HVAC system, gutters, roof, foundation, and other areas where the environment encourages mold growth.

Are there any warning signs to look for?

If there are dark spots on your ceiling, floors or walls, this is a sure sign of mold growth. Musty odours and mildew are often also signs that mold may be growing in your home. Respiratory and allergy symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, trouble breathing and wheezing are a common indicator of mold growth as well. High humidity levels in the home that result in condensation on glass and metal surfaces are also a warning sign of mold.

What is that smell?

Usually, if it smells like mold, it is mold. Mold or mildew odours are due to the presence of fungi in the air, inside pipes or walls, or hidden in other parts of your home. Mold is thicker than mildew, so if the smell is particularly strong, that’s a clue that it’s mold and you need to act fast to prevent further growth.

What are some safety concerns for mold in my home?

There are often health risks associated with finding mold in your home, including allergy-like respiratory symptoms, skin irritation, cold and flu symptoms, headaches, nausea and mold-induced asthma. It’s important to know the causes of the mold growth before it occurs, so you can work to avoid damage to both your health and your home.

What is black mold?

Black mold (Statchybotrys chartarum) is greenish-black in colour and grows in conditions where there is an excessive amount of moisture over a long period of time. Water damage, excessive humidity, water leaks and condensation in small, damp places like bathrooms all create a perfect breeding ground for black mold. Black mold releases microtoxins, a noxious substance that can cause serious health problems for humans and pets.

What is the difference between mold and mildew?

Mildew is a surface fungus that easily develops on cardboard, books and even fabrics. Mildew usually grows in a flat pattern and may appear powdery. Mildew usually starts out white and may later turn to yellow, brown or black. It can usually be treated with a store-bought cleaner and scrub brush. Mold is usually fuzzy in appearance and can be many different colours including white, yellow, blue, green, brown, gray and black. Mold will cause structural damage to your home and can cause numerous health issues.

Can I remove mold myself or should I call a professional?

Mold can be a serious issue. A small patch of mold on a wall often can be removed without professional help, but if mold issues persist after you’ve cleaned and performed prevention tactics, it’s time to call in the experts. For larger mold issues and toxic black mold removal, leave it to the professionals at ServiceMaster Restore for safe and effective mold removal and clean up. Our technicians are professionally trained in comprehensive mold remediation and employ the safest, most effective techniques for solving any mold issue. Our teams regularly handle small (ten square feet or less) areas affected by mold as well as larger spaces, both commercial and residential.

How long will mold removal in my home take?

Depending on the scope of the project and the amount of mold damage to your home, the mold remediation process may require several phases before completion. A thorough evaluation and assessment of all damage will be done before the estimate of a completion date can be established. Through it all, your ServiceMaster Restore Project Manager will communicate details to you clearly and effectively, to make the process seamless.

General Restoration Service Information

How quickly can ServiceMaster Restore respond to the emergency situation at my home?

ServiceMaster Restore is available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Depending on the situation and conditions, a ServiceMaster Restore representative will arrive at your home for an initial evaluation within a 2 to 4 hours of receiving the call, or sooner.

Is ServiceMaster Restore bonded/licensed/insured?

All of ServiceMaster Restore’s teams nationwide are licensed, bonded and insured. You can trust that any of the technicians from our team entering your home will be trained, trustworthy, courteous and compassionate.

What does pre-loss condition mean?

There may be some damage to your home and property that existed prior to your loss. Therefore, these damages will not be included in the scope of repairs. We are responsible for returning your home to how it was before the damage occurred, in other words, to its pre-loss condition, using materials of like-kind and quality. At your request, we will provide you with an estimate for any additional construction projects you may wish undertaken by our team. This additional work is termed, “non-insured work.”

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 non-insured construction projects, and this work will require separate authorization and payment terms. If the non-insured work will delay the completion of an insured portion, then the situation must first be discussed with your Insurance Adjuster and the ServiceMaster Restore Project Manager.

What is a code or by-law upgrade?

A code or by-law upgrade is an upgrade that is made when your home’s pre-loss condition no longer meets legal building codes. Your insurance company may recognize code upgrades in the estimation process. Any questions regarding code upgrades should be directed to your Insurance Adjuster.

Do I need a permit for restoration work?

When required, your ServiceMaster Restore 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.

Will I have to be home all the time during the restoration process?

No, we will do our best to make sure you may go about your daily routine without having to worry about having to be at home all the time during the restoration process. For site access, you can provide a key to your ServiceMaster Restore Project Manager or opt to install a private-code lock box on the property.

Do I need general contractors?

There are some aspects of the restoration process that may require the services of general contractors such as drywall/painting; electrical; plumbing; roofing; framing/finish carpentry; flooring/carpet; installation of doors, windows, cabinets, post-construction cleanup, etc. ServiceMaster Restore offers full reconstruction services.

How long will the restoration project take?

Depending on the scope of the project and the amount of damage to your home and its contents, the restoration process may require several phases before completion. A thorough evaluation and assessment of all damage will be done before the estimate of a completion date can be established. Through it all, your ServiceMaster Restore Project Manager will communicate details to you and your Insurance Provider clearly and effectively, to make the process seamless.

Do I need to move out of my home during the restoration process?

Depending on the extent of damage, your insurance representative can help you answer this question. Ultimately, however, this is a decision you must reach on your own. Some things you may want to consider are safety concerns, odours, electricity, and disruption as a result of the equipment, work and noise that may be necessary to complete the restoration process in your home. If vacating your premises during the process, consider forwarding your mail to your temporary residence; stopping your newspaper and other deliveries; notifying your utility company, cable company, etc., of the temporary suspension of services during the restoration process.

Do my belongings need to be moved away from the premises?

Depending on the scope of work, your belongings and contents of your home may remain on location. In this case, we will take appropriate measures to securely cover and protect contents. Any construction related dust or dirt that occurs as a result of the work, would be addressed in the post-construction cleaning. For large restoration jobs, it is advisable 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 efficiently.

What about special items? Artwork, china, heirlooms, etc.

Some high-value items require restoration by specialists. Working with your insurance claim representative, we can help you identify these items and locate a qualified restorer.

Will I have access to my belongings while they are in storage?

Yes, with advance notice we can schedule time for a ServiceMaster Restore Restoration Technician to meet with you and provide access to your requested items. A service charge may apply.

How do I keep track of non-restorable items?

We recommend you make a list of items (including food items) deemed non-restorable. You can obtain a form for this purpose from your insurance company. Make a copy for your insurance company and keep one for yourself.

What items do I keep in my possession?

The following items should be kept in your possession: Medications, Cash, Pets, Valuable Jewelry, Stamp/Coin Collections, Checkbooks, Personal Documents, Valuable Artworks, Flammables, Gasoline Cans, Weapons/Ammunition.

Who is responsible for paying for the service?

As the property owner you are responsible for payment and will need to sign a form authorizing payment for the restoration services. If this is an insurance claim, ServiceMaster Restore generally collects only the deductible (co-payment) amount from you and bills the balance to your insurance provider as a service to you. If you have a large loss, your mortgage company may be included as a payee on the payment from your insurance company, and you may need to obtain a signature from them as well. If your claim is not covered by insurance or you decide not to file a claim, you will be expected to pay in full. A payment schedule may be agreed upon prior to the start of any non-insured work.


 
 
 

Commercial

Water Damage and Flood Restoration

How long will it take my property to dry after flooding or other water damage?

Drying time after water damage in your commercial property is determined by a combination of factors including the location, duration and source of water; the types of building materials in your facility; weather conditions; and how quickly emergency services are started. Through consistent monitoring and evaluation of the drying process, our trained technicians can determine when the drying is complete. For example, carpet may feel dry to the touch, but padding and subfloors may still be wet underneath. While there are no hard and fast rules to determine how long your property will take to dry, we can tell you it may take between three and five days or more, depending on the conditions.

How long will the water damage restoration project take?

Depending on the scope of the project and the amount of water damage to your commercial property and its contents, the restoration process may require several phases before completion. A thorough evaluation and assessment of all damage will be done before the estimate of a completion date can be established. Through it all, your ServiceMaster Restore Project Manager will communicate details to you and your Insurance Provider clearly and effectively, to make the process seamless.

Do I need general contractors?

There are some aspects of the restoration process that may require the services of general contractors such as drywall/painting; electrical; plumbing; roofing; framing/finish carpentry; flooring/carpet; installation of doors, windows, cabinets, post-construction cleanup, etc. ServiceMaster Restore provides full reconstruction services.

How do I know when my property is completely dry?

Professional testing with specialized equipment is the correct way to determine if your business property and contents are completely dry. Touch alone may be a false indicator.

Will turning up the heat help dry things out?

Not necessarily. Our trained technicians will adjust the temperature to its optimum setting for the proper drying conditions. Once set, do not change the setting or shut off the HVAC system; doing so may prolong the drying process.

Why are air movers and dehumidifiers used?

When water damage occurs in your commercial property, the water can be absorbed into the drywall (sheetrock), baseboards, sub-flooring, carpeting, etc. Drying these materials effectively requires high velocity air movers to accelerate the drying process, before mold and other more serious problems occur. The use of professional-standard dehumidifiers are also necessary for removing the excess moisture to create conditions for efficient drying and prevent further damage to your property.

Who is responsible for monitoring the drying equipment?

ServiceMaster Restore’s water damage mitigation specialists will place and monitor specialized equipment throughout your commercial property 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 technician.

What about sewage contamination?

Hard surfaces can be cleaned and sanitized after water damage occurs. Affected items that cannot be sanitized will require disposal. Porous materials such as drywall, ceiling tiles, insulation, particleboard, paneling, etc., that have been directly affected by the damage, should be removed during the emergency service visit.

The wood floors are wet and buckling. Will they have to be replaced?

Wood flooring in your commercial property that has been damaged by water must be continually evaluated by qualified technicians during the drying process. We use professional-grade drying systems and dehumidifiers to create the ideal environment for wood floors to dry efficiently, and optimally to resume their original shape. Depending on the density of hardwood flooring and the type of finishes used, complete drying may take up to three weeks or longer. If you file a claim, your insurance adjuster will work with you to make the final decision as to whether the floors in your property will need to be refinished or replaced.

What will you do with the area rugs at my office?

Rugs damaged by water will be taken to our warehouse for special treatment and care. They will need to be dried carefully to minimize bleeding of colours and discolouration. Your rugs will be dried, cleaned and returned to your offices after the complete drying of the rest of your property is completed.

Why does the specialty floor need to be removed?

Nonporous flooring can trap water and prevent it and the materials under it from drying properly.

How will ServiceMaster Restore match my carpet pad?

A sample of your carpet pad is brought to our office for a match. When available, an identical pad will be used. When your original pad is not available, we will provide a pad of the same quality, thickness and density. A similar pad may differ in colour based upon the time it was manufactured.

If the ceilings are wet, what needs to be done?

ServiceMaster Restore’s water damage professionals will evaluate moisture content in your ceiling areas to determine the severity of the damage. They may also have to remove some of your ceiling for ventilation purposes. Wet insulation inside the ceiling can also be a hazard and therefore may also need to be removed.

Should I open the windows to help the drying process?

Opening the windows in your commercial property to assist the drying process is not always recommended. Outside weather conditions may vary. Your ServiceMaster Restore technician will determine when and if opening windows to let in outside air is advisable.

Can people walk on the area during the drying process?

It is strongly suggested that foot traffic is kept to a minimum during the drying process. When necessary, wearing shoes during the drying process is also recommended for safety concerns.

What about the wet office furniture?

The extent of damage and the construction of the furniture will determine if it can be restored. The 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.

Who is responsible for paying for the service?

As the commercial property owner, you are responsible for payment and will need to sign a form authorizing payment for the restoration services. If this is an insurance claim, ServiceMaster Restore generally collects only the deductible (co-payment) amount from you and bills the balance to your insurance provider as a service to you. If you have a large loss, your mortgage company may be included as a payee on the payment from your insurance company, and you may need to obtain a signature from them as well. If your claim is not covered by insurance or you decide not to file a claim, you will be expected to pay in full. A payment schedule may be agreed upon prior to the start of any non-insured work.

Fire Damage and Smoke Restoration

Can we clean up fire or smoke damage in our commercial facility?

After fire and smoke damage to your commercial property, we do not recommend you attempt any “do-it-yourself” cleaning methods without first consulting your ServiceMaster Restore qualified Restoration Technician. Pre-testing, using the right cleaning agent for particular items, mixing deodourizing agents with cleaning solutions and using correct dilution ratios are just some of the ways an expert fire restoration technician attains professional and controlled results. Professional cleaning systems and products used by experienced, trained technicians give you the best chance for successful restoration of your property and its contents.

What are some safety concerns for smoke or fire damage at our business?

Occupant and worker safety is ServiceMaster Restore’s top priority. During the initial inspection, safety hazards are identified and addressed, including debris removal, air quality, electrical issues, slip and trip hazards, etc. Burnt equipment and electrical devices are separated out for disposal, and questionable electrical equipment or devices are unplugged and tagged for evaluation of safe operation. Electrical power may have to be turned off in the entire facility until evaluation by a licensed electrician is completed.

How long will the fire damage restoration project take?

Depending on the scope of the project and the amount of damage to your commercial property and its contents, the restoration process may require several phases before completion. A thorough evaluation and assessment of all damage will be done before the estimate of a completion date can be established. Through it all, your ServiceMaster Restore Project Manager will communicate details to you and your Insurance Provider clearly and effectively, to make the process seamless.

Do I need general contractors?

There are some aspects of the fire and smoke restoration process that may require the services of general contractors such as drywall/painting; electrical; plumbing; roofing; framing/finish carpentry; flooring/carpet; installation of doors, windows, cabinets, post-construction cleanup, etc. ServiceMaster Restore offers full restoration services.

Do I need to move my business out of my commercial property during the fire restoration process?

Depending on the extent of damage from the fire, this is ultimately your decision. Some things you may want to consider are safety concerns, odours, electricity, and disruption to your business as a result of the equipment, work and noise that may be necessary to complete the restoration process. If vacating your premises during the process, consider informing all customers and associates; forwarding your mail to your temporary location; stopping or redirecting pickups and deliveries; and notifying all utility companies, of the temporary suspension of services to your usual business location during the restoration process.

Do the contents of my business need to be moved away from the premises during the restoration proces

Depending on the source, nature and extent of the fire, it may be advisable to move all your belongings to a secure facility for cleaning and storage, and to make room for restoration or construction. ServiceMaster Restore will work with you and your insurance claim representative to manage this process seamlessly.

How do I keep track of non-restorable items after a fire at my business?

We recommend you make a list of your facility’s items that are deemed non-restorable. You can obtain a form for this purpose from your insurance company. Make a copy for your insurance company and keep one for yourself.

Will I have access to contents of my business while they are in storage?

Yes, with advance notice we can schedule time for a ServiceMaster Restore Restoration Technician to meet with you and provide access to your requested items. A service charge may apply.

What contents are not sent to storage?

Items not recommended or permitted for storage include: All items required to continue your business activities at a temporary location, cash and cheques, sensitive business documents or records, sensitive electronic data, checkbooks, company seals, valuable artworks or collections, flammables, weapons and ammunition.

What about special items?

Some items require restoration by specialists. Working with your insurance claim representative, we can help you identify these items and locate a qualified restorer.

Who is responsible for paying for the service?

As the commercial property owner, you are responsible for payment and will need to sign a form authorizing payment for the restoration services. If this is an insurance claim, ServiceMaster Restore generally collects only the deductible (co-payment) amount from you and bills the balance to your insurance provider as a service to you. If you have a large loss, your mortgage company may be included as a payee on the payment from your insurance company, and you may need to obtain a signature from them as well. If your claim is not covered by insurance or you decide not to file a claim, you will be expected to pay in full. A payment schedule may be agreed upon prior to the start of any non-insured work.

Mold Removal

What is mold?

Mold is a fungus that can be found both indoors and outdoors. No one knows how many species of mold exist, but estimates range from tens of thousands to even three hundred thousand, or more. Mold spreads and reproduces by creating spores. Spores can survive conditions that are too sunny, hot, cold, dry or wet for mold to grow. When spores are released they can be carried by air or water to new locations and cause new mold growth.

What causes mold?

Excess moisture caused by leaks or flooding in your commercial property — especially in typically damp environments like the kitchen and bathrooms — creates the perfect breeding ground for mold or mildew. To control and reduce the risk for mold growth in these areas, you must properly maintain your plumbing system and monitor any appliances in your facility that use large quantities of water, such as dish washers. Small amounts of indoor mold are unavoidable and usually harmless. In damp environments, however, mold spores can more easily reproduce and cause more serious and difficult to remove mold problems.

How does mold spread?

For molds to grow and reproduce, they need a damp environment and an organic food source, such as cellulose, which is found in many building materials such as wood, drywall, ceiling tiles, and other household materials such as carpeting and fabrics. Mold can also grow in the HVAC system, roof, foundation, and other areas where the environment encourages mold growth.

Are there any warning signs of mold to look for in my commercial facility?

If there are dark spots on your ceiling, floors or walls, this is a sure sign of mold growth. Musty odours and mildew are often also signs that mold may be growing in your property. Respiratory and allergy symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, trouble breathing and wheezing are a common indicator of mold growth as well. High humidity levels in your building that result in condensation on glass and metal surfaces are also a warning sign of mold.

What is that smell?

Usually, if it smells like mold, it is mold. Mold or mildew odours are due to the presence of fungi in the air, inside pipes or walls, or hidden in other parts of your commercial property. Mold is thicker than mildew, so if the smell is particularly strong, that’s a clue that it’s mold and you need to act fast to prevent further growth.

What are some safety concerns?

There are often health risks associated with finding mold in your property, including allergy-like respiratory symptoms, skin irritation, cold and flu symptoms, headaches, nausea and mold-induced asthma. It’s important to know the causes of the mold growth before it occurs, so you can work to avoid damage to both your health and your facility.

What is black mold?

Black mold (Statchybotrys chartarum) is greenish-black in colour and grows in conditions where there is an excessive amount of moisture over a long period of time. Water damage, excessive humidity, water leaks and condensation in small, damp places like bathrooms all create a perfect breeding ground for black mold. Black mold releases microtoxins, a noxious substance that can cause serious health problems for humans and pets.

What is the difference between mold and mildew?

Mildew is a surface fungus that easily develops on cardboard, books and even fabrics. Mildew usually grows in a flat pattern and may appear powdery. Mildew usually starts out white and may later turn to yellow, brown or black. It can usually be treated with a store bought cleaner and scrub brush. Mold is usually fuzzy in appearance and can be many different colours including white, yellow, blue, green, brown, gray and black. Mold will cause structural damage to your property and can cause numerous health issues.

Can we remove mold ourselves or should I call a professional?

Mold can be a serious issue. A small patch of mold on a wall often can be removed without professional help, but if mold issues persist after you’ve cleaned and performed prevention tactics, it’s time to call in the experts. For larger mold issues and toxic black mold removal, leave it to the professionals at ServiceMaster Restore for safe and effective mold removal and clean up. Our technicians are professionally trained in comprehensive mold remediation and employ the safest, most effective techniques for solving any mold issue. Our teams regularly handle small (ten square feet or less) areas affected by mold as well as larger spaces, both commercial and residential.

General Restoration Service Information

I have an emergency at my building or facility. Who do I call?

During an emergency situation, whether it’s late at night or on the weekend, accessibility is crucial. Call 1-800-RESPOND and ServiceMaster Restore will answer 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Within one hour, we will contact the client and schedule an appointment.

My company is interested in establishing a disaster recovery plan with ServiceMaster Restore for all

When a disaster occurs and businesses are seeking help, the CommercialLINK preferred partner program will ensure that your company is first in line. CommercialLINK allows you to pre-qualify ServiceMaster Restore as your vendor of choice, allowing immediate action to be taken to mitigate loss in the event of a disaster. Our nationwide comprehensive emergency and restoration services deliver one of the fastest on-site response times in the industry, with the single goal of getting you back to business quickly.

How quickly can ServiceMaster Restore respond to the emergency situation at my business?

To minimize business interruption and help avoid further losses, ServiceMaster Restore responds quickly to provide flood clean up and certified water damage and restoration, fire and smoke restoration, and mold removal services to businesses across all industries. We’re on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. ServiceMaster Restore’s CommercialLINK preferred partner program will ensure that your company is first in line. CommercialLINK allows you to pre-qualify ServiceMaster Restore as your vendor of choice, allowing immediate action to be taken to mitigate loss in the event of a disaster.

How long will the restoration project take?

Depending on the scope of the project and the amount of damage to your commercial property and its contents, the restoration process may require several phases before completion. A thorough evaluation and assessment of all damage will be done before the estimate of a completion date can be established. Through it all, your ServiceMaster Restore Project Manager will communicate details to you and your Insurance Provider clearly and effectively, to make the process seamless.

Is ServiceMaster Restore bonded/licensed/insured?

All of ServiceMaster Restore teams nationwide are licensed, bonded and insured. You can trust that any of the technicians from our team entering your commercial property will be trained, trustworthy and courteous.

What does pre-loss condition mean?

There may be some damage to your commercial property and facility that existed prior to the loss. Therefore, these damages will not be included in the scope of repairs. We are responsible for returning your commercial property to how it was before the damage occurred, in other words, to its pre-loss condition, using materials of like-kind and quality. At your request, we will provide you with an estimate for any additional construction projects you may wish undertaken by our team. This additional work is termed, “non-insured work.”

What would be considered non-insured work?

Any construction project unrelated to the loss is considered non-insured work. At your request, we will provide a separate estimate for non-insured construction projects, and this work will require separate authorization and payment terms. If the non-insured work will delay the completion of an insured portion, then the situation must first be discussed with your Insurance Adjuster and the ServiceMaster Restore Project Manager.

What is a code or by-law upgrade?

A code or by-law upgrade is an upgrade that is made when your commercial property’s pre-loss condition no longer meets legal building codes. Your insurance company may recognize code upgrades in the estimation process. Any questions regarding code upgrades should be directed to your Insurance Adjuster.

Do I need a permit for restoration work?

When required, your ServiceMaster Restore 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 the contents of my commercial property have to be moved away from the premises during restoration

Depending on the scope of work, your belongings and contents may remain on location. In this case, we will take appropriate measures to securely cover and protect contents. Any construction related dust or dirt that occurs as a result of the work, would be addressed in the post-construction cleaning. For large restoration jobs, it is advisable 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 efficiently.

How long will the restoration project take?

Depending on the scope of the project and the amount of damage to your commercial property and its contents, the restoration process may require several phases before completion. A thorough evaluation and assessment of all damage will be done before the estimate of a completion date can be established. Through it all, your ServiceMaster Restore Project Manager will communicate details to you and your Insurance Provider clearly and effectively, to make the process seamless.

Do I need general contractors?

There are some aspects of the restoration process that may require the services of general contractors such as drywall/painting; electrical; plumbing; roofing; framing/finish carpentry; flooring/carpet; installation of doors, windows, cabinets, post-construction cleanup, etc.

Who is responsible for paying for the service?

As the commercial property owner, you are responsible for payment and will need to sign a form authorizing payment for the restoration services. If this is an insurance claim, ServiceMaster Restore generally collects only the deductible (co-payment) amount from you and bills the balance to your insurance provider as a service to you. If you have a large loss, your mortgage company may be included as a payee on the payment from your insurance company, and you may need to obtain a signature from them as well. If your claim is not covered by insurance or you decide not to file a claim, you will be expected to pay in full. A payment schedule may be agreed upon prior to the start of any non-insured work.