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Frequently Asked Questions

The key is to not get to that point. If smoke odors are present, RestorTech, Inc. is not finished. The removal of smoke odors requires investigation with the knowledge of what type of smoke was produced during the fire (type of fuel and rate of combustion; understanding the behavior of smoke (distribution and depositing); and building-construction methods (past and present). Smoke odor removal can involve many differing procedures and is often performed on a trial-and-error basis. If one procedure is not successful, we move to the next procedure. Successful restoration requires getting the best results with the least aggressive methods first, then applying more aggressive methods until the desired results are obtained.

The most common industry tool used for surface testing is the dry cellular rubber sponge. The method is simple: draw the dry sponge across the surface while holding the sponge at a 45-degree angle. Any deposited fire residues will be lifted off of the surface, revealing a contrast in appearance of the surface where the smoke was removed from that of the surrounding areas. A moistened absorbent wipe folded in half can also be used to detect the presence of fire residues by wiping the surface with one side of the wipe then unfolding the wipe to see if there is a contrast in appearance between the two sides. Fire residues are black or very dark gray. Both of these tests may remove other surface contaminants such as normal household dust. Distinguishing fire residues from common dust may require additional testing.

Personal property is vulnerable to certain conditions after a loss, and timely removal of salvageable items may need to take place before any repairs to the home can begin. This is where RestorTech can be of assistance. Removal and off-site storage of personal property, called a pack-out, provides many benefits that safeguard your property. The property is professionally packed and moved from the loss site to a more stable environment. Removal of combustion particles, associated smoke odors, and/or other contaminates can begin in a temperature and humidity-controlled space. The home is now free and clear of personal items, so the repair contractor can begin the process of structural repair without fear of causing additional damage to your property.

Every item we take, including those that are placed in boxes, is digitally photographed and placed into our computerized inventory software program, ICat. This program will create a descriptive and photographic record of all items we take for restoration, which will be emailed to you upon completion of the pack-out to view and use for record-keeping purposes. Furniture and boxed goods are individually barcoded to ensure that your property is tracked from the minute it leaves your home until it is returned to you.

Your complete satisfaction with the end product is our No. 1 goal. No one expects you to accept items that are not fully restored as part of your claim settlement. RestorTech is committed to operate in a cost-conscious manner, which is why we take only the items we feel we can restore and leave behind the items we cannot — with the exception of items of sentimental value. The bottom line is everything we take will be returned to you. If we know that items, such as those described above, have not been fully restored after they go through our process, we will document that on the box. You may find that once you have opened all the boxes and inspected the goods, there are things that you wish to claim after we have tried our best. Please contact your adjuster at that time to discuss those items.

No, we are a mitigation contractor. Once the source of the leak has been determined and repaired by a qualified contractor (plumber, HVAC technician, roofing company, and so on), we address only the effect not the cause as described in the preface.

This depends on what got wet. For example, in basement floods, water tends to be slow to recede and can back up to substantial depths. Do not ever attempt to enter a flooded basement where the water is above the wall outlets. Additionally, the use of extension plugs submerged in water will more often cause the circuit breaker to trip, but you cannot be certain unless you can get to the breaker panel. In addition to a plumber, you may need to call an electrician.

If the water damage is to a bathroom or kitchen on the main floor, you should consider turning off the circuit breakers to the affected areas until a qualified electrician can make a professional assessment.

This depends on the extent of the damage. Small water losses can usually be dried using just a few air movers and dehumidification in two to five days. Severe water damage with multiple wet floors, ceilings down, and so on can take substantially longer. Personal property will have to be relocated or removed so that demolition of wet materials can be completed. Multiple pieces of drying equipment may be needed to dry “bound” water, or water that is trapped in flooring or behind structural components. This could take weeks to dry completely.

Property insurers continue to debate the coverage for mold damage in homeowners’ policies, mostly due to the “one-time” and “sudden and accidental” nature of covered perils (fire, wind, water, lightning, and so on). Mold can be growing in concealed spaces (e.g., behind finished drywall and exterior foundation walls) for long periods of time, eluding discovery, as long as there is moisture and food present. It is always a good idea to call your homeowners’ insurance company or agent to see if mold damage is covered, and if so, what exclusions are applicable.

Most frequently covered mold remediation is for damage that can be traced back to a single event that caused the property to become wet (e.g., broken water pipe, icemaker, or dishwasher leak). This is particularly true if the mold is growing on surfaces that got wet.

If you are unsure why you have mold growing but are concerned enough to want to try to do something about it, we are happy to come out at no cost to you for an inspection and our opinion of how the mold began to grow. More often, we would refer you to a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) or an Indoor Environmental Professional (IEP). These professionals use scientific methodology to test surfaces and indoor air. Data obtained by testing often reveals the source of the mold.

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