Water Damage FAQs
The Nuts-n-Bolts of Drying
Is it O.K. to keep this equipment running or do I need to do something with it?
The equipment we use is capable of running for months without being shut off. They will not overheat and will be fine. If you hear or smell anything which seems to not be normal, please unplug the equipment in question and call us immediately @ 208-684-3137 in SE Idaho or 208-878-7768 in Magic Valley. Our technicians will be checking all equipment and dry out progress on a regular basis.
The equipment you have running is making the air feel muggy; can I open a window or door to let in fresh air?
Our equipment is increasing the rate of evaporation causing the air to feel wetter. Part of our monitoring process includes checking both the conditions indoors and out. If our technicians instruct you to open some windows that may mean the conditions outside will help in the drying process; otherwise, with the use of dehumidifiers we’ll be able to get the “mugginess” under control. Please don’t open doors and windows without speaking to us first.
How long will it take to dry?
Typically the average water loss takes between 2 to 5 days. If materials have been exposed to water over a long period of time or if there are areas that are difficult to access it may take longer.
How do you know if everything is dry?
We use state of the art moisture meters designed to specifically check for proper moisture content. We do not repair or cover up any areas that may still be wet. This is why you have made a good choice to call us. We are trained and certified in water damage, assuring you of the best quality service, and giving you the peace of mind you deserve.
Why do you have to monitor the job so often?
For us to achieve the best results, we need to closely monitor the dry out process. This may include moving, adding, or removing equipment and checking humidity and temperature readings.
Must I stay in my home during the dry out process?
Often you can stay in your home depending on the areas that are affected. You may lose the use of your bathroom, kitchen, etc. If you need to stay outside of your house, you may want to ask your adjuster about additional living expense coverage.
Why is it so dry in my house?
It is our goal to get the air in your house as dry as possible. By doing this it speeds up the drying process; however, it may feel dryer than you may be used to. You may also need to water any indoor plants more often.
Can I turn off the equipment at night?
No, we really need to keep the equipment running. By turning off the equipment it may increase the chance of mold growth. It also prolongs the time needed to dry out the structure.
Why does my house smell so bad?
Often times the humidity in your house has doubled or tripled from what is normal and many materials are wet that normally are not designed to get wet. If it has been 3 to 4 days since the initial water loss and you start smelling a sour smell, you may be getting bacteria forming. After we have dried out everything, the smell should be gone.
Do I have mold?
This is a very big concern and we at On The Spot Cleaning & Restoration have spent a lot of time and money on education and equipment to become qualified in water damage restoration. In most cases if the drying process can be started quickly, you generally do not need to be concerned with mold.
What is the difference between On The Spot and a contractor?
We have spent thousands of dollars on specialized training and equipment, dealing specifically with water damage. Our main objective is to minimize the impact on your day to day living. If you hire a general contractor, often they do not understand the concept of saving verses replacing. Just an example: 90% of the time we are able to save drywall with 3 days of drying, without putting any holes in it. If someone comes in and removes all of the drywall, you have turned a 3-day job into about a week and a half process.
If it can’t be dried, what will be replaced?
Our job is to bring you back to a pre-loss conduction. After the dry out process has been completed, we will be able to determine what has permanent damage. At that time we will submit an estimate of repairs to your insurance adjuster for approval.
It’s Dry. What’s Next?
What if we want to do the repairs?
The most critical part of water damage is the drying process. After the dry-out has been completed by our trained and certified technicians, there may be repairs needed to your home or office. You may want to do the repairs yourself or hire a general contractor to do them, and that would be fine. We can bill your insurance company for the emergency repairs separately. However, On The Spot Cleaning & Restoration has a team of very qualified repair specialists if you would prefer to have us complete the job for you. Everything from simply replacing carpet padding & re-stretching the carpeting to full re-construction; we can do it all!
What is going to happen with my damaged furniture and/or contents?
We will do our best to restore your contents to a pre-loss condition. If we are not able to restore any items we will set them aside to be itemized and turned in to your insurance adjuster. Your adjuster will determine coverage according to your policy.
Is the final choice on the finish product my decision or the adjusters?
The choice of repairs is always yours. Your insurance company typically covers replacement with like, kind, and quality materials. If you choose to do something else, you may have to pay the difference out of your pocket.
Do I have to replace with the same materials, or can I upgrade?
You may upgrade; however we will need you to sign a change order. Showing the difference in price and giving us the authorization for repairs, and you agreeing to pay the difference in cost.
Who’s Paying For All of This?
Who do I pay my insurance deductible to?
Your deductible is paid to the company whom you’ve hired to perform the dry-out process (in this case, it’s On The Spot). Your insurance company will subtract your deductible from our bill and cut a check for the balance. As an example, if you have a deductible of $250.00 and our bill is $1000.00
Insurance check $ 750.00
Deductible $ 250.00
Total amount paid $ 1000.00
(Note: This is an example only.)
What is the “Specialized Drying Equipment Deposit”?
In almost every case, after our crew gets all the water removed they’ll be setting up and leaving behind any number of pieces of equipment specially designed to dry your home FAST! And although you or your insurance company won’t be charged for our services until after all the work is done, we do require a deposit for our equipment of $250.00.
And that money will be applied to your insurance deductible or the final bill.
Do I need an estimate before you start the dry-out?
Often the amount of the dry out is unknown; however our pricing is based on standardized pricing for the industry. We use a computer-estimating program that updates the new price list every quarter. Your insurance company also uses the same program. When an adjuster is assigned to your claim, we will explain to them what we have done up to that point, then get an authorization before further steps are taken. Before any repairs are made we will have an agreed estimate with your insurance company.
How much is my electric bill going to be with all of this equipment?
We have made every effort to use equipment that maximizes the fastest drying time but consumes the least amount of power necessary to achieve the best drying time and results.
Will My Insurance Company Pay for the Power Used by All of This Equipment?
Although all insurance companies set their own policies regarding payment for electrical usage, the likelihood that your particular carrier paying for the electricity use is good. Most of the time the insurance company will pay for the increase in usage compared to the same month of the previous year. We recommend you speak with your adjuster regarding electrical charges.
Will Your Company Work With & Bill My Insurance?
We will make every effort to help you through the insurance process. We have a great relationship with all major insurance companies. However, we do not have a contract with your insurance company. What this means is that although we submit all charges to your insurance company, they are under no obligation to pay us. They are only legally obliged to pay their insured (you). For this reason, we will work very closely with you and your insurance company to allow for timely payment, but please keep in mind that our service agreement is with you.
I Received a Bill from Your Company BUT the Job is Not Done – What’s Up?
There are 2 parts to every water loss. They consist of namely, the drying out of the job (also know as “mitigation”) and the repairing/reconstruction of the job. Because they are separate in nature, they are billed and collected individually after the completion of each. So, when you receive a bill before the “whole project” is complete, it is likely for the “drying out” portion of the job. The “repair/reconstruction” part of the project will be invoiced after final completion.
Why Do You Need My Mortgage Information?
Due to the laws, rules, regulations and policies of insurance companies, many times when the insurance claim exceeds a designated dollar amount, the company is required to include the names of all “interested parties” on the insurance draft. If you have a mortgage attached to your home it is likely that your insurance company has an obligation to your mortgage company the same as you do. Therefore, your mortgage company’s name will be included on the draft and they will have to “sign off” before payment can be completed.
Here at On The Spot, we’re well versed in how to work with your mortgage company and to make the process easy on all parties. But, we’ll need your help. That way, you don’t have to worry about the stress of working with your mortgage company. That’s why we ask you for your mortgage information.
The Meat & Potatoes
Why must we go through all this paperwork prior to you working?
We try to stay as organized as possible to help insure the quality and customer service you deserve. Paper work is a very important part of the foundation to help us to achieve this.
What is the “authorization for repairs and direction of payment” form and why do I need to sign it?
The form is a written agreement between our company and you, the home or business owner. It’s a legal document that makes you aware of the events that are about to take place and gives us your permission to complete them. It also gives your insurance company permission and directs them to make payment to our company for the services we’re about to provide. As with any agreement, it needs to be agreed upon before any work proceeds. Thus, we’ll need your signature and authorization before we start work. You will be provided with a copy of the signed document.
Should we make arrangements for you to get in our house?
Yes, it is very important that we have access to monitor the job. If you are not going to be available, then we need to work out a plan to gain access.
Do I need to do anything?
We have worked very hard at building a business where your responsibilities are very minimal. For the most part you should be able to just go about your daily activities without much worry or concern. However, there may be a few items, such as floor coverings, that you will need to pick out. Your Project Manager will talk to you about the things that will need to be replaced and supply you with a list of things that will require your “personal touch”.
Do you use disinfectants, and are they safe?
Benefect is a plant-based antimicrobial, which is designed to inhibit, destroy, or prevent the development of microorganisms. It is completely harmless to you and your family and pets. Many times we will use this product as a precautionary step. Your health is our main concern. Please see the Benefect Material Safety Data Sheet printed on the back of this pamphlet.
Do you guarantee your work?
Yes, we guarantee our work. After we complete your job, your Project Manager will do a “final walk-thru” with you. When you are completely satisfied with the work we will ask you to sign a work completion and satisfaction form.
Why does the adjuster wait so long to inspect my loss?
Often the adjuster will wait until the dry out process is complete in order to be able to assess damages. Other times because of our relationship with the adjuster, they may rely on our photos and scope of repairs without doing an inspection of their own.