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Flood Cleanup and Water Restoration – FAQs

My basement is flooded! What do I do?

The best way to deal with a flooded basement is to call an emergency water removal company and get help emergency flood services in the GTAfrom a professional flood damage clean-up service. These 24/7 companies are experts at dealing with these unfortunate and costly messes and can get your home back in a safe condition faster.

How do I prevent water from coming into my basement?

To prevent water from coming into your basement there are several precautions you can take. These include looking for ways to divert rainwater from your home by extending rain gutter down spouts away from your home, cleaning the rain gutters in the spring and after the fall, checking around your house during a heavy rainstorm, setting up emergency power, installing a sump pump, and having flood insurance.

How do you clean a flooded basement?

In the event of a flooded basement, it is strongly recommended to contact a professional water removal company first. Wet basements feel and smell bad, are a risk to your home’s value, and the excess moisture can ruin floors, walls, and encourage mould, posing additional problems.

Does a flooded basement cause mould?

It is very likely that a flooded basement can cause mould especially if it is not remedied properly as soon as possible. The humidity in the dark basement can cause mould spores to attach to various surfaces and grow. Mould spores can irritate the sinuses and skin, and cause more serious symptoms in people with mould allergies.

Does home insurance cover flooded basement?

Unfortunately, most standard home insurance policies only cover damage caused by flooding that originates from a sudden and accidental escape of water. This is why applying for a specific flood insurance policy will save you a huge bill for any water damage in your home. Be aware of the limits of your policy.

How much experience does your company have?

Our teams are made up of restoration professionals that have been operating within the restoration industry in the Greater Toronto Area for over 10 years.

Are your technicians IICRC-certified?

All of our teams have finished the required certification courses in order to do their work as effectively and efficiently as possible. Most of our teams work with preferred vendors of insurance companies on a regular basis or are on vendor programs themselves. All our team leaders are owner/operators of their service area or region but are readily available to help and assist other members in their areas, if they so need. With this backup, we are prepared to handle any size of loss. We specialize and are very experienced in cleaning up large floods of this nature.

How do I find basement flooding clean-up company near me?

We provide emergency flood services in the GTAToronto, Oakville, Georgina, Barrie, Brampton, Mississauga, Whitby, Lakeshore, and more. You can always trust Flood Services Canada to be there for all emergency flood services. Whether it’s a sink overflow or a flooded basement, we are ready to take full control of the situation, providing a hassle-free solution. We will remove the water, dry your property thoroughly, and deal directly with your insurance company, providing them with fully detailed and transparent reporting to ensure a smooth claims process. We can also start the renovation and restoration phase simultaneously, getting your house or property looking and feeling like home again without you having to lift a finger. Contact us today at (416) 999-3930.

What causes mould to grow?

Mould typically enters the home as tiny spores, and when the conditions are moist, those spores are able to grow, spread, and destroy the surfaces they sit on. Mould can grow on ceiling tiles, wood, wallpaper, paint, carpet, insulation, and drywall. Although there is no way to completely eliminate all mould spores from your home, you can control their growth by keeping your home free of leaks, floods, and high humidity.

How is mould growth detected?

There are specific sites where the likelihood of mould growth is increased: basements, attic walls, insulation, ceilings, wooden joists near pipe condensation, leaking air conditioning units, broken windows or frames, foundation cracks, under-sink linoleum where there are leaks, underneath moist carpeting, under wallpaper and wall paneling, and more.

What is the first step I should take when I discover mould?

This is one of the most popular mould removal frequently asked questions. It is strongly recommended to call a licensed contractor to help you remediate the mould. Be aware of cross contamination with mould spores, and keep an eye on areas that are often have moisture, such as bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and attics.

How long does it take for mould to grow after water damage?

Mould can take within 48 to 72 hours to grow and can colonize anywhere from one day to two weeks.

How can I prevent mould growth?

Avoiding mould completely is not possible but you can maintain your home by paying attention to cleaning and maintaining your air conditioning and heating system, which can cause elevated mould growth in your home.

Do I need to have mould testing prior to remediation?

Yes. Calling a professional and having a quality testing procedure done will help you determine the extent of mould you are dealing with. Testing results are usually ready in two to three days.

Do I need to hire a mould remediation/removal expert to remove mould, or can I do it myself?

Cutting out and cleaning mold disturbs the spores through the house, thus creating more mould issues. If you chose to remediate it yourself, you would need to build a containment using negative pressure and protective equipment. There are also additional legal rules to follow to be sure that the mould is removed. It is a much better idea to hire a professional who is well-trained and able to remove the mould with as little disturbance as possible to protect you, your family, and your home or business.

How long does it take to remove mould?

The removal process depends on how much mould is at the site, where it is growing, and what materials it is growing on. The approximate length of time to remove mould is one to five days.

Will the mould come back when we hire you to clean it out?

Mould is able to come back if the reason it began growing with in the first place is unresolved. This is why professionals must determine the cause of the growth before correcting and eliminating it.

Are you qualified to do professional mould remediation?

Yes. We are a certified team of professionals who are experienced and capable to handle your mould remediation.

What are the signs of water damage?

Some major indicators of water damage include unpleasant odours, visual signs of mould, stains on ceilings and walls, peeling paint, sagging walls and ceilings, and floor effects.

What should I do first?

If possible, find the source of the water, and call a water damage restoration company to address the issue immediately. It is also recommended to call your insurance company as soon as possible to file a claim. To limit the possible damage, it is important the water be extracted and dried as soon as possible.

Can I remove items after a water damage?

Depending on the extent of the water damage, you may be able to remove unaffected items from your home. Items that have been contaminated may not be able to be recovered for health reasons. Speak to your insurance company about the best course of action concerning valuable items that have been damaged.

How long does it take for mould to grow after water damage?

Mould is easily spread when disturbed or brushed with air. It is recommended not to wipe the mould with bleach, which does not kill the spores but spreads them around. Depending on the environment, specifically the moisture in that environment, the mould could spread faster.

How long does it take to repair my home after water damage?

Removing mould can take anywhere from one to five days, depending on the type of mould. Water damage repairs can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks depending on their severity. If special items need to be purchased or are on back order by the restoration company, the repair and reconstruction process could take even longer.

Is the water after a flood in my house a risk to my health?

Clear water is normally sourced from sinks, water heaters, or washing machines. This type of water poses little risk. Grey water, from your dishwasher or bathtub, can cause illness. The worst type of water is black water, which is highly contaminated and comes from the toilet or sewer system. All surfaces that come in contact with black water are dangerous to your health and should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected by licensed professionals.

What happens to my furniture after a flood?

Restoration companies typically try to restore old furniture with sentimental value; however, some items may not be able to be fixed. In cases like these, it is best to replace the items with similar furniture. A good restoration team will work with the homeowner and their insurance company to find out the best solution to the furniture restoration or replacement.

What is that smell after a water damage?

The foul smell after water damage could be caused by mould, the combination of water and other materials, or contaminants and chemicals from septic leaks. The right water restoration company will test, discover, and remedy the source. The smell should be completely gone by the time the water damage is repaired; be sure to check before you sign any completion agreements.

Can I upgrade certain items after a water repair?

Yes; however, in most cases you will have to pay for those upgrades. Insurance companies will usually cover the costs to bring your home back to a stable condition.

Why should I use an IICRC Certified Restoration company?

IICRC Certified Restoration companies are skilled, able, and qualified to handle all cases of water damage. They use special equipment and procedures to handle the mess and can apply strong safety measures to protect themselves and your family from any biohazards or contaminants. Going with a trusted company to deal with your water damage can prevent future incidents such as these, and help you get your home back into a healthy condition sooner.

Does a restoration company work with my insurance company?

Yes. Be sure to notify your insurance company of the damage after you call the restoration company. The restoration company will need to show the level of damage to the insurance adjuster and may need to rely on photos to see the scope of repairs without doing their own inspection.

How do I get my insurance company to pay for water damage?

The restoration company will bill your insurance company, and all you will have to pay for is the deductible.

What is smoke damage?

Smoke damage is the physical damage caused by the smoke of a fire. This damage is typically insured by a homeowner’s insurance policy and should be cleaned by professional fire damage restoration companies. A good smoke damage clean-up company will document the damage, review and help you understand your insurance policy, and work with your insurance adjuster to ensure you have all you need to file a smoke damage insurance claim.

How do you clean smoke damage?

It may seem as if clearing the fire removes all danger, but smoke can also pose a threat to your home. Smoke damage cleaning companies are trained to handle such danger. Professional fire damage companies are able to clean your home of smoke and restore items affected from a fire by removing all residue, treating the sources of odour with special detergents and neutralizers, and sealing off materials to protect them from any odours looming in the air.

How do you clean up fire soot?

Professional fire and smoke damage clean-up companies often begin by covering unaffected surfaces and items with plastic before beginning repairs. Soot is oily and can ruin carpets, draperies, and other household surfaces. Professionals have the right equipment to deal with these messes such as heavy-duty vacuums and cleaning products and tools.

Can I get into my home/commercial property to clean up or assess the damages?

You should only enter with a trained professional once the property has been deemed safe. You must wear the appropriate personal protective equipment such as a respirator.

How do I know what was affected by the smoke damage in my home/office?

There are several items that are often overlooked after a disaster, such as a house or office fire. These items include food, refrigerator, plants, and clothing. Smoke is able to penetrate most kinds of packaging so all food stored at home should be inspected before deciding on whether to keep it. The inside of the refrigerator could also be compromised, even if no smoke or fire damage is spotted on the outside of it. House plants can also suffer long-term effects after being exposed to smoke. Wiping down plants may help as well as leaving them outdoors for a few days. Since smoke travels further than flames, clothing can also be affected. Having your clothes professionally cleaned can prevent you from experiencing uncomfortable bodily reactions to smoke-affected garments.

Can smoke damage ruin electronics?

Smoke can ruin electronic devices. Smoke can seep through electronics’ cooling vents and holes, coating sensitive parts with particles and resin. Items like digital watches are sealed and are typically safe, but computers, televisions, and sound systems can be ruined from exposure to smoke.

Does smoke damage create odours?

Yes. Smoke filters through tiny fibres, so even items that have been thoroughly cleaned can still have a slight odour. Odours are even stronger in affected areas that are warm or damp. Smoke and fire damage restoration services are able to remove long-lasting odours so your home or office can smell clean and healthy again.

How long does fire restoration take?

Fire and smoke damage clean-up all depends upon the severity of the situation. Our Toronto smoke damage clean-up technicians can give you an accurate estimate on the length of time it will take and the cost of smoke damage clean-up.

Why should home and business owners consider certified professionals first?

It takes a high level of technical skill to safely and effectively clean up the damage left behind from smoke damage. Certified professionals are properly trained on safety procedures and solutions to restore your home or office environment.

Storm season can bring some terrible surprises to your home or property. Storm damage is caused by different events such as falling trees, flying debris, strong winds, surface flooding, lightning, heavy rains, and more. If the problems are not addressed quickly and thoroughly, even minor damage can have major consequences that will pile up hefty costs. It is always best to have your property inspected if you have any hint of storm damage. As the old saying goes, it is better to be safe than sorry!

What do I do if I think my property has storm damage?

The first step is to call a certified storm damage restoration company or contractor to inspect your property and work with your insurance company to make sure you are treated fairly throughout the process.

Why should I get my home inspected for storm damage?

If your home is damaged, you only have a small window of time to file an insurance claim. Since this time is so limited, you should get your claim approved and repairs scheduled as soon as possible, and the only way to know if that is necessary is to have your home inspected.

What is the cost for having my property inspected for storm damage?

Storm damage clean-up and restoration contractors typically provide homeowners with a free inspection and no-obligation repair estimates. We care about our customers and, if there is no damage to be found, you will not be charged.

How much will it cost me to fix my property?

Depending on the level of damage at your home, we offer reasonable estimates after the free inspection of your property.

How long can I file an insurance claim after the storm?

The limited time allowance to file an insurance claim varies from company to company, but the average is a 12-24 month period. To take precautions before any possible damage, contact your insurance agent or a certified contractor to find out what your specific policy details.

My insurance company denied my claim. Is there anything I can do?

You are able to request three separate inspections and refile a storm damage insurance claim after it has been denied. Be sure your contractor is present during the next inspection as they can help you get your claim approved, even if it has been denied before.

Does my homeowners insurance cover all types of storm damage?

It all depends on your insurance policy. Most homeowners insurance policies cover damage from hail, tornados, and wind, but flood and earthquake damage may require additional coverage. Check your policy to see exactly what is covered.

What are the various types of coverage included in a homeowner’s policy?

Check the declarations page of your insurance policy to find out the exact types of coverage you have. Most include damage to your home, damage to other structures on your property, loss or damage to the contents of your home, loss of use in case your home is inhabitable, and personal liability to third parties.

What is not covered by homeowners insurance?

Earthquakes, floods, and other exclusions may require additional coverage. Normal wear and tear on your home or poor maintenance is not covered.

Should I call my agent if I have damage?

Insurance agents are often friendly and helpful, but your insurance company is a business that needs to make money. It is strongly recommended to call the claims number provided by your insurance company instead of your agent directly. Your agent is rarely a claims specialist and would need to report the same information to the claims department anyway.

Should I trust contractors who knock on my door?

It is a good idea to be cautious of door-to-door contractors. Make sure they are credible, licensed, insured, and properly trained before you to give them any personal information or start doing business with them.

How should I contact you?

Contacting us is simple, call (416) 999-3930 for our emergency response service.

How quickly do you respond to an emergency call?

Since we provide a 24/7 emergency service, your phone call will be returned within 15 minutes if we miss it, and we can be at your home in an hour. Our rapid-response time makes us able to help our customers quickly before any further damage can occur.

Is it safe for my family to be in here after a sewer backup?

No. Sewage water needs to be treated as a health hazard, so your family should not stay in the house in such a situation. The IICRC classifies sewage water as black water (Category 3), it is grossly contaminated and can contain toxic, pathogenic, and other very harmful and dangerous agents.

Who is going to solve the problem?

If the stoppage is related to your non-public sewer line, you should call a professional water restoration company immediately.

How quickly should I report sewage damage?

You should report sewer damage immediately as exposure to the hazardous chemicals and particles in the water can cause cross-contamination in your home or building and pose a threat to the safety and health of your family or residents. You should evacuate the premises immediately and call a sewage damage specialist.

How quickly will you respond to my sewage damage call?

Flood Services Canada is an emergency response team that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We have teams of technicians on standby that are certified, knowledgeable and equipped to mitigate the damages and restore your home.

What are the hazards with sewer backups?

Sewer damage releases disease-causing organisms, can contaminate skin, and can cause undesirable side effects such as nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. Sewage water exposure can also pose risks of respiratory infections and allergic reactions caused from inhaling associated airborne microorganisms.

Can I just clean up a sewer backup myself?

No. Choosing a professional water damage restoration company can help you avoid any of the previously mentioned risks. Also, a professional team is better equipped and experienced in the best ways to clean up sewage at minimal risk.

Can I just use bleach to clean up a sewer backup?

Bleach is not a good solution for sewer backups. It may remove stains well, but it does not make the contamination of black water disappear. Though the label states that it kills 99% of common household germs, sewage water does NOT fit in this category.

Can other areas of my home/office become affected?

Yes. Cross-contamination is very common in cases of sewage damage. To prevent this, the area must be properly contained and ventilated by a professional team. For most situations, only sewage damage specialists are able to handle such a procedure. The risks of cross contamination include seepage, toxic fumes, and exposure to airborne viruses and bacteria.

What can I keep after a sewer backup?

Unfortunately, anything that possibly or definitely came in contact with sewer water needs to be disposed of unless they are hard-surfaced items that are non-porous. Considering the serious health hazards of sewage damage, it is best to throw out items that you are unsure of.

How do I really know if everything is cleaned up?

The only way to know with a guarantee that the backup has been restored is to have it tested. A certified industrial hygienist separate from the water restoration company should be called to test the area so you have an unbiased and reliable report.