Frequently Asked Questions
Chicagoland Restoration FAQs
Flood- Water and Sewage Damage Questions:
What should I do if my home is flooding?
The first thing to do when you find water or sewage in your home is to remain calm. Second, try to locate the source of water or sewage, and if possible turn it off. Third, call RGC for 24 hour Emergency Water Removal. Timely action is needed to prevent further damage to carpet, furniture or personal belongings. If needed, RGC will call a plumber for you to come fix where the water is entering the home. RGC technicians will remove water from the affected area and begin mold and mildew preventive steps such as drying out the area with humidity lowering fans. Fourth, while waiting for RGC, remove any furniture or personal belongings out of the affected area. For more tips and things you should and should not do after a flood, don't hesitate to call RGC.
How much will it cost to restore my home after a flood?
The cost to restore a home or business after a flood varies significantly depending on the size and amount of work that needs to be done to extract, clean and restore the home. If the home affected has homeowners insurance and the insurance company will be covering the costs beyond their deductible, the homeowner will only pay the deductible amount, according to their insurance policy. In addition, RGC will directly bill the insurance company so that the homeowner doesn't have to worry about payments etc. RGC estimators and the insurance adjuster will determine the extent of the damage to the home and plan with the homeowner a strategy to restoring their home to its pre-loss condition. This same process is used in restoring a business after a flood. To request a RGC Estimator to come to your home and estimate the costs, call RGC at 1 800 708 4160.
I had water damage to in my home a couple of days ago and I cleaned it up myself but it smells musty. Is there a way to get rid of the musty smell?
Because of the variability of each situation, to answer this question or any question about do-it-yourself cleanup jobs, call the RGC office. When water damage occurs in a home, it is imperative to remove any water or moisture as soon as possible. When RGC technicians are called to a flood or any water damage job, we use a high-powered extraction unit to remove the water, air movers, dehumidifiers, apply a mildecide to clean and dry all affected areas. For this reason, in most cases the equipment, chemicals etc. that a homeowner has access to are not enough to do the job. Without a proper cleanup and dry-out, what may have been a small job, may become a big and expensive one.
My home is brand new, but I am getting water in my basement- what should I do?
This could be caused by many things, but the biggest problem with outside water coming into the home is poor grading of the soil near the house. New homes are more likely to settle along the "back fill" area of the foundation dig. The water then becomes trapped in the lowest place, which becomes against the walls and windows, allowing the water to come in. Make sure that the down spouts are piped beyond the home by several feet and the dirt grade is sloped at least 2% or 1/4" per foot in the first 10 feet.
Why does it take 3-4 days to dry? The carpet seems dry after the first day.
Carpet dries a lot faster than drywall, baseboard and wood floors because it is less dense than the others. Sometimes moisture gets behind the drywall and it takes longer to reach and bring out the moisture. Paint also prohibits the drywall from drying as fast.
What is an ice dam?
An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow (water) from draining off the roof. The water then can back up under the shingles and leak into a home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas.
How do you prevent ice dams?
To prevent an ice dam, don't heat the roof- keep it cold. When you keep the attic cold, the snow on the roof eventually dissipates without making large amounts of meltwater. The underside of the roof deck should not exceed 30 F. The best way to maintain low temperatures is by ensuring that there is adequate insulation and sealing gaps that let warm air pass into the attic from the house. The attic must also be ventilated, so that cold air is introduced into it and heated air escapes rapidly. Some Chicagoland remodeling contractors are under the impression that heat passing through the attic helps prevent ice dams, when just the opposite is true. Although excess heat moving from the attic through the roof rapidly melts snow, once the meltwater touches the cold eaves, it quickly freezes and forms an ice dam.
If my kids leave the hose on or the sprinklers malfunction, is it covered by insurance?
Coverage of water damage depends on the insurance company, but most insurance carriers do not cover water that enters the home subsurface. Usually there is coverage if the water comes from the homes plumbing system and does not become subsurface (enter the home through the foundation).
How do I make sure I don't get frozen pipes?
Remove hoses from hose bibs before the threat of frost and/or install insulated covers over hose bibs. If worried about pipes in the home freezing, make sure the home is heated properly and that heat is getting to places like pipes under sinks (you may need to open cupboard doors to allow the heat to pass through). If you do get frozen pipes, try to unthaw them by turning on a small amount of water, and warming the pipes up. Some frozen pipes may need the help of a professional plumber.
Mold Remediation & Cleanup Questions:
How do you clean up mold?
This is a common question when a homeowner is worried about mold growth in the home. Here is a basic rundown of what is done during a mold test and what a professional restoration company such as RGC Flood and Fire Cleanup does during mold remediation.
Mold testing is the collection of mold samples for laboratory analysis. Usually it is an Industrial Hygienist that will come and take both surface and air samples to be tested in a laboratory although there are some do-it-yourself home mold tests on the market. A surface sample is taken directly from the surface by a tape lift imprint, a cotton swab, or actual piece of mold surface. For air samples, a canister called a spore trap will be set, and a representation of the mold in the air will be determined by the number of spores that are captured. The surface and air tests are important to identify what types of molds are present. This data is useful in determining proper remediation procedures as well as the seriousness of potential risks. The data from the test can be used in determining what needs to be done to remove any mold spores found.
Mold remediation is basically the process taken to clean up mold damage, usually done by a professional Chicagoland restoration company such as RGC. Mold removal and cleanup varies from project to project. Call RGC for an estimate and description of the work necessary for your particular situation.