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Water Damage Restoration Frequently Asked Questions

A water damage event in your home or business is inconvenient and stressful. Let us answer some of the most common questions you might have.

How to clean up water damage in a home?

When a water emergency occurs in your home or business, it’s only natural to want to take action immediately. Below are some preliminary steps you can take before we arrive, but only attempt what you can do safely.

  1. Shut off the water source, if possible. If you’re not sure where the water is coming from, we’ll inspect and handle the situation as soon as we arrive. If you don’t know how to shut off the water, contact a plumber to help.
  2. Remove excess water by mopping, blotting, or wiping. This could include flooring and hard surface furniture which has standing water on it. Do not use your household vacuum to remove water, since it could cause damage to the vacuum or be unsafe.
  3. Protect carpet, rugs, drapes, and upholstered items from further damage. Place aluminum foil or parchment paper between furniture and wet carpet or rugs. Remove books, magazines, or other colored items from carpets and rugs. Hang draperies up with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet floors. Remove pillows or cushions from wet upholstered items.
  4. Avoid using electric or electronic items that have come into contact with water. This may include items such as light fixtures, ceiling fans, televisions, or appliances. If there is a possibility that someone else on the property may turn on an electric item that has come in contact with water, consider turning off the power to individual circuits within the power distribution panel of the property.
What is the typical cost for water damage restoration?

The cost of a water loss will vary greatly depending on the severity of the situation.

What is water damage restoration?

When water intrudes into a home or business, water damage restoration may be required. Water damage restoration is the professional process of removing unwanted water, drying and cleaning the structure and/or contents, and returning the property to its pre-loss condition. This is completed by professional technicians who are certified to follow industry standards using the proper methods and tools.

Is it safe to stay in a flooded home?

It may not be safe to stay in a flooded home or business. If you come into contact with or ingest flood water, it can make you sick if the water is contaminated. Standing water inside a structure that was inhabited also poses an electrocution risk, as appliances and electrical outlets can continue to be live and energized.

How do you restore water damage?

We’ll inspect your home or business and discuss with you the severity of damage and our plan for helping return your property back to pre-loss condition. We’ll then work to remove the water that shouldn’t be there using pumps and water extracting tools. Materials that cannot be restored, may be removed. Once the excess water is gone, we use dehumidifiers and other specialized drying equipment to help return the area to pre-loss condition. The drying process is then continually monitored. We clean and deodorize restorable contents and areas of the structure that need attention.

How long does it take to dry out water damage?

Drying out a structure depends on the severity of the water damage that occurred, and they type of structure, with an average situation taking 3–5 days. This can vary greatly though, depending on the magnitude of damage, amount of contents affected, any demolition that may be required, and the presence of any hazardous materials.

Returning a home or business to its pre-loss moisture levels is a closely monitored process, with our professionals making adjustments to equipment to help ensure the area is recovering as quickly as safely possible.

Who to call for water damage?

A local SERVPRO is nearby and available now to respond to your water damage emergency right away. Our technicians are on call 24/7 with emergency services available immediately. Call 1-800-SERVPRO to reach a local SERVPRO, or find a SERVPRO location directly with our locator tool.

Who to call for water damage in ceiling?

It can be alarming to see a bubble growing in your ceiling and on the verge of bursting. SERVPRO can assist with this startling emergency right away, by calling 1-800-SERVPRO. You can also reach a local SERVPRO directly with our locator tool.

If possible, locate the source of the leak. If it’s being caused by an internal plumbing water source, turn off the water to that area, if you’re comfortable doing so and it can be done safely.

Is water damage dangerous?

Water damage can be a serious situation. Water flowing through your home or business can carry with it any contaminates that it has come into contact with. Electrical hazards are common when water damage has occurred, so do not enter the area until it’s deemed safe.

Flood waters or contaminated water can also be a danger to anyone who comes into contact with it. It can be difficult to pinpoint what the water contains, and could have chemicals, dirt or bacteria within it. Additionally, depending on the severity of the water event, structural damage to the property could occur. Water damage may also make the area ripe for mold and mildew, which presents a danger to any occupants, as well.

Is my insurance going to cover this water damage to my home?

Many homeowner insurance policies do provide some level of coverage in a water damage situation, but you will need to contact your agent for details about your policy. The source of the water damage is important when dealing with insurance. Some flooding related to weather events requires special insurance that is gained through the National Flood Insurance Program.

Many of the personal items were damaged by water. Can SERVPRO help?

When water damage occurs, it’s not just the structure of your home that’s affected, but your personal belongings, too. Your family furniture, clothing, keepsakes, and other items are sometimes damaged during a flood or water damage emergency.

SERVPRO specializes in restoring these special items, as many cannot be replaced. We’ll assess your content to determine what items can be successfully restored. We can use several different methods to accomplish this:

  • Dry cleaning – Used for light residue or to pre-clean prior to wet cleaning.
  • Wet cleaning – Effective at removing moderate to heavy soiling.
  • Spray and wipe – For items that can’t withstand wet cleaning.
  • Foam cleaning – Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned.
  • Abrasive cleaning – Involves agitation of the surface being cleaned.
  • Immersion cleaning – The item is dipped into a cleaning product bath.


Additionally, we have document restoration services that may be able to save your valuable documents, including photographs.

Unless otherwise noted, each use of "SERVPRO," “us,” “we,” or “our” throughout servpro.com collectively refers to both the SERVPRO brand and the Servpro Franchise System, which is made up exclusively of independently owned and operated franchise locations.

*#1 Choice in cleanup & restoration based on Commercial and Residential Attitude & Usage Tracking studies. Polling 816 commercial business decision-makers and 1,550 homeowner decision-makers on first choice for future needs related to cleanup & restoration work. Studies conducted by C&R Research: Oct 2019 and Decision Analyst: Oct 2019.

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