FAQs

General Questions

How long will the restoration project take?

Because every situation is different, it is difficult to predict exactly how long the restoration project will take. Talk with your Project Manager about the phases of your project and an estimated completion date.

What does pre-loss condition mean?

Our goal is to return your home to how it was before damage occurred.

Do I need a permit?

If required, your Project Manager will arrange the appropriate permit on your behalf.

Will I have to be home all the time?

No, we do our best to minimize the effect of the reconstruction process on your daily routine.

Do my belongings need to be moved away from the premises?

We understand that you may prefer to keep your belongings on site, and they may be able to remain depending on the size of the project.

For large restoration jobs, it may be best to move all your belongings in order to protect them and make room for construction. In that case, we pack, inventory and transport your belongings to a secure facility.

You can rest easy knowing our team is fully trained and will treat your possessions with the utmost care.

Will I have access to my belongings while they are in storage?

Yes, with advance notice, we can schedule a time for you to gain access to your items.


Fire Damage Restoration Questions

How long will the restoration process take?

Because there are so many variables and many services involved in smoke and fire restoration, it is difficult to predict how long the complete restoration will take. Consult with your technician on the estimated dates and phases of your restoration project.

Can I clean it myself?

We suggest that you do not attempt any “do-it-yourself” cleaning methods without consulting your technician. Pretesting, using the right cleaning agent for the particular item, mixing deodorizing agents with cleaning solutions and using correct dilution rates are just some of the ways a fire restoration technician expertly controls the results. Professional cleaning systems and products used by experienced, trained technicians give you the best chance for complete restoration of your belongings.

What are some safety concerns?

At JLH Construction, occupant and worker safety is top priority. During the initial inspection, safety hazards are identified and addressed, including debris removal, air quality, electrical hazards, slip and trip hazards, etc. Burnt electrical cords and appliances are separated out for disposal, and questionable electrical appliances are unplugged and tagged for evaluation of safe operation. Electrical power may be turned off and kept off until evaluation by a licensed electrician.

Can I turn on my heating and air conditioning unit?

We recommend that you not turn on your furnace or air conditioning unit without clearance from the HVAC contractor.

What items do I keep in my possession?

  • Cash
  • Medications
  • Valuable Jewelry
  • Checkbooks
  • Personal Documents
  • Valuable Paintings
  • Flammables
  • Pets
  • Weapons/Ammunition
  • Gasoline Cans
  • Stamp/Coin Collections

How do I keep track of non-restorable items?

We recommend you make a list of items (including food items) deemed nonrestorable. Use a format like the sample below, or obtain a similar form from your insurance company. Make a copy for your insurance company and keep one for yourself.

Quantity Item Year Purchased Cost
3 Silk Flower Arrangements 2016 $50.00

Do I need to move out of my home during this process?

Some things you may want to consider are safety concerns, odors, electricity, noise from equipment, etc. If vacating your premises for any length of time, consider the following: forward your mail to your temporary residence; stop newspaper and other activities; notify utility company, cable company, etc., of temporary suspension of services.

Do I need general contractors?

There are some items that may require general contractors such as drywall/painting; electrical; plumbing; roofing; framing/finish carpentry; flooring/carpet; installation of doors, windows, cabinets, post-construction cleanup, etc. We will work with you to determine if a general contractor is needed.

Do my belongings need to be moved away from the premises?

Depending on the source, nature and extent of the fire, it may be best to remove all belongings to a secure facility for cleaning, storage and to make room for restoration or construction. We will work with you and your insurance claims representative to manage this process.

What about special items? Artwork, china, heirlooms, etc.?

Some high-value items require restoration by a specialist. Working with your insurance claims representative, we can help you identify these and locate a qualified restorer.

Who is responsible for paying for the service?

Ultimately you, the property owner, are responsible for payment and will need to sign a form authorizing payment for the restoration services. If this is an insurance claim, we generally collect only the deductible (co-payment) amount from you and bill the balance to your insurance provider as a service to you. If you have a large loss, your mortgage company may be included as a payee on the payment from your insurance company, and you may need to obtain a signature from them as well. If your claim is not covered by insurance or you decide not to file a claim, you will be expected to pay in full. We can discuss these details.

Content Management

Will I have access to my belongings while they are in storage?

Yes, with advanced notice, we can schedule time for your Project Manager to meet with you and provide access to your requested items. A service charge may apply.

Important Note: To avoid confusion, please direct any insurance-related questions to your Insurance Agent or Claims Representative.

Reconstruction

How long will the reconstruction project take?

Because of the many variables involved, is is difficult to predict exactly how long the reconstruction project will take. Consult with your Project Manager on the phases of your reconstruction project and estimated completion date.

What does pre-loss condition mean?

We are responsible for returning your home to the condition it was in before the damage occurred, or its pre-loss condition. We use materials of like kind and quality. There may be some damage that existed prior to your loss. Therefore, these damages have not been included in that scope of repairs.

At your request, we will provide you with an estimate for any additional renovation projects, also called non-insured work.

What is non-insured work?

Any renovation project unrelated to your loss is considered non-insured work. At your request, we will provide a separate estimate for a non-insured renovation project, and we will require separate authorization and payment terms. If non-insured work will delay the completion of an insured portion, then the situation must be discussed with your Insurance Adjuster and the Project Manager.

Do I need a permit?

When required, your Project Manager will take out the appropriate permit(s) on your behalf, identifying the Franchise Business as the general contractor. If applicable, permit fees and included in the estimate and may be covered by the insurance company.

What is a code or by-law upgrade?

It is an upgrade that is made when your home’s pre-loss condition no longer meets legal building codes. Your insurance company may recognize code upgrades in the estimation process. Any questions regarding code upgrades should be directed to your Insurance Adjuster.

Will I have to be home all the time?

No, we will do our best to make sure you can go about your daily routine. For site access, you can provide a key to your Project Manager or opt for a lock box on the property.

Do my belongings need to be moved away from the premises?

Depending on the scope of work, contents may remain on location. We will take appropriate measures to securely cover and protect contents. Any construction-related dust that collects will be addressed in the post-construction cleaning.


Water Damage Restoration Questions

How long will it take my property to dry?

Drying time is determined by a combination of factors, including the location, duration and source of water, the types of building materials, the weather conditions and how quickly emergency services begin. Through consistent monitoring and evaluation of the drying process, we can determine when the drying is complete. Your carpet may feel dry to the touch, but padding and subfloors may still be wet underneath.

How do I know when my property is completely dry?

Proper testing with our specialized equipment is the correct way to determine if things are completely dry. Touch alone may be a false indicator.

Will turning up my heat help dry things out?

Not necessarily. We will adjust the temperature to its optimum setting for the proper drying conditions. Please do not change the setting or shut off the HVAC system; doing so may prolong the drying process.

My wood floors are wet and buckling. Will they need to be replaced?

Wood flooring must be evaluated during the drying process. We employ specialized drying systems and dehumidifiers that enable us to create an environment when wood floors can dry more efficiently and resume their original shape. If you filed a claim, your insurance adjuster will work will you to make the final decision as to whether floors will need to be refinished or replaced.

What about my wet furniture?

The extent of damage and the construction of the furniture will determine if your furniture can be restored. Your furniture must be dried before damage can be adequately assessed. Nonsalvageable furniture will be documented for you, and if any items need to be discarded, a customer release form will need to be signed.

Do I need to move out of my property during this process?

If you file an insurance claim, you may receive guidance from your insurance representative. However, this is a decision you must reach on your own. Here are several things to consider. Safety is paramount. Out equipment is as childproof as possible, but we require your supervision to make sure no children play with it. Air movers and dehumidifiers will create noise and make your property drafty for a few days. It is important that the equipment remains on, so if the noise is disruptive to you, you might want to consider an alternate place to stay.

Does everything need to be moved out during restoration?

Not usually. If items need to be moved out, we will let you know in advance.

What’s that smell?

It is not unusual to smell odors during the drying process. Increased heat and humidity can also lead to increased odors that may be coming from the drying building materials, or dormant spill and accident areas. Do not confuse these normal odors will the odor of mold. As the drying process continues and humidity levels drop, you’ll notice these odors disappearing on their own. Proper cleaning and deodorizers are often used to minimize these effects as well.

My ceilings are wet. What needs to be done?

Our technicians will evaluate moisture content, determine the severity of the damage and may have to remove some of your ceiling for ventilation. Wet insulation can also be a hazard and may need to be removed.

Should I open the windows to help the drying process?

Opening your windows to assist the drying process is not always recommended. Outside weather conditions may vary, so the technician will determine when and if the outside air is appropriate.

Can I walk on the area during the drying process?

It is strongly suggested that you keep the traffic to a minimum. Wearing shoes is recommended for your safety.

Can my carpet be restored or will it have to be replaced?

A few reasons your carpet may not be salvageable:

  • Delamination (occurs when the backing separates from the carpet fiber)
  • Loss of adhesion (may be caused by prolonged exposure to water or age of the carpet)
  • Permanent stains
  • Carpet covers wood flooring (to salvage the wood flooring)
  • Sewage contamination

Why does my specialty floor need to be removed?

Nonporous flooring can trap water and prevent it from drying properly.

Why did the technician leave wet carpet on my stairs?

Carpet on the stairs is generally not removed for safety reasons. Exposed tack strips or staples, especially on steps, is dangerous. However, there are situations where removing carpet from stairs is necessary to prevent damage to hardwood steps or in the case of sewage contamination. Removing tack strips is not advised, as this may damage the hardwood or the subfloor. Extreme caution must be used whenever the tack strip is exposed or when the carpeted stairs are damp. If carpet left on the stairs is unsalvageable, it will be removed when new carpet is installed.

How will you match my carpet pad?

A sample of your pad is brought to our office for a match. When available, an identical will be used. When your original pad is not available, we will provide a pad of the same, quality, thickness and density. A similar pad may differ in color based upon the time it was manufactured.

What will you do with my area rugs?

Rugs are taken to our warehouse for special care. They need to be dried carefully to minimize bleeding of colors and discoloration. Your rugs will be dried, cleaned, and returned.

Why are air movers and dehumidifiers used?

When water damage has occurred, water can be absorbed into the drywall, baseboards, subflooring, etc. Drying these surfaces requires high velocity air movers to accelerate the release of absorbed water into the air. Dehumidifiers are necessary for removing this excess moisture to help protect property and create conditions for efficient drying. Please do not turn off or move drying equipment without first calling us.

Who is responsible for monitoring the drying equipment?

Our water damage mitigation specialists will place and monitor equipment to achieve optimal results in the shortest amount of time. Please make sure no one turns the equipment off or moves it. Please notify our office immediately if the power goes off or if the equipment turns off.

What will it cost to run the equipment?

Based on average electrical rates, it may cost about $1 per day per piece of drying equipment to operate. Actual costs can vary depending on current rates from your local electricity provider.

What about sewage contamination?

Hard surfaces can be cleaned and sanitized. Affected items that cannot be sanitized require disposal. Porous materials such as drywall, ceiling tiles, insulation, particleboard, paneling, carpet and pad, etc., that have been directly affected will be removed during the emergency service visit.

Who is responsible for paying for the service?

Ultimately you, the property owner, are responsible for payment and will need to sign a form authorizing payment for the restoration services. If this is an insurance claim, we generally collect only the deductible (co-payment) amount from you and bill the balance to your insurance provider as a service to you. If you have a large loss, your mortgage company may be included as a payee on the payment from your insurance company, and you may need to obtain a signature from them as well. If your claim is not covered by insurance or you decide not to file a claim, you will be expected to pay in full. Your representative can discuss these details.

Reconstruction

How long will the reconstruction project take?

Because of the many variables involved, it is difficult to predict how long the reconstruction project will take. Consult with your Project Manager on the phases of your reconstruction project and estimated completion date.

What does pre-loss condition mean?

We are responsible for returning your home to the condition it was in before the damage occurred, or its pre-loss condition. We use materials of like kind and quality. There may be some damage that existed prior to your loss. Therefore, these damages have not been included in the scope of repairs.

At your request, we will provide you with an estimate for any additional renovation projects, also called non-insured work.

What is non-insured work?

Any renovation work unrelated to your loss is considered non-insured work. At your request, we will provide a separate estimate for a non-insured renovation project, and we will require separate authorization and payment terms. If non-insured work will delay the completion of an insured portion, then the situation must be discussed with your Insurance Adjuster and the Project Manager.

Do I need a permit?

When required, your Project Manager will take out the appropriate permit(s) on your behalf, identifying the Franchise Business as the general contractor. If applicable, permit fees are included in the estimate and may be covered.

What is a code or by-law upgrade?

It is an upgrade that is made when your home’s pre-loss condition no longer meets legal building codes. Your insurance company may recognize code upgrades in the estimation process. Any questions regarding code upgrades should be directed to your Insurance Adjuster.

Will I have to be home all the time?

No, we will do our best to make sure you may go about your daily routine. For site access, you can provide a key to your Project Manager or opt for a lock box on the property.

Do my belongings need to be moved away from the premises?

Depending on the scope of work, contents may remain on location. We will take appropriate measures to securely cover and protect contents. Any construction-related dust that collects will be addressed in the post-construction cleaning.