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Serving Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne’s, & New Castle Counties & Surrounding Areas (410) 392-4900

DR_YELLO_SMR13web-2_700-298x300This is one of the most common jobs we encounter. Plumbing line breaks, sump pump malfunctions, water heater breakdowns, or sprinkler systems going off are some of the most common things we see.

No matter the cause, we know the importance of acting fast to dry and protect as much of your property as we can, and to minimize any damage to sub flooring and other structures.

When we arrive, we’ll do a walkthrough with you to see what’s been affected, and note any places the water may have migrated, such as under drywall, into basements, or beneath floor coverings.

Simply setting up machines to dry your property isn’t enough. We’ll map out the damaged areas and record moisture readings on all of the affected materials and areas. We’ll then check these as we work, to make sure that we dry your house or business to normal moisture levels.

Area rugs will be 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 to you after your house has been fully dried. Furniture will be assessed on a case-by-case basis to see if it can be dried and restored.


  1. Inspection and evaluation of your home. We’ll walk through to see how bad the water damage is and formulate a plan to dry and protect what’s there.
  2. We explain what we need to do in what order, and why it’s important. We’ll also explain how long it will take us to restore your home to pre-water conditions.
  3. Moisture measurements will be taken to see how wet affected areas are, including carpets, drywall, and subflooring. These will be done throughout the process, so that you know when your property is dry again.
  4. We can offer Pack Out Services, which means moving items such as area rugs and drying them carefully in our warehouse to ensure they’re safely dried.
  5. We can work directly with your insurance company, so you don’t have to worry about billing or submission of paperwork.
  6. We can store, clean, and deodorizing items as needed.
  7. We’ll move any removed items back into your home for you.

FAQs: Water Damage Restoration

Here are some common questions and their answers that we receive when working with our customers.

Question: How long will it take my property to dry?
Answer: In short, it depends. While there are no rules to determine how long your property will take to dry, we can tell you it may take between three to five days or more, depending on the conditions.

This is determined by a combination of factors including the location, duration and source of water, the types of building materials, 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 sub-floors may still be wet underneath.

Question: Will turning up the heat help dry things out?
Answer: 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 system without asking us if this will help or hurt the drying process.

Question: Is all the drying equipment expensive to run?
Answer: Based on average electrical rates, it may cost about one dollar per day per piece of drying equipment to operate. Actual rates can vary depending on current rates from your local electricity provider.

Question: Can my carpet be restored or will it have to be replaced?
Answer: A few reasons your carpet may not be salvageable:

  • Delamination (occurs when 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

Question: My wood floors are wet and buckling. Will they have to be replaced?
Answer: It depends. Our equipment is specially made to help floors get back into their original shape, but it may take up to 5 days to see how bad the damage is. We employ specialized drying systems and dehumidifiers that enable us to create an environment where wood floors can dry more efficiently.

Many wood floors do, in fact, return to their original shape. However, each flooring system is unique, and we will need to closely monitor the moisture content to determine if restoration is possible.

We’ll work with you and your insurance adjustor to make a final decision.

Question: What about wet furniture?
Answer: The extent of damage and the construction of the furniture will determine if your furniture can be restored. It must be dried before damage can be assessed. Non-salvageable furniture will be documented for you and if any items need to be discarded, a customer release form will need to be signed, and we can then dispose of it for you.

Question: There’s a strange smell in the house. Is it permanent?
Answer: Most times it is not. 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 floors, walls, and carpets. As the drying process continues and the humidity levels drop, you’ll notice these odors disappearing on their own. Deodorizers are often used to minimize these effects as well.

Question: Does everything need to be moved out during restoration?
Answer: Not usually. If items need to be moved out, we will let you know in advance and coordinate with your insurance as needed.

Question: My ceilings are wet. What needs to be done?
Answer: Our technicians will evaluate moisture, 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.

Question: Should I open the windows to help the drying process?
Answer: Opening your windows during 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.

Question: Can I walk on the area during the drying process?
Answer: It is strongly suggested that you keep the traffic to a minimum. Wear shoes for your safety.

Question: What about sewage contamination?
Answer: 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, etc. that have been directly affected should be removed during the emergency service visit.

Question: Who is responsible for paying for the service?
Answer: Ultimately you, the property owner, are responsible for payment. We can help you navigate this process, and explain what’s happening, what the cost will be, and how your insurance or mortgage company will help. We also usually work directly with your insurance, so you won’t have the hassle of working with them and with us at the same time.

If this is an insurance claim, ServiceMaster Restore generally collects only the deductible amount and bills the balance to your insurance provider as a service to you. If your claim is not covered or you decide not to file a claim, we will bill you directly.