Frequently Asked Questions-Flood Restoration-Water Damage Restoration
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FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions about Water Damage Mitigation & Restoration

Q.Why should I use Flood Doctor for my water damage mitigation?

A. We have been in business since 1999 and are not only a trained and experienced Water Damage Mitigation company, but are licensed General Contractors. We take great care during the dry-out process to protect and preserve your home’s contents and personal property. We also digitally document all aspects of our work beginning with the dry-out.  Take a look at our Water Damage Restoration Process page.


Q. I have water on my floors! What should I do?

A. Take a look at our Water Damage Cleanup Tips section for an extensive list. Here are a few snippets:

  1. Disconnect or unplug any electrical devices on the floor.
  2. If there is water dripping from ceiling light fixtures, turn off the power at the circuit breaker.
  3. Remove as much of your furniture and contents as you can comfortably move.


Q. Why should I use an IICRC Certified Restoration company to mitigate water damage?

A. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC) set the standards for water damage cleanup and restoration.  Flood Doctor is certified by the IICRC to perform water damage mitigation. Our technicians have been trained and certified by the IICRC and will professionally dry and restore your home.


Q. Will mold or mildew be a problem?

A. By quickly responding, using professional drying equipment, and safe, EPA approved antimicrobial products, we can prevent the growth of mold and mildew.


Q. What are the health hazards of water damage in my home?

A. Water in your home is usually categorized as follows:

  • Clean Water (CAT 1): This is water from your home’s plumbing system. Sources for this water include your sink, water heater, and washing machine. This water is generally clean and poses little risk.
  • Gray Water (CAT 2) – This water might come from your dishwasher or bathtub and can cause illness.
  • Black Water (CAT 3) – This water is highly contaminated and usually comes from the toilet or sewer system. This water is dangerous to your health and all surfaces that contact black water must be thoroughly cleaned, disinfected or in most cases replaced.


Q. How do you treat contaminated water from the toilet or sewer?

A. Most hard surfaces like tile and vinyl can be cleaned and sanitized. Porous materials like drywall, insulation, particle-board, and paneling normally are removed.


Q. How do you dry hardwood floors?

A. We use a commercial drying system designed specifically to dry hardwood floors. If we cannot dry your hardwood floors we will remove the damaged wood and dry the sub-floor prior to replacing the hardwood


Q. Is water damage covered by my insurance?

A. Usually, yes. Most insurance policies cover the cost of water damage mitigation. The easiest way to determine whether your water damage is going to be covered is to figure out where the water came from. As a rule of thumb, if water originates within your house, pipe breaks, toilet overflows, dishwasher leak, it will be covered by your normal homeowner’s insurance policy. However, if water comes into your home due to a storm or clogged drain, then you would need additional Flood Damage Insurance.  Read your policy or ask your insurance agent about coverage and deductibles.


Q. Can I turn off the equipment at night?

A. No, we ask you to leave the equipment running 24 hours a day. If you turn off the equipment at night, the drying process is interrupted and it will ultimately take longer to properly dry your home. Fast drying of your home also reduces the chance of mold and mildew growth.


Q. Why does it feel so dry in my house?

A. Water follows the rule of equilibrium. Wet will always want to go to dry. In order for us to make sure there is no trapped moisture anywhere in your home, we must make the air so dry that hidden moisture gets released into the air in order to reach equilibrium. Near the end of the Water damage restoration process, the indoor air will feel warm and dry. Your indoor plants may need additional watering.


Q. Do you guarantee your work?

A. Yes, we guarantee, in writing, our workmanship for 5 years. Any materials we use are usually guaranteed by the manufacturer for one year, and we honor that guarantee.


Q. Can I make changes or upgrades during the repair process?

A. Yes, you can. Your insurance company will pay for repairs and replacement of, “like, kind, and quality.” If you choose to do upgrades, you would pay the difference yourself.


Q. Why is there a bad odor in my home during the drying process?

A. Water on your carpets and in the pad can activate odors. This can be caused by dried pet urine, dirt, food or other sources of contamination. After the drying portion of the restoration, your carpets will either be replaced or we will have them professionally cleaned and deodorized.


Q. Are any of the chemicals used harmful to my pets?

A. We use only safe, EPA approved products in your home. Information on our antimicrobial chemicals is available on request.


Q. Do I contact a contractor or does Flood Doctor perform general contracting work?

A. You can hire us to perform any repairs that may need to be performed. If you choose to have someone else do the repairs, you are responsible to hire a contractor yourself.


Q. When will I hear from my insurance company?

A. Often the adjuster will wait until the dry-out process is complete in order to be able to assess damages. Other times because of our relationship with the adjuster, they may rely on our photos and scope of repairs without doing an inspection of their own.


Q. Do I have to move out of my home during the dry out process?

A. You can usually stay in your home depending on the areas that are affected. You may lose the use of a bathroom, kitchen, etc. If you need to move out temporarily, your insurance company may pay your expenses.


Q. Will my electric bill go up because of the drying equipment?

A. We use modern energy efficient drying equipment. If your water damage is being covered by your insurance company, they will also cover the price difference in your electrical bill.


Q. Do you use any products to prevent mold and mildew?

A. We use Microban, an EPA approved antimicrobial. This product safely inhibits the growth of microorganisms. It is safe to use near children and pets.


Q. How often will you monitor the drying?

A. Unlike most other Water Damage Restoration Companies, We don’t need to schedule daily inspections. We have brought over technology from the greenhouse industry and keep a close eye on environmental readings of your home remotely.  Data loggers and transmitters help us save you time and money in the mitigation process.  We may add or remove equipment depending on the data we look at. A graph of the hourly readings will be given to you and your adjuster.


Q. What are my responsibilities during the dry-out process?

A. We ask you to notify us if a circuit breaker trips and the drying equipment shuts off so that we can come out immediately and restart the drying process.


Q. If my home and contents can’t be dried, will they be replaced?

A. After the dry-out process has been completed, we will be able to determine what is damaged beyond repair. We will then submit an estimate of repairs to your insurance adjuster for approval.


Q. How long does the dry-out take?

A. The average dry-out takes between 3 to 7 days. If the structure has been exposed to water over a long period of time it may take longer.


Q. What is restorative drying?

A. In simple terms, restorative drying focuses on saving what can reasonably be saved and completely drying the structure. We then perform repairs to the structure, restoring it to pre-loss condition.


Q. What is going to happen with my damaged furniture and or contents?

A. We will do our best to save your furniture and contents. If we cannot save your items we will set them aside to be itemized and photographed. We will provide this documentation to your insurance co.


Q. Can I do the repairs myself?

A. The most critical part of water damage is the drying process. After the dry-out has been completed by our trained and certified technicians you may want to do the repairs yourself. We can bill your insurance company for the emergency repairs separately.


Q. How do you know if everything is dry?

A. Our equipment is removing water from the structure and making it airborne. This evaporation causes the air to feel wetter. We monitor the conditions indoors and out. We may open some windows if the conditions outside will help in the drying process. Otherwise, by using our commercial dehumidifiers you will notice much drier conditions in 24 to 48 hours.We use state of the art moisture detecting technology to specifically check for proper moisture content. We will not begin to repair or replace any areas until the structure is completely dry.


Q. How will filing an insurance claim affect my policy?

A. It is always best to check with your insurance company about the details of how a claim will affect your policy.


Q. Do I need to call my insurance company first?

A. Not Necessarily. Your insurance company would prefer that you try to minimize the damage to your home and contents. We recommend that you call an emergency restoration company immediately. If professional water damage mitigation is started immediately, damage can be minimized, thus decreasing restoration costs. You should still call your insurance company to make a claim, but you should not wait for an adjuster or claim representative to arrive before calling a professional water damage restoration company.


Q. Can you explain how the drying out process works?

A. Air movers push air across carpets, floors, walls and all areas of your home and this air movement changes water into an air-born vapor. This water vapor is then removed from the air by dehumidifiers and converted back into a liquid state and pumped out of your home. Please take a look at our Water Damage Restoration Process page.


Virginia, Maryland & Washington DC’s highest rated Water Damage Restoration Company


  • Water Damage Mitigation
  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Mold Damage Restoration
  • Storm Damage Restoration

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  • Fire Damage Mitigation
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Smoke Damage Repair
  • Soot Cleanup
  • Deodorizing

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  • Once visible water is extracted, Flood Doctor’s experts begin to develop and design a plan for places you can’t see, specifically– drywall, insulation, beams, ceiling tiles and framing.

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  • Document Recovery
  • Electronics Restoration
  • Furniture Cleaning & Restoration
  • Cleaning and Restoration of possessions such as clothes, linens, books and documents
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  • Mold Damage Mitigation
  • Mold Damage Cleanup
  • Mold Testing
  • Mold Damage Restoration

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    • Water Damage Assessment
    • Water Extraction
    • Remediating Mold Damage
    • Locating Water Source
    • Repairing Water Source
    • Dehumidification

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  • Important files, documents, photos, legal papers and all other documents

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  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Flood Damage Restoration
  • Flood Damage Repair
  • Remodeling
  • Kitchen & Bath Remodeling

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  • Carpet Install
  • Drywall Install
  • Painting
  • Flooring
  • Reconstruction Services
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    • Emergency board-up
    • Structural Stabilization
    • Damage Assessment
    • Pretesting and Estimating
    • Temporary Weatherproofing
    • Emergency Power

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    • Natural Disaster Cleanup
    • Natural Disaster Restoration
    • Storm Damage Cleanup
    • Storm Damage Mitigation
    • Wind Damage Restoration

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    • Sump pump failure
    • Wet Carpet water extraction
    • Wet basement water extraction
    • Heavy rain or storms
    • Cresting rivers or streams
    • Flooded Basement Water Extraction

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    Flood Doctor is Virginia, Maryland & Washington DC’s highest rated flood & water damage restoration company.


    When dealing with A water damage restoration situation, getting a plan in place within 24 hours is key to retaining the integrity of the structure and drywall. We’ll arrive, get a unique, customized plan in place, and start the process … fast. Most homes can start drying the same day the homeowners agree to the plan.


    We are the most trusted name in Virginia, because we don’t outsource and you can trust our workers when they are in your home. They are specially trained and industry certified. You will be assigned a Project Manager who will walk you through the entire process step-by-step.  The team leader is plugged into your job every single day. No exceptions.


    Part of drying a house and cleaning it is knowing what you are doing, not learning on the job. Our team is local, understands the soil and water tables of Virginia, but use national standards. We’ve got thousands of happy customers in Virginia, Maryland and DC, and if you look through our testimonials we probably have one from your town. We’re a hometown team, so your neighbors are our neighbors.


    Policyholders don’t want hassles.  We’ll make sure you get the coverage you paid for, remove the headache of having to work with your insurance company, and streamline the entire process.  You have enough to worry about; we’ll work with your insurance company to achieve your complete satisfaction.  In fact, we’ll usually do a survey with the insurance companies to make certain each and every policyholder gets everything they are entitled to get.

    Trust your home to the state’s highest rated water damage restoration expert

    Water Damage Restoration in Alexandria Virginia



    Report a loss for immediate help with your Water Damage Emergency.

    • Our Rapid Response Teams are available 24/7.
    • 1 hour response time in Virginia, Maryland & Washington DC.
    • Class A-BLD contractors license – Insured & Bonded
    • IICRC certified
    • A+ Ratings on Google, Yelp, Angie’s list & BBB


    Using the latest in detection and drying technology to save you time & money.



    1 hour Response time in Virginia, Maryland & Washington DC.

    • Xactimate Billing
    • All Projects completed using S500 IICRC guidelines
    • Invoices submitted with dry-logs, pictures & sketch
    • Access to our Data Loggers on location
    • Daily updates
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    Water Damage Restoration in Alexandria Virginia