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Back from Disaster Faster - We Guarantee It

828.369.2000 / 24-Hour Emergency Response

CALL US… We'll walk you through the process

    Welcome to Disaster Doctors!
    Specialists in… The World's Fastest Drying System
    We are a locally owned independent full-service disaster restoration company and part of a family of innovators on the cutting edge of technology. We are an IICRC Certified Firm, trained in the most current mitigation techniques.

    When it comes to protecting your property and health, every minute counts. So we've built our services around responding quickly with the best equipment and with industry leading systems to make your ordeal a distant memory.
    We service all of Western North Carolina!
    Franklin • Otto • Highlands • Cashiers • Sylva • Balsam • Cullowhee • Dillsboro • Glenville • Tuckasegee • Webster • Whittier • Canton • Clyde • Hazelwood • Lake Junaluska • Maggie Valley • Waynesville • Brasstown • Hayesville • Lake Chatuge • Warne • Andrews • Murphy • Marble • Topton • Almond • Bryson City • Cherokee • Fontana Dam • Robbinsville • Arden • Black Mountain • Candler • Fairview • Leicester • Swannanoa • Weaverville • Asheville • Flat Rock • Fletcher • Mills River • Zirconia

    Photo Gallery...
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    Our Services Include...
    Water Damage & Mold Remediation
    Fire & Smoke Restoration
    Thermal Energy Drying
    Infra-Red Camera Imaging
    Air Duct Cleaning
    HEPA Filtration & Vacuuming
    Content Pack-Outs & Storage
    Sanitation & Deodorization
    Full Construction Services
    Carpet Cleaning & Stain Removal
    Upholstery Cleaning
    Tobacco Odor Control
    Pet Odor Removal
    Apartment Cleaning
    Pressure Washing
    Board-Up & Tarping

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    "I am at a loss for words when I think of how I want to express my gratitude for the wonderful job you did in restoring my home. And with such a calm and reassuring attitude. When I was ready to give up, God sent you and your men to lighten my load! I thank "Him" everyday for all of you and I will never forget you all. May God Bless!”
    Ms Lorraine / Homeowner
    “I want to express my appreciation for the excellent job your men did in my home. I truly was in a disaster situation when you arrived for an appraisal. I was unable to move into my newly purchased home because of the years of neglect, extensive mold growth, and the excessive moisture level in the sub-flooring. I had earlier contracted to have new finished floors installed, but because of the conditions, the installers refused to enter the home and do the installation. I contacted Disaster Doctors for remediation. They responded immediately, and directly resolved the outstanding issues. I was particularly impressed with the thoroughness of their work. They took great pains to clean and treat every square inch of the basement and garage. They removed all the debris and left my home spotless. I also appreciated that their technicians identified and repaired other issues (e.g. faulty air ducts) they encountered with no additional charges. They completed all work on schedule, and I was able to proceed with my floor installation. I enthusiastically recommend Disaster Doctors to anyone who wants a professional thorough job using the latest technology.”
    Robert PhD / Homeowner
    "I wanted to take this opportunity to recommend your company. Life seems to be full of disasters and the dedication you have to your customers is suburb! It is great to find people that care and always strive to do their best.”
    Teresa / Business Owner & Realtor
    “Disaster Doctors has always been fair and honest with the work they have done on our property. Their interaction with my staff and our residents has always been professional and courteous. Their time frames and estimates for work are accurate and reasonably priced. While Maury is a businessman, he still tries to save us money on jobs any way he can. I would recommend Disaster Doctors to other businesses as well as family members, because I trust him for his superior quality of work. Our community needs more professionals like Disaster Doctors and I believe they have been a major part in making our Apartment Community a safer place for residents.”
    Marci / Apartment Manager
    "We've been contracting the services of Maury Burstein to clean up our disasters for the nine years we've lived in Franklin. He's a real perfectionist in everything he does. The service he provides is always 120% of what's expected. He's prompt, reliable, and always fairly priced. We've retained him for both our business and home projects and have always been completely satisfied. Two thumbs up!”
    Dr Jeff & Dawn / Business Owners
    "We had a huge flood in our basement caused from a leaking water heater. We called Disaster Doctors on a Sunday afternoon, and Maury was on our doorstep within 15 minutes !! He went to work right away. The carpet had already molded, so he wasn't able to save that, but Maury applied heat to the sheetrock and baseboards and SAVED THEM! He stayed on top of moisture control with lots of cool gadgets and meters. He even hauled off the old carpet! He also coordinated the new carpet installation. We didn't have to do a thing! We are VERY pleased with the services provided to us by Disaster Doctors!!”
    Bonnie / Homeowner
    “The Disaster Doctors did a great job and was very helpful with our situation. Once they were called, they arrived at our business in 20 minutes and had everything cleaned and completely finished in 2 days.”
    Debbie / Business Owner
    "I was completely satisfied with the work of Maury and his team. He saved us so much money with his careful discovery techniques. GREAT JOB! Very courteous and professional and very reassuring.”
    Elizabeth / Homeowner
    "I have had the pleasure of working with Maury Burstein on several projects and he has always come through with great results. My dealings with him have spanned over five years. From start to finish Maury is organized, thorough, and makes sure the job is done in a professional manner. I highly recommend him and will continue to use his services.”
    Richard / Homeowner
    "Disaster Doctors is by far the best contractor I'ved used at my apartment complex. Their emergency response time is impeccable, pricing is fair and they have exceeded all of my expectations.”
    Michael / Property Manager
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    IICRC Certified FirmWRT / Water Damage Restoration TechnicianASD / Applied Structural Drying TechnicianFSRT / Fire and Smoke Restoration TechnicianAMRT / Applied Microbial Remediation Technician • CCT / Carpet Cleaning Technician • WFDS / World's Fastest Drying System • North Carolina Licensed Real Estate Broker • North Carolina Licensed General Contractor
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    Water damage can be caused by storms, broken pipes, leaking appliances, blocked drains and a host of other disasters. If not mitigated quickly and thoroughly, a simple water damage can turn into a costly reconstruction project.

    Water can be deceptive. It penetrates into structural cavities creating trapped pockets of saturation. The detection of water in these areas can often only be discovered with sophisticated moisture detection meters including hygrometers and infrared cameras. Undetected moisture will continue to cause damage. This damage, at a minimum, will cause odors. Greater damage will surface when materials delaminate, shrink, split and further deteriorate to where costly repairs are required.

    More than just removing excess water, Disaster Doctors has the knowledge and equipment to further dry a home or facility (including substructure materials) completely back to pre-loss conditions. The addition of our safe Botanical Anti-Microbial Disinfectant is key to the prevention of mildew, bacteria and harmful microorganism growth.

    The difference between our method and traditional methods is the speed of drying. Our system dries your home or business much faster than conventional drying. We utilize "Directed Heat Drying" to transfer heat directly to the wet materials. The more we heat the water, the faster the evaporation. The excess heat or moisture in the air is then exhausted to the outside through thermostatically controlled fans. Knowing that heat rises, with our containment system, we don't dry materials that were unaffected by the water damage.

    Over the past 30 years, technology has evolved with new ways to dry better and faster. The priority is to dry buildings and restore materials. Our system is the next step in that evolution.

    The drying of your home or business is not a guessing game, it's the Science of Psychrometry and the Disaster Doctors are a certified company specializing in the "World's Fastest - Thermal Energy System!"
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    Directed Heat Drying™
    A Faster Way to Dry

    TES stands for Thermal Energy System and represents a practical way to implement a new technique in the Science of Drying. It allows Disaster Doctors to dry wet structures twice as fast as ever before!

    What part does heat play in the drying environment? What is more important… the temperature of the air or the temperature of the water?

    We did an experiment to check the speed of evaporation… We put 16 oz. of water in a pan and placed it in the oven at 450º, this represents heating the entire room. We then put 16 oz. of water in a pan and placed it on the stove top at 100º, this represents the directed heat method. 11 minutes later, the water on the stove top was gone! It took 35 minutes for the water in the oven to evaporate (3 times longer than the stove top). What can we conclude from this experiment? The temperature of the air was not a significant factor in the evaporation process and the hottest air in the oven produced the slowest results. It was the temperature of the water that caused the faster evaporation.

    Now let’s apply this to the actual drying environment. The most effective way to dry is to contain the heat and apply it directly to the wet materials. Remember, hot air rises if not contained, so heating the entire room dries out materials that were never effected by water damage.

    By combining controlled heat and air flow to produce high-speed evaporation, Disaster Doctors dramatically improves the drying process for the fastest drying ever!
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    Now the water is extracted, the structure is dried and the contents are cleaned. Sometimes there is still the issue of returning the physical structure back to the pre-loss condition.

    We understand that a large loss incurred from a disaster can be unexpected and very traumatic. We work rapidly with our team of experts so you can get back to your personal life or business. We are committed to bringing your property back to it's original state within a reasonable time frame. We hold our contractors accountable and choose to work with only seasoned industry specialists who are fully insured and are held to the highest level of quality and service.
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    Mold becomes a problem inside a home or business when there's excessive humidity or moisture for an extended period of time. The problem can originate from sudden water releases, like a burst pipe or large spill that goes untreated, or from a chronic condition, such as a leaking roof or plumbing. Even high humidity or warm, moist air condensing on cool surfaces can trigger mold problems. Mold can grow almost anywhere in a home or business if conditions permit. If there is visible growth on painted wall surfaces, property owners should be concerned about what may be growing on the wall's opposite side. The environment inside the walls of a house often differs drastically from the outside and could create a perfect haven for mold. If the wall remains wet for a prolonged period, it's almost guaranteed that the mold growth on the back side will be worse than on the front. At that point, containing the work space and removing moldy materials, followed by cleaning of salvageable framing, are the best options. It's always best to have the mold evaluated and removed by a certified professional. It is easy to underestimate the degree of difficulty involved in mold remediation. Simply cleaning with bleach is not the answer. Disaster Doctors has the training and experience to:
    • Identify moisture sources
    • Evaluate mold growth (visible or suspected)
    • Contain damage to the smallest area possible
    • Physically remove contamination
    • Dry materials to ensure that mold will not return
    • Perform procedures for returning property to a pre-loss condition
    Disaster Doctors will remove the mold & mildew, deodorize and sanitize with safe Botanical Anti-Microbial Disinfectants and restore your home or business to a healthy condition.
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    Please click on the following links for additional information about Mold:

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    Now the mold is remediated and the contents are cleaned. Sometimes there is still the issue of returning the physical structure back to the pre-loss condition.

    We understand that a large loss incurred from a disaster can be unexpected and very traumatic. We work rapidly with our team of experts so you can get back to your personal life or business. We are committed to bringing your property back to it's original state within a reasonable time frame. We hold our contractors accountable and choose to work with only seasoned industry specialists who are fully insured and are held to the highest level of quality and service.
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    The fire trucks may be gone but without proper immediate response, the real damage and the costs are just beginning. To return your residential or commercial property to its pre-loss condition requires professional restoration. This is not the job for a do-it-yourself property owner. Restoration to a property can be complex. Proper smoke and odor removal are tasks that require technicians certified in these specific areas. In the wake of a fire that has covered homes with smoke and ash, it’s important to begin clean up as soon as possible in order to prevent permanent damage or discoloration from soot residue.
    • Disaster Doctors knows that damage increases and restoration costs escalate the longer neutralization, corrosion control and cleaning is delayed. When homeowners prolong the restoration of their home, they extend the effects brought on by the smoke exposure. The following is a timeline of the effects of fire and smoke on a home.
    • Within Minutes: Acid soot residues cause plastics to yellow; small appliances located close to the source of combustion discolor; highly porous materials (marble, alabaster) discolor permanently.
    • Within Hours: Acid residues stain grout in bathrooms; fiberglass bath fixtures may yellow; uncoated metals tarnish, counter tops may yellow; finishes on appliances, particularly refrigerators, may yellow; furniture finishes may discolor.
    • Within Days: In time, acid residues cause painted walls to yellow permanently; metal corrodes, pits and rusts; wood furniture requires refinishing; vinyl flooring requires refinishing or replace­ment; clothing becomes soot stained; upholstery stains permanently.
    • Within Weeks: Restoration costs escalate tremendously. Synthetic carpet fibers may yellow or discolor permanently; silver plate is corroded permanently; glass, crystal, china may require replacement due to severe etching and pitting caused by prolonged exposure to acid soot residues.
    • Cleaning up soot residue must be done as quickly as possible. During combustion, soot residue and volatile vapors are carried by rising and expanding air to surfaces throughout a structure, and are deposited. This process occurs repeatedly until combustion ends, with soot residue building up on surfaces layer by layer. By the time restoration technicians arrive, lacquer-like soot residue may be quite difficult to dissolve and remove.
    In addition to removing residue, ridding your home of its smoky odor is necessary. Disaster Doctors uses this four step process to remove odors:
    (1) Remove the source of the odor, as possible, including unsalvageable debris that contributes to odor generation and recontamination of cleaned and deodorized areas; (2) Clean salvageable surfaces and items to physically remove odor-causing residue.; (3) Chase remaining odor with an odor eliminator. In the case of smoke, create a deodorizing fog or gas that seeks out and combines with odor-causing substances; and (4) Seal salvageable surfaces that are inaccessible or slightly scorched, not only for aesthetic purposes, but primarily to encapsulate odor and prevent progressive recontamination.
    Understanding the effects of a fire can help homeowners evaluate the damage to their home. By learning more about residue clean-up and deodorization after a fire, you can minimize the need for costly repair. Disaster Doctors can help you return your home and furnishings to a "pre-loss" condition.

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    Now the fire is out, the water is extracted, the structure is dried, the mold is remediated and the contents are cleaned. Sometimes there is still the issue of returning the physical structure back to the pre-loss condition.

    We understand that a large loss incurred from a disaster can be unexpected and very traumatic. We work rapidly with our team of experts so you can get back to your personal life or business. We are committed to bringing your property back to it's original state within a reasonable time frame. We hold our contractors accountable and choose to work with only seasoned industry specialists who are fully insured and are held to the highest level of quality and service.

    Our Duct Cleaning Radio Ad...

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    Indoor Air Quality is important for the overall comfort in your home or business. Over time, the Air Handler and Ducts have the potential to retain large amounts of dust and particles. Contaminants in your heating and cooling system cause it to work harder and shorten the life of the system. Although filters are used, the heating and cooling system still gets dirty through normal use.

    A great deal of air pollutants, such as pollen, pet dander, dust and chemicals are generated daily and pulled into the HVAC system. They are re-circulated 5 to 7 times per day, on average. Over time, this re-circulation causes a build-up in the ductwork. With a clean system, your desired temperature is easier to maintain, resulting in less energy usage and lower costs.

    While a dirty HVAC system doesn't necessarily mean unhealthy air, the situation may be contributing to larger health issues that could cause problems for people with respiratory health conditions, autoimmune disorders or some environmental allergies.

    Our Duct Cleaning process involves placing the entire HVAC system under negative air pressure, which prevents the spread of these contaminants during the cleaning process. Through a pneumatic air compressor with high velocity air, cleaning brushes, whips and various other tools, the small airborne particles are loosened and the negative pressure pulls them into the HEPA Power Vac, ensuring that nothing is released into your living environment.

    There are alternative systems on the market that look similar to a shop vac with a brush on the end. That style of duct cleaning equipment does not use negative air pressure and is a sub-standard process for effective duct cleaning. Our system is the recommended process for duct cleaning by the National Air Duct Cleaning Association (NADCA).

    Our Carpet Cleaning Radio Ad...

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    New carpet can improve the appearance of any room, but how can carpet that is walked on every day continue looking new? To keep your carpet clean, it's necessary to vacuum regularly with a strong, well-functioning and properly-filtered vacuum cleaner. Unfortunately, due to traffic, children, pets and normal wear, carpet fibers inevitably become soiled, and a dull appearance results. And no matter how much you vacuum, eventually you will need to call a professional carpet cleaner.

    Regular professional cleaning is as important to your carpet as having a trained mechanic perform routine tune-ups on your car. While your carpet may appear clean on the surface, periodic cleaning by Disaster Doctors can remove what you can't see and help your carpet retain its fresh, beautiful appearance.

    In today’s home decor, hard surface flooring is playing an increasingly important role. Examples of popular flooring materials include stone, concrete, ceramic/clay, wood, resilient and specialty flooring. These materials appear to be easy to clean, maintain and restore, however, soils on hard surface flooring have a tendency to build up progressively, resulting in erosion. Sooner or later, it’s necessary to clean beyond routine dusting and damp mopping; that’s the time to call us for help.

    Disaster Doctors has the specialized training and experience it takes to select the proper cleaning agents, equipment, tools and materials in conjunction with the proper methodologies for maintaining or restoring hard surface flooring to its original beauty. We can offer advice on how to clean and maintain the appearance of hard surface flooring and how to maximize your investment and extend flooring life.

    To keep your furniture clean, it's necessary to conduct routine maintenance including vacuuming and immediate attention to spills, coupled with periodic cleaning every one to two years. Furniture and fabric manufacturers recommend that consumers not wait until severe soiling occurs before cleaning because the greater the soiling, the less the likelihood of restoring the fabric's original color, appearance and texture.

    Regular cleaning can help restore your furniture's appearance, extend its life and keep it looking like new. Moreover, Disaster Doctors can offer simple suggestions to maintain a clean and healthy home or business environment.

    CARPET / Before

    CARPET / After

    STAIRS / Before

    STAIRS / After

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    Water Questions...

    Should I repair the damage myself?
    Many times, taking a do-it-yourself approach to water restoration only compounds the problem because it’s difficult to accurately diagnose the scope of the damage. The use of non-commercial equipment (like a shop vac) will not properly extract water from the carpet and pad. It is important to properly dry water-damaged areas and items within 24-48 hours.
    How long will it take to dry my home or office?
    We use "The World's Fastest Drying System." A home or business that normally takes 4 to 6 days will be dried in half the time with our specialized equipment.
    What type of losses are you prepared to handle?
    We are qualified to handle any type of water damage including sewage overflow, leaking pipes, icemaker lines, dishwasher or washing machine hoses and rising water from heavy rains.
    Do you perform Water Damage Services on Residential and Commercial losses?
    Yes. DisasterDoctors will perform water damage services for any loss.  We have the knowledge, people, and equipment to do the job correctly, no matter the size of the job.
    What should I do if I have water damage at my home or business?
    • Have a professional plumbing contractor eliminate the water source.
    • Call Disaster Doctors immediately for help! Damage from water and bacteria growth can begin within just a few hours.
    • Remove as much water as possible from floors by mopping or blotting with clean white towels.
    • Turn off circuit breakers supplying electricity to wet areas if appropriate. Unplug and remove any small electrical devices located on wet carpet or other wet surfaces.
    • Remove wet area rugs or other floor coverings that are not attached. Do not remove wall-to-wall carpet.
    • Hang draperies and pin up furniture skirts to prevent contact with wet carpet.
    • Wipe furniture and prop up wet cushions for even drying.
    • Place aluminum foil under legs of wood furniture (especially antiques).
    • Remove small furniture items to prevent rust or stains and to expedite restoration.
    • Remove books, shoes, paper goods, fabrics, potted plants and other items that may stain the carpet (be sure to check under the beds and in closets).
    • Move photos, paintings, art and any high-value items to a safe, dry location.
    • Open drawers and closet and cabinet doors to speed the drying process.
    • Make plans for a restoration crew to move large furniture items onto dry carpet, linoleum, garage or storage area.
    • Don’t use your home vacuum because electrical shock may result as well as damage to the vacuum.
    • Don’t use TV’s or other appliances on wet carpet or floors.
    • Don’t place newspaper in the traffic areas because the ink transfers easily.
    • Don’t walk on wet carpet more than necessary in order to keep from spreading damage.
    • Don’t activate the HVAC system if it has been directly contacted by the water or it may spread contamination.
    • Don’t disturb visible mold.
    Does my carpet have to be replaced?
    Not necessarily.  This is a question that is best answered on a case-by-case basis.  In the event of a sewage back-up, any material that has been touched by that water must be disposed of, including carpet.  In other types of water losses it depends on several factors.  Most of the time, we are able to save the carpet from replacement.
    What items should I keep in my possession after a water damage?
    • Cash
    • Checkbooks
    • Medications
    • Personal documents
    • Stamp/Coin collections
    • Valuable jewelry
    • Valuable Paintings
    • Weapons/Ammunition
    How do I keep track of my non-restorable items?
    We recommend that you make a list of items (including food items) that are determined to be non-restorable. It is best to have a copy for yourself as well as your insurance company.
    How can I salvage damaged books?
    Assuming your books were soaked in clean water for less than 24 hours and mold is not present, you will have to start by prioritizing salvage order: collection books and valuable books must be dried before all other books. The best method for paper drying is freezing. Insert the books into plastic bags and place in the freezer. To prevent pages from adhering to each other, place a baking sheet every 20-30 pages.
    Do I need to move out of my property during this process?
    This is ultimately your decision. You should consider all safety issues, odors, electricity, noise from equipment, etc.
    Can you save water damaged hardwood flooring?
    Disaster Doctors can often save hardwood flooring by using the Injectidry Hardwood Flooring System, which is the current state-of-the-art equipment.
    How can I secure my property after a flood?
    Lock and secure your property when not occupied to prevent looting. Keep in mind that alarms may malfunction if the electricity or telephone service has been interrupted.
    What are the water damage categories?
    According to the IICRC Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration (IICRC S500), there are three categories of water that cause damage in buildings. They are summarized as follows:
    Category 1 Water
    – That which is clean at the releasing source and does not pose a hazard if consumed by humans. Category 1 water may become progressively contaminated as it mixes with soils on or within floor coverings or building assemblies (walls, decking, subflooring). Time and temperature, which promote the growth and amplification of microorganisms in water can cause Category 1 water to degrade. Examples: burst water pipes, failed supply lines on appliances, vertically falling rainwater.
    Category 2 Water
    – That which begins with some degree of contamination and could cause sickness or discomfort if consumed by humans. As with Category 1 water, time and temperature can cause Category 2 water to become progressively more contaminated.
    Category 3 Water
    – That which is highly contaminated and could cause death or serious illness if consumed by humans. Examples: sewage, rising flood water from rivers and streams, ground surface water flowing into homes.
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    Mold Questions...

    If I'm concerned about mold in my home what should I do?
    Call Disaster Doctors and have one of our IICRC trained technicians investigate the situation.  A mold problem can usually be seen or smelled.  Mold can be a concern in the home and should not be allowed to grow.  Extensive mold contamination may cause health problem, as well as damage to your home.
    How can mold become a problem in my home?
    Mold growth may occur in your home if there is sufficient moisture because mold spores are everywhere.  Be on the lookout for these common sources of moisture:  flooding, roof leaks, plumbing leaks, drainage problems or condensation resulting from poor or improper ventilation. 
    How long does it take mold to start growing in wet carpet?
    There is no defined time frame to predict when mold will grow in carpet. For any material to support common indoor mold growth, it must:
    • be organic,
    • be damp or wet,
    • have a moderate temperature (68-86ºF),
    • be in a stagnant air environment, and
    • have these conditions present for several days.
    Most tufted carpet is made of plastic face yarns and backings, and synthetic latex. There is nothing organic to support mold in the carpet itself. Therefore, mold cannot technically grow on carpet. However, average household soil is about 40% organic (12% cellulose, 12% protein, 10% oils, 6% food stuffs); therefore, mold can grow on the soil in carpet given the right conditions listed above. However, if carpet is kept clean and dry, there is little or no possibility for mold growth. Even with soiling and normal household conditions found in most homes, it takes considerable time for mold to grow on carpet soil, and then only if dampness is present.
    Is mold harmful to my health?
    Exposure to mold can cause health effects in some people.  Some people are more sensitive to mold then others.   Mold exposure causes various symptoms including nasal and sinus congestion, stuffiness, eye irritation, respiratory problems, throat irritation, skin irritation, and/or headache.
    Will mold go away if it is left untreated?
    No, mold will continue to grow until it’s completely killed and removed.
    Is it true that bleach will kill mold?
    No, bleach will only remove the visible mold, which will probably visually re-occur within 10-14 days.  Anti-Microbial chemicals must be properly used to kill mold.
    If I experienced a water damage will I automatically get mold?
    If we are called to your property in a timely manner and begin the drying process immediately, you significantly reduce the risk of developing mold.
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    Restoration Questions...

    Where can I find standards for the restoration industry?
    You can find out more about industry standards through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) at
    Can I make changes after the restoration begins?
    Definitely, just speak directly to your job superintendent if you decide to make a change from what is listed in the estimate.  They will need to put the change on a change order form along with the additional costs and time. Please do not verbally make changes with subcontractors, even if they accept the changes. This could result in substantial unexpected charges to you if it is not properly estimated.  Any additional damage that was not originally submitted to the insurance company must be photographed and estimated before work is done. Subcontractors are not authorized to accept changes from anyone other than Disaster Doctors.
    Are there safety concerns I should have for my family?
    Yes, naturally you will be very interested in the progress of your repairs because this is your home and you want it returned to its pre-loss state.  We expect that you will want to see how the project is moving.  Remember that your home is temporarily a construction site.  Therefore, we need to work together to keep safety a priority.
    • Use common sense safety when you are walking around in the construction area.
    • Watch for hazards such as boards with nails and open spaces in the floors and/or walls.
    • Never touch any equipment left at the site.
    • Remember that the construction area can be dusty and dirty at times.
    • Take care to not touch wet paint, stain or wood floors.
    Are there ways I can speed up my restoration?
    Absolutely, you play a major role in the restoration process.  It will be up to you to select  colors and finishes.  You can also help by obtaining your payment from the insurance company for Disaster Doctors.
    In order for a project to keep up the pace, we need to have easy access to the home. It will be helpful if you or a friend can open the home for us each day. We can also put a lock box at your home that contains a key if you cannot always meet us. However, please keep in mind that we cannot work where only minor children are at home. 
    Should I be concerned about lead during the restoration of my home or office?
    If your home was built before 1978 there is a good chance that the paint on the walls has lead in it. Lead is a toxic metal that was commonly used in paints manufactured before that date. In fact, the older a home is, the chances that lead is in the paint are even greater. If you have a newer home, you have no worries. But if your home was built prior to 1978, and you have remodeling to be done, your paint should be tested for lead.
    Can you start right away?
    Yes, we will begin the process of restoring your home back to its original condition immediately.  The first step is for you, the homeowner, to authorize Disaster Doctors to begin the work by signing a work authorization form and/or contract.  As regards to the remaining construction work, we must coordinate with your insurance company to let them know the extent of damage and how much it will cost to repair.   With the exception of very large losses, we usually have an approved estimate and can begin repairs in 5-10 business days.
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    Fire Questions...

    What do I do if I have a fire damage at my home or business?
    • Call for professional help as soon as possible. Corrosive byproducts can cause irreversible etching.
    • If the temperature is above 60 degrees, open windows to ventilate the home.
    • If you have to turn off your water, take steps to prevent your plumbing and/or heating supply pipes from freezing.
    • If the electricity is off, remove perishable foods from your refrigerator and freezer. The odor created by spoiled food is usually impossible to remove. Leave the doors propped open.
    • Discard any open food packages.
    • Keep a listing of anything you have discarded and receipts for any expenses you incur in protecting your property. Most likely, your insurance claim representative will ask for these items.
    • Close doors on affected areas to localize smoke odors as much as possible.
    • Change the furnace or air conditioner filter if the blower is operating. Tape damp cheesecloth over air registers with masking tape to capture loose soot in the air.
    • Clean Formica, chrome, porcelain and aluminum fixtures to prevent permanent tarnishing or etching.
    • Don’t touch anything with your bare hands. Oils from your hands can cause additional damage.
    • Don’t use any TV, stereo or electronic appliances until they have been checked by a technician.
    • Don’t use ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet.
    • Don’t attempt to clean carpets or upholstered furniture.
    • Don’t wipe or attempt to wash ceilings or other absorbent surfaces. Incorrect cleaning could compound the soot residue.
    • Don’t consume food items exposed to smoke or canned goods that have been subjected to excessive heat.
    • Don’t use upholstered furniture if possible.
    Can I restore my own home?
    While it is possible, it is not recommended.  This is one of those instances where what you don’t know can hurt you.  Restoration is a scientific discipline that is practiced by trained professionals. If not done correctly you might be creating hazardous health conditions for you and your family.  Most homeowner’s insurance policies will pay for you to hire a professional restoration contractor to return your property to its pre-loss condition.
    How do I secure my property after a fire damage?
    Lock and secure your property when not occupied to prevent looting. Keep in mind that alarms may malfunction if the electricity or telephone service has been interrupted. If windows or doors are busted they will need to be boarded up for security.
    What items should I keep in my possession after a fire damage?
    • Cash
    • Checkbooks
    • Medications
    • Personal documents
    • Stamp/Coin collections
    • Valuable jewelry
    • Valuable Paintings
    • Weapons/Ammunition
    How do I keep track of non-restorable items?
    We recommend that you make a list of items (including food items) that are determined to be non-restorable. It is best to have a copy for yourself as well as your insurance company.
    What should I discard after a fire?
    When recovering from fire damage, most of your items can be salvaged, disinfected, and cleaned. However, you will need to pay attention to some safety rules when trying to determine what to keep and what to discard. Be sure to document everything you throw away.
    You will have to be very careful when dealing with food. If food is burnt or even partially burnt, discard it. Discard food that has been exposed to heat, smoke or soot. The high temperatures of fire and its byproducts can make food unsafe. Do not use any canned foods where the can has bulged, is badly dented or has rusted.
    Refrigerated Food If your refrigerator was not damaged in the fire, check its content. Confirm that the food is still cold and that no soot penetrated it. If in doubt, discard the food.
    Your refrigerator will keep cold for 4 hours if it is well sealed. In case that the power was turned off during the fire and the refrigerator was turned off for more than 4 hours, discard the food.
    Frozen Food The food that was in the freezer can be used if it still has ice crystals on it and if it still feels cold and hard. If not, discard it. Again, whenever in doubt, discard the food.
    Medicines and Cosmetics
    Discard medicines and cosmetics if contamination is suspected. Inspect medicines and cosmetics carefully to make sure that they are clean of soot, dust, and all other chemicals that might have been in use to extinguish the fire.
    Clothes and Textile
    Clothes and textile can often be cleaned and disinfected. Discard these materials only if burnt. Be extra cautious with baby and children clothes.
    Other Content
    All other content can be reused after you make sure that it is well cleaned and disinfected and that it is dust and soot free.
    Do I need to move out of my property during this process?
    This is ultimately your decision. You should consider all safety issues, odors, electricity, noise from equipment, etc. If you are vacating your premises for any length of time, consider the following: forward your mail to your temporary residence, stop newspaper and other deliveries, notify utility company, cable company, etc. of temporary suspension of services.
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    Homeowner Insurance Questions...

    Do I have to use the restoration company my insurance company recommends?
    No, you have the right to choose the company you are comfortable with to work in your home. The insurance company will work with the restoration company you choose. Disaster Doctors is IICRC certified, licensed, insured and "On-Call - 24 / 7."
    Should I use Disaster Doctors for my insurance repairs?
    • We are fully licensed & insured, in accordance with strict insurance industry standards.
    • We are held to strict standards of performance and customer satisfaction by our insurance clients.
    • Upon receiving a signed work authorization, we become your representative with the insurance company regarding the scope of damages and the valuation of the components.
    • For the covered repairs, your only out-of-pocket expense is the deductible.
    • When upgrades or substitutions are requested our process is accurate and clear using proper documentation and timely communication.
    Do I have to file an insurance claim before I call a restoration company to start the work?
    No, calling a restoration company immediately after a loss is the first step in minimizing damages.
    How does the insurance claim process work?
    • Prior to any work being done on your property, the Work Authorization will need to be signed and the deductible portion of the claim will have to be satisfied unless other arrangements are in place.
    • Disaster Doctors will begin the repairs immediately.  At the conclusion of the work a certificate of satisfaction, as well as any other necessary documents, will be presented for your signature.
    How do I know if a loss is covered by my insurance company?
    The best way is to refer to your insurance policy, or call your agent for that information.
    What if I have a restoration company repairing my home and then I find out that it's not covered by my insurance company?
    If you have a loss in your home and your insurance company informs you it is not covered by insurance, you are responsible for paying the restoration company in full for the work.
    What is a deductible?
    A deductible is a set amount you owe to the restoration company in addition to what the insurance company will pay to have your home repaired. Refer to your insurance policy for that amount.
    Do I have to pay my deductible?
    When you purchase a homeowners insurance policy, one of the decisions to be made is at what price point you want to set your deductible. The deductible is the amount you must pay personally BEFORE the insurance company steps in to cover the remainder of the loss amount. Essentially, you are self-insured up to the amount of your deductible.
    Let’s say you had a $500 deductible, and the claim total was $5,000. The insurance company would issue a check for $4,500, with you personally owing the remaining $500. So, now you have a check for $4,500 and you want to know if the contractor can repair your home for that amount ONLY, saving you $500 hard-earned dollars.
    You may recall the days when you could send in three estimates to the insurance company and they would pay an average of those bids, and then you could get the guy with the lowest estimate to do the work. This choice might have saved your entire deductible, with even a little more to spare.
    Insurance companies are intent on saving every penny, just as most of us individuals are. Thus, they utilize estimating programs to prepare very detailed repairs. Gone are the days of the contractor “throwing in a few extra dollars here and there” to cover your deductible. The most current estimating systems allow a fair price to indemnify the homeowner (return the home to its pre-loss condition) but do not allow any gray area for crediting deductibles.
    The bottom line is to set your deductible at a price that is comfortable for you to pay in the event that you have a claim.
    Will Disaster Doctors help me with my insurance claim?
    Disaster Doctors meets all the requirements to work with insurance companies.  We photograph, evaluate, and document the source of the claim, including water intrusion, visible deterioration, pre-existing damage and visible microbial growth. We will assist in guiding you through the complete claims process.
    How can I be sure your pricing is accurate?
    Disaster Doctors uses “Xactimate, the finest pricing/estimating software in the insurance industry.  The software is fast and accurate utilizing a “unit cost” method of pricing.  For insurance related estimates, structural damage and contents cleaning are listed separately, giving the agent or adjuster a detailed account of the insured’s loss.  Unit cost prices are updated to meet the need of fluctuating costs and regional differences.
    What if the property (residential or commercial) is damaged so badly that we cannot live/work there until after the repairs are completed?
    Discuss this with your insurance company representative. They will explain coverages available for temporary housing or business relocation arrangements.
    What is covered under my insurance policy?
    Contact your insurance representative for your specific coverage.
    What is the best way to deal with my insurance company's adjuster?
    Your adjuster has a sincere interest in getting your home fixed quickly.  The adjuster may or may not visit your home to view the damages.  Many adjusters rely on experienced contractors to help them assess each claim.
    Your adjuster is a very busy person.  They have numerous claims to handle and will direct you to Disaster Doctors for most of the answers.  Although we cannot tell you what is covered and what is not, when you have questions about your claim, the best place to start looking for an answer is through Disaster Doctors.
    How does my claim get paid?
    The deductible is the part of your claim that your insurance company does not reimburse you for.  This payment goes toward the restoration of your home and is due prior to starting the work.  It can be paid by a check made payable to “Disaster Doctors, LLC” or by a credit card.
    Insurance Company Check:
    Once the invoice has been approved by your insurance company a check is usually sent to you.  This check will be payable to you and to Disaster Doctors and will be endorsed by you at completion of the project or at a pre-arranged stage of the project.
    Mortgage Company:
    Larger claims will also be made payable to your mortgage company as they have a vested interest in your home.  Checks that include your mortgage company will require your participation to have them endorsed in a timely manner.
    Mortgage companies will only release all the funds at the completion of your project or portions of the funds at prearranged stages of completion.  Each mortgage company has their own set of requirements before they will release these funds.
    Although it is your responsibility to have these funds ready in a timely manner, Disaster Doctors will be glad to assist you in this sometimes confusing process.  To assist you we will need the name of your mortgage company (or companies if there is a second lender), their customer service telephone number, and your loan number.  Additionally, we will need a letter of authorization from you to allow us to deal with your mortgage company on your behalf.
    Caring for this at the beginning of your project will help to keep it moving in a timely manner and meet the due date for payment of funds. 
    Change Orders:
    Change orders that incur additional expense beyond what the insurance company owes are due at the time the order is signed.
    Payment Due:
    After substantial completion of your project, Disaster Doctors will expect payment in full within 30 days to avoid the finance charges outlined in the Work Authorization. Small punch-out items are covered in our full one year warranty.
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    Sewer Back-Up Questions...

    What is raw sewage?
    Raw sewage is mainly gray or black water. It often contains the organic waste and wastewater produced by household and industrial sources. It can contain everything from soap to solid waste, human excrement, industrial effluent, and debris.
    What are the health risks related to exposure to raw sewage?
    Exposure to sewage or its products may result in diseases such as: Gastroenteritis, Hepatitis, Occupational Asthma, Weil's Disease, Allergic Alveolitis. In extreme cases exposure to sewage can cause fatal damage to the liver, kidneys and blood, and infection of the skin or eyes.
    What causes sewage back-ups?
    • Solid Flushes
      The most common cause of sewage backup is a blockage of the service pipe. This is usually caused by solid objects, accidentally flushed down a household drain.
    • Structural Defects
      Different structural defects can develop overtime and eventually cause a major damage to the system, leading to a serious overflow that will require a complete reconstruction of sewer lines.
    • Root infiltration
      Tree roots are a major cause of backups. Tree roots can enter the service pipe at joints and travel a long way, causing blockages along the way.
    Is sewage back-up covered?
    Stinky sewage back-up and overflowing drains are a very common cause of damage to homes and businesses, especially those located in flat areas or near the bottom of slopes. Many policies now exclude coverage for the clean-up and repairs, but for a mere $20 a year you can buy a “Back-up of Sewer or Drain Endorsement” that gives you up to $10,000 in coverage. The catch? A $1,000 deductible. But hey, that’s still easy math.”
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    Vandalism Questions...

    What should I do if I have vandalism damage at my home or business?
    • Report the damage to the police as soon as possible. They will need to collect evidence and take photographs.
    • Once the police have determined that your home is safe to enter, create a list for both the police and your insurance company of everything that is damaged or missing. Be sure to make a copy for yourself.
    • Call for professional clean up help as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
    • Use a shop vacuum to remove glass particles from carpet and upholstery.
    • Remove any debris from carpet or interior walls.
    • Scrape or blot carpets and furniture.
    • Wash any egg or other residues from the building exterior using water.
    • Do not clean up any of the mess until after the police tell you that it is okay to do so.
    • Do not try to operate electrical appliances that appear to have been tampered with or damaged by the vandals.
    • Do not attempt to clean up any chemical stains including ink or paint.
    • Do not use traditional household cleansers on your upholstery, carpeting or other fabrics.
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    Hail Questions...

    How do I know if I have hail damage?
    • Assess the damage to your property.
    • Check trees, shrubs and plants around your house. If they are stripped of foliage, there is a possibility your roof is damaged.
    • Using binoculars, check your roof for damage.
    • Check patio covers, screens, windows and soft aluminum roofs for damage.
    • Also, if patio furniture, screens or roof vents are dented, there may be roof damage.
    • Check vehicles for dents and broken or cracked glass.
    • Cover any broken windows and holes in your roof.
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