24 hour Emergency Service:770.409.0999

Frequently Asked Restoration Questions

Should I Really Use A Restoration Company or Contractor?

Yes. Unless you have a construction background or a General Contractor License you should at least talk with a restoration company. Depending on your situation, you might need building permits, follow building codes, and manage a crew of laborers to do the work; you would have to be the General Contractor at your home.

Some good questions to ask yourself are: Do you have the time, construction, construction management, and insurance claim management knowledge? Do you want to be responsible if the people you hire get seriously hurt, do poor quality work, or steal personal belongings from your home? Is it worth your home, your family, or your future security?

At All South Restoration we are Licensed General Contractors, Licensed in Georgia to work, and Insured to cover all our workers that work in your home. We also give a warranty on all our work and we stand behind it. We are Dale Cardwell’s only insurance repair and restoration contractor that he personally endorses and refers. This gives you the peace of mind that if something went wrong; our insurance covers our workers, employees, and work so you are not held liable to cover the cost. We also have a drug-free policy and we put our workers through extensive background checks. Even if you decide not to use us at All South Restoration, we still strongly encourage you to use a Professional, Licensed, and Insured Restoration Company to help you get your house back to being your home.

What are your service areas?

Here is a link to our service area map for Emergency Services. Listed below are the counties that we provide Restoration and Emergency Services in. If you do not see your county, then please call and ask if we can help you.

i. Barrow County
ii. Cherokee County
iii. Clarke-Oconee County
iv. Cobb County
v. Dekalb County
vi. Douglas County
vii. Forsyth County
viii. Fulton County
ix. Gwinnett County
x. Hall County
xi. Jackson County
xii. Newton County
xiii. Paulding County
xiv. Rockdale County
xv. Walton County

Does All South Restoration ask for money up-front? When do you get paid?

Generally, we do not ask for money up-front expect for customized materials. With that being said, if you are looking for customized materials such as cabinets, doors, or glass, then we might ask that you buy or pay for those materials. If you file an insurance claim and these are covered, then we WOULD NOT ask for you to buy the materials. Your Project Manager will answer any questions and let you know up-front about these materials.

If you scope of work is more than $10,000, then we might ask for a draw system. This will be discussed up-front in a construction service agreement.

If the project we did for you is an insurance claim, then the only thing you will be responsible for paying is your deductible and any up-grades or side jobs that you wanted us to complete. Everything else should be covered from your insurance company.

Our project manager will talk with you about the payment process and our construction service agreement before the work is started.

Do you provide a written warranty?

Yes, we provide you with written warranty on our workmanship. In general, we give you a written guarantee and warranty for our workmanship. If we cannot give you a written guarantee and warranty then we will let you know upfront. If there is a manufacturer’s warranty then we help enforce it if there were defective products that were used. In over 13 years in business we have stood behind every warranty that we have written.

Water & Mold Restoration FAQs

Should I Really Hire a Professional Water Extraction Company?

Yes, even if you don’t use us at All South Restoration for your emergency services, you should definitely hire a professional company.  Unless you are a trained and certified water technician through the CleanTrust or IICRC, the simple reason is that you are not qualified and probably do not have the equipment. Would you try to operate on yourself or would you let a trained and skilled doctor do it? Our Professionals at All South Restoration have been extracting water, mold, and sewage safely for many years. We take continuing education classes to stay up-to-date with all industry standards for quality, safety, and knowledge.

Normally, professional companies use industry leading equipment that can penetrate deeper and extract more water and moisture then residential homeowners can buy or use. After the majority of the water damage is extracted, professional companies continue to monitor and extract moisture from the air to prevent mold growth. We stand behind our work with written guarantees and warranties on all our work. If you are going to file an Insurance Claim, then professional companies, like All South Restoration, will negotiate with your insurance company to get a settled price and scope of work.

Another reason you need a professional company is for the removal of water damage debris. Some examples could be: carpet, carpet padding, drywall, wood floors, light and electrical fixtures, tile, and/or baseboards. The experts at All South Restoration knows how much to cut-out to make sure repairs will be a seamless and efficient transition for you. We build a custom protocol to your specific home because no water job is the same.

Why should I use a Mold Remediation Company?

The main reason that you should use a Certified Mold Remediation Company, such as All South Restoration, is that we have strong working relationships to get your mold covered under an Insurance Claim. We can work with your Insurance Claims Adjuster to try and break the claim into two parts: Water Damage which has a higher policy limit and Mold Remediation that has a low set limit. The professionals at All South Restoration estimate the water damage as if there was no mold found. For example, your water line breaks and causes water damage to the flooring and drywall. For the water damage we had to remove a part of the drywall and flooring. We equipment we use under the water damage is the fans and dehumidifiers. On the repairs we had to repair the drywall, paint the walls, and replace the flooring. The mold that was found in the flooring and on the drywall would be removed under the water damage part. For the Mold Remediation, we would have to clean the ceiling, take any other affected drywall out, and use special equipment to clean the air for mold spores. The Mold Remediation repairs would be painting the ceiling and fixing a couple drywall patches. After everything is completed we would have a test done to make sure your mold levels inside your home are not elevated. As you can see this could save you thousands of dollars on the Mold Remediation side that is only covered by your policy limit of $5,000. Every situation is different and you should talk with us first to find out what we can do for you.  If you don’t use a company that has a good working relationship with your insurance company, then you could be forced to pay out of pocket for this Claim.

Another reason you should use a professional Mold Remediation Company is because of the cleaning process. Normally, room barriers and air scrubbers are need during the cleaning process of large areas because once you start removing and cutting out mold it can become airborne and could potentially contaminate other areas of your house. Our team at All South Restoration is professionally trained to keep contamination to a localized area.

How do I prevent Mold inside my home or buildings?

A routine building and home visual inspection looking for evidence of water damage and visible mold at least once a month will help prevent or be proactive with mold. You need to look for water leaks, condensation, infiltration, flooding, standing water, or high humidity should be corrected to prevent mold from growing inside your home or building. Another maintenance issue you should do is changing your HVAC air filter with a high efficiency filter at least once every three months.

Our Professionals Recommend:

  • Keep your humidity levels no higher than 50-60% all day long.
  • Use dehumidifiers in basements and crawlspaces to help your HVAC system keep humidity low.
  • Good ventilation in your home and crawlspace will help keep moisture levels low
  • Clean your bathrooms, kitchens, and other moist areas of your home with mold-killing and mold inhibitor products.
  • Never carpet bathrooms and air-out/dry bathroom rugs/mats when they get wet.
  • Dry out water damage ASAP. This is an Emergency Situation because mold can start to grow within 24 hours.

What do I do after I had the water damage extracted or removed?

Depending on the water removal methods and based on category and class of the water, the next step is to determine the restoration methods to be used. Because of the destructive power of water, methods are determined based on the amount of water and time to full mitigation. Depending on your situation, usually, the next step is to have a contractor prepare an estimate or scope for the damage. This estimate can be submitted to your insurance company for approval. Your insurance company’s property claims adjuster or representative will also write their own estimate and scope of the damage to compare with the Contractor’s estimate. Check out this page for all the steps.

Who is the Best Water & Mold Restoration Company in Metro Atlanta Area?

We at All South Restoration pride ourselves on being one of the best water damage companies in the Metro Atlanta Area. One thing that distinguishes us from our competition is that we are not a franchise and we have owner-operators that are involved in every job. Our company has always been an Insurance Repair and Emergency Services company. Some of our competition started as carpet cleaners that added emergency services and restoration to their name or services offered. The newest competition is from New Home builders that are having a hard time finding work, so they are getting into this industry as a last resort. Most new home builders do not know how to work with your insurance company and you while you are living in your home.

Who do you trust more? Check out references, certifications, company insurance certificates, and warranties. We are Dale Cardwell’s, from Trustdale.com, only Insurance Repair and Restoration Company he personally recommends. A study by EBSCO Research and HomeReports found us to be the best in these Categories as well in the Metro Atlanta Market. Check out what our homeowners are saying on Kudzu.com. We specialize in residential insurance claim services that include water, fire, mold, storm, tree, vandalism, disaster, and sewage damage. We also specialize in emergency tarping and board-ups after you experience one of these catastrophes.

Fire & Smoke Restoration FAQs

What is Fire Damage Restoration?

Fire Damage Restoration is the process of returning your property back to its pre-fire and smoke damage condition. This process includes cleaning your property and contents, rebuilding your home that is damaged, and restoring any recoverable household or personal content items. Applying odor removing detergents and solvents inside your home will help remove your smoke odor. As a registered and licensed Georgia General Contractor, All South Restoration can clean and repair the damage to any part of your home. This includes repairing or replacing HVAC, plumbing, and electrical components, all structural and framing systems, roofing, and complete interior and exterior reconstruction.

Along with the structural damage from the actual fire come the soot, smoke damage, and odor control. Our experienced team is trained to locate all soot and smoke odor sources, which can sometimes be overlooked and unseen. We will then clean and deodorize the entire affected area to remove the soot and bad odor. Other damage that can occur on a fire damage house is water and mold damage. If the fire department is called out and they have to extinguish the fire with water then you will have significant water damage to your home. If this water sits in your home for more than 24 hours then you will probably start to have mold growth. It is very important that you have a company like All South Restoration come inspect your home talk with you about all the visible and hidden damages.

Should I use a Fire & Smoke Damage Professional Restoration Company?

Depends on your situation.

Yes, if your home can be salvaged and repaired under your homeowner insurance policy limits, then you should definitely call a professional restoration company, like All South Restoration, Inc. From our past experiences, you should consult with a professional Fire, Water, and Smoke Damage Restoration Company. We highly recommend using a professional company because of the complexity of the damage and unique situation.

Our team at All South Restoration offers you a free consultation in regards to your fire damaged property. We will talk with you about all the visible and hidden damages to your home, and we can discuss the potential hazards for you, your family, and your pets. Another reason you should use a professional Restoration company is that they can help expedite your claim. Also, the restoration company will have to get building permits from your local municipality to complete the work.

No, if your home is a total loss under your homeowner insurance policy limits, then it is probably in your best interest to consult with a new homebuilder because you insurance company will just write you a check for your policy limits. A new homebuilder will be able to remove your existing structure and start new, and their business model is setup to save money on a new home. New homebuilders are typically not setup to handle restoration projects and should only be used if you are looking to rebuild from a total loss.

What should I do about my Personal Contents after a fire?

Home fires cause significant damage not only to the structure of a house but also to the contents inside a home. Once you have your emergency services addressed, of the next step is getting a company to handle and clean your contents. Getting your contents and personal items out of your house is an immediate and time sensitive issue and should be completed as soon as possible. This usually can be arranged by your professional restoration company. These companies are known as textile restoration and content pack-out companies. All South Restoration has partnered with a company to handle all your content pack-out and textile cleaning needs to help reduce the need to contact multiple companies. We specialize in a one-stop solution for all your restoration needs.

Textile restoration companies specialize in cleaning and restoring fabric items such as area rugs, clothes, drapes, and upholstery. Content Pack-out companies are responsible for packing out all your contents in your home and then packing them back in to your home at the completion of your restoration. Content pack-out companies usually will have your textiles cleaned for you.

Other things that need to be removed are soft metals. Metals that can pit easily are highly impacted by the acidic soot caused by a fire. These metals need to be clean as soon as possible to prevent damage. Examples of soft metals include copper, brass, gold, and silver.

What happens if I have a large loss and get displaced from my home?

If you have a large loss fire claim, then you will probably be displaced from your home for an amount of time. Sometimes this can be years before returning to your home. Getting displaced from your home could be a major challenge especially if you have children. You should sit down with your family and have a family meeting to discuss what is going on, and keep your family up-to-date on the progress. Children seem to be the most affected by a fire and it might be a good idea to have them see a child physiatrist or counselor. Even having a disaster family counselor talk with everyone in the family could help the metal mind-set of everyone involved. You and your family’s physical and mental well-being should be the number one priority during a claim and especially a large loss claim. Once you know your family is good then there are other things to consider.

The things you need to consider when you get displaced from your home:
Family & friends, school/school districts, employment, mail delivery, utility bills, laundry, additional living expenses, claim process, etc. Also, if you or your family’s identifications were destroyed such as driver’s licenses, Social Security Cards, or birth certificates, you will have to get new ones. Click here for our complimentary checklist.

One thing we highly recommend to our customers that are facing displacement from their home is to get a new Credit Card. The reason we recommend this is for multiple reasons. One for your convenience, having a credit card only for claim related things makes it easy for you to give that bill to your insurance Property Claim Adjuster. This makes it where you do not have to fumble through a credit card bill every month trying to match what is insurance related to what is personal related. Another reason we recommend this is because your Property Claim Adjuster will approve the payment a lot quicker than having to review every line item. You are also fixing to have to spend tens of thousands and possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars on new clothing, temporary housing, food, and other personal content you lost in your home. As described earlier, having one credit card for all those transactions makes life easy on everyone involved.

Another point we would like to talk about when getting displaced is Additional Living Expenses (ALE)/Loss of Use Coverage: coverage in your homeowner’s insurance policy that covers your exceeded normal expenses prior to the loss. You should talk with your insurance company representative (agent or adjuster) to find out the details related to additional living expenses. You should also talk to them about temporary housing. Most insurance organizations have companies that have fully furnished homes, apartments, condominiums, or townhouse available for you to stay at while your claim proceeds. If you have children, then they will try to keep your children in the same school district. You will have to inform your child’s school of the new address for the school to use to send documents, bus schedule, and other information to you. The next step will be notifying employers, entities, family, and friends of your new address. Nowadays, you are able to change your address to most companies and organizations online in your account page. Just remember that once you have everything transitioned that you should keep track to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. Make a checklist with all companies and check off which ones you have completed. This checklist will make it easy to transition back to your home.

Bear in mind that ALE is only temporary and you should try to keep to a budget during this time. Make sure you have your checklist with all the information so that you can change it back once the claim is completed.

What are the different types of home fires?

There are many reasons for a home fire, here are some common examples:

  • Cooking/Kitchen Fire – burning something when you are cooking in the kitchen. Most common.
  • Electrical Fire – Fire caused by an electrical wiring problem. 2nd most common.
  • Heater/space heater fires – Fires cause by heaters that aren’t used properly. 3rd most common.
  • Smoking-Related Fires – Fires Caused by cigarettes or other types of consumable smoking products. 4th Most Common.
  • Grease Fire (Turkey fryer, fish fryer, kitchen grease fire) never put water on a grease fire.
  • Grill Fire/Propane caused by grilling to close to a house, on a porch/deck, or in a garage.
  • Fire caused by putting hot stuff in the trash (putting charcoals in a outside trash can while they are still hot can lead to a fire and if it is close to your house can catch it on fire.
  • Lightning Fire- Fire cause by a lighting strike
  • Appliance Fire- Fire caused by an appliance catching fire. (Drying machine is a good example)
  • Gas/Fuel Fire- Misusing gas can cause a fire inside your home or garage
  • Natural Gas- Fire caused by leaking natural gas line.
  • Explosion/Implosion- propane tank or natural gas line explodes causing a fire. Another example could be a meth or drug lab.
  • Wildfire- A large, destructive fire that spreads quickly
  • Fireplace/Chimney Fire: A fire caused by malfunctioning or misused fire place
  • Arson- Crime of intentionally or maliciously lighting structures, wildland areas, cars, or other property on fire
  • Chemical Fire: Fire involving chemicals as the fire fuel. Could become a hazardous material fire

Storm & Catastrophe Reconstruction FAQs

What do I need to know before calling my insurance company to report a storm-related claim?

Before calling your insurance company’s claim department, there are several things you need to know. It is always a good idea to contact a reputable storm restoration contractor for a full property damage inspection or consultation. If you see damage to your home, All South Restoration can consult with you about your damage, visually inspect, and provide you with a full detailed estimate for repairs. We will inspect your roof, windows, siding, paint, gutters, vents, air conditioning units, concrete, and all areas around your home. If we see that you have sustained damaged, you will want to take immediate action to limit your home’s exposure to the elements. We have the experience and knowledge to repair all types of storm damage and working through the complex insurance claims process. Here are some storm damage Insurance Claim Tips:

  • DO NOT DELAY!!! Most insurance policies limit your time to file a claim
  • Insurance restoration contractors, represent your best interest
  • Always hire the best contractor, not the cheapest (your insurance is paying for the repairs)
  • Make sure they have Liability and Workers Compensation Insurance
  • Always review your estimate, do your homework, and understand your rights
  • Watch out for predatory contractors coming to your neighborhood, knocking on doors, and telling you have damage to your home after a storm
  • Make sure you do not commit Insurance Fraud

What is your action plan for my problem?

Our action plan will be customized to your exact problem and situation because every situation is different. We will send a Technician, Estimator, and/or a Project Manager to evaluate your problem and situation. Your assigned person will talk with you about our action plan for your needs and situation.

How do I find out the what, when, who and how my damage will be taken care of?

During the review of the estimate you should have any questions you have ready to ask your estimator. They should provide you with answers on who will be your project manager, timeline, and what the repairs/restoration entails. They will try to answer all your questions in a timely and efficient manner. Any questions that arise during the process, you can and should ask your project manager or estimator.

Are you certified to remove water, mold, sewage, tree, and other materials from my home?

Yes, our Professionals at All South Restoration, Inc have been trained and certified by the leading Cleaning and Removal institutes to remove your water, mold, sewage, tree, and other materials from your home. We are also insured to handle these to give you even more peace of mind assurance that we are your best choice.

We would love to earn your business, but if you decide to use another company, you should always use a company that has been professionally trained and certified to remove any materials from your home. That company should also be insured to protect you and your family.

What kind of estimating system do you use?

We use an estimating system called Xactimate Software. 9 out of 10 insurance companies use this Xactimate estimating system and all insurance companies will accept this type of computerized estimate. Xactimate is the industry leading software solution for property insurance claims estimating and it allows us to Streamline Claims Estimating and allows us to estimate insurance work 20% faster than with conventional methods.
Here is how it works for you and your project:

  1. We gather loss and damage information
  2. Sketch a diagram of the structure
  3. Selecting the related local project costs
  4. We review and verify the accuracy of the estimate with you and your property claims representative
  5. Print you and your Property Claim Adjuster a copy of our estimate

Xactimate allows us to make a very accurate scope/estimate of the damage with the actual local costs related to your home’s location and damage. This system gives you the security that we can work directly with your insurance company.

Another company that we use to help with estimating your flooring materials is Itel (www.itelinc.com). Itel is an independent testing company that will tell you what type of building materials you have in your home; this includes all flooring, carpet, roofing, and siding. This information allows us to determine the pricing and matching services to give you a more detailed and accurate estimate.

This process takes place by taking a sample piece of material from your home and submitting it for testing to Itel. We normally use this when we are trying to find out the grade, color, or texture of flooring you have.

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