Water Mitigation Department

If you have experienced water damage and are in need of a water damage restoration provider, you have come to the right place. ServiceMaster of Seattle understands that water damage can be a difficult experience. For ServiceMaster of Seattle, the containment of water damage is a process we have done millions of times. Years of experience in returning homes and offices back to normal and helping families and individuals in Seattle and Bellevue, WA, just like you make us the best choice for emergency services. The following information is a checklist of things that may need to be done to restore and protect your property and a brief description of why they need to be done.

While not all of the items will apply, this information will help you understand the procedures in restoring your home or business.
Our water damage mitigation specialist will walk you through this list. Feel free to ask any questions or consult the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Identify the source of the problem and the scope of the damage.
A thorough examination using specialized moisture-detection meters, probes and sensors to determine the extent of the damage enables us to form the most effective plan for returning your property to normal as quickly as possible.
If water is from above be sure to inspect the attic.
Wet insulation, framing and stored contents may need to be treated or protected.

Inspect basements.
Basements need to be inspected to plan proper drying procedures for possible water seepage.

Inspect ductwork.
Ductwork will be inspected for water intrusion throughout affected areas including floor vents.

Inspect crawlspace.
Water may seep into crawlspaces and if left unattended, may cause further damage. Wet insulation and framing may need to be treated.

Protect your contents.
We not only protect items from further damage, we create a more efficient environment for faster, more complete drying. Protecting your contents may include moving items into another room, setting items up on blocks, or moving them off-site.

Perform water extraction.
Removing excess water minimizes damage and accelerates the drying time. Proper equipment is needed to address all flooring layers and extraction of each layer may occur at different times.

Evaluate carpeting.
Leave carpet and pad in place to dry.
Under certain conditions, we can leave the pad in place to dry.

Disengage carpet from the tack strip, remove threshold coverings (when applicable) and open seams as needed.
This is done to prevent further damage to your carpet and surroundings.

Remove pad.
Pad removal may be required to avoid additional damage, prevent microbial growth, and create a better environment for dehumidification.

Remove non-salvageable carpet.
Because of its current condition, your carpet may not survive the restoration process.

Evaluate flooring.
Dry in place or remove (Your tile flooring is not restorable or it is more cost-effective to remove it than dry it in place.)

Dry in place or remove (Trapped moisture may not dry and could damage the sub-floor.)

Dry in place or remove (Non-porous flooring such as Pergo can trap water. It may be necessary to remove the laminate in order to dry the sub-floor.)

Dry in place or remove (Your hardwood flooring is not restorable or it is more cost-effective to remove it than dry it in place.)

Dry in place or remove (Your sub-floor is not restorable or it is more cost-effective to remove it than dry it in place.)

Evaluate walls, ceilings and cabinets.
Remove baseboards.
Depending on the type of baseboard, removal may be necessary to help dry the structure, addressing moisture trapped between the baseboard and the wall.

Drill holes in walls/sheet rock/ceilings for drying/ventilation.
Holes allow trapped, moist air to escape quickly, avoiding further damage to sheet rock and framing and preventing potential microbial growth.

Remove drywall/sheet rock.
Due to the source of water, the duration of the water exposure or visible damage, the sheet rock may be unsalvageable. Removal may simply be more cost-effective than drying it in place.

Evaluate insulation.
Dry in place or remove (Your insulation is not restorable or it is more cost-effective to remove it than dry it in place.)

Inspect cabinets.
Because cabinetry is unsealed and may allow moisture to seep in, inspection is necessary and may include drilling holes or removal of toe-kicks.

Remove cabinets.
Taking a door off of its hinges may be necessary to allow your flooring to be removed without damaging the door and to allow for better air flow.

Apply antimicrobials.
Application of the proper antimicrobial product keeps dormant microbials from activating while your carpet is drying.

Apply odor control.
Odors are a natural part of the drying process. Applying proper odor control products helps to minimize odors.

Place / setup / install high-velocity air movers.
Strategically placed air movers are set up for maximum air flow across surfaces, accelerating the rate of evaporation of water from wet material into the air.

Place / setup / install dehumidifiers.
A dehumidifier removes the moisture from the air, so that evaporation can continue more effectively. Proper dehumidification helps reduce further damage to the building and contents.

Explain future visits and expectations.
Schedule next contact and discuss follow-up steps, including moisture readings, monitoring equipment, repositioning equipment, etc. While every instance is unique and drying times will vary, these additional visits will ensure rapid drying and progress toward returning your home or business to normal.


In flooring, water typically spreads out and flows through the path of least resistance, especially toward substructures and lower floors. Porous materials, whether  wood, sheetrock or other building materials, will soak up the water, which can even travel upward. The resulting effects can include discoloration, swelling, broken adhesive bonds, delamination (flooring separation), warping and overall breakdown of building materials that make up your property. The more time that elapses before treatment, the greater the damage. Even if the water evaporates unassisted, it can cause damage to ceilings, walls and contents.

ServiceMaster of Seattle is a highly reputable, licensed, insured and endorsed water damage service provider. In addition to our years of experience, our qualified technicians have completed advanced training in water mitigation, dehumidification systems, mold remediation and corrosion control. They also seek continuing education to learn about new techniques and equipment to better serve you in your time of need.

The information in this literature is general in nature and may not apply to your specific needs. However, we hope it will help answer your questions and aid you in understanding the processes and procedures n restoring your property. It is our goal to restore your property as quickly and efficiently as possible. The drying and restoration may require up to three phases before completion.


Upon arrival, a Statement of Authorization will need to be signed before repairs can begin. A ServiceMaster of Seattle trained technician will begin by determining if your carpet is salvageable and if the carpet can be dried in place. If so, we will extract as much water as possible. High-velocity air movers and dehumidifiers will be set to dry the carpet and sub-floor quickly. Equipment must be left on for the designated amount of time to ensure proper drying. The carpet may need to be treated to inhibit microbial growth. If the pad cannot be dried in place, we will detach the carpet from the tack strip and remove the wet padding to expedite the drying process. A pad sample will be taken back to our office to be matched and ordered for the reinstallation. If your carpet is deemed unsalvageable, the technician may advise removing both the pad and carpet.


It will be necessary for us to have access to your property during business hours throughout the drying process in order to properly monitor the temperature, humidity and our equipment. Please work with our office on your preferred method for re-entry to your property so we can properly monitor the drying process.


When carpet can be successfully restored, we may need to install new pad and reinstall the carpet. Reinstallation includes re-stretching, re-attaching the tack strip, seam repair, and threshold repair and/or replacement. After the reinstallation, carpet is cleaned and deodorized. When the carpet and pad can be successfully restored through in-place drying, the carpet will still need to be cleaned and deodorized. During this phase, any upholstery or other damaged furnishings will be cleaned. If equipment is still present, the technician will remove it at this time.


If applicable, after the drying process is complete, structural damage is assessed and the repair phase can begin. At this time, drywall, ceilings and floors will be repaired. If carpet cannot be salvaged, new carpet and pad will be installed. It may be appropriate to complete structural repairs before reinstallation and cleaning.