Frequently asked questions
Do I need to bag up the garments that need to be treated?
No. We take care of transporting the contaminated garments and other related items from the disaster site, either in bags or on hangers, as appropriate, to our warehouse. Inventory of all items are completed on site. Once the items are at the warehouse, each piece is carefully examined for stains, spots, odor, dampness, tears, rips extent of soot damage and any other visible damage. All items are then categorized into different classes for dry cleaning, washing and pressing, hand washing, wipe downs, etc. and then tagged fro processing. A general inventory can be taken on site, if the customer so desires. Items found in pockets, purses, or on lapels, are placed in a separate bag to be returned to the insured. However, we are not responsible for any items found on, between or in in the clothing. The inventory is then entered on the computer and faxed over to the restoration company (acting as the general contractor) and/or the insurance company. When an approval is received from the party assuming financial responsibility, we will start the process to deodorize, HEPA vacuum, clean, press fold, package and bag. Once the job is complete, a second invenotory is taken to ensure all articles are present and accounted for. Items that do not clean are set aside and the cleaning charges for these items will be credited back. We will store the garments in our warehouse until the insured is ready for delivery.
Will the clothes come back spotless?
We take great pride in our work. Our responsibility is to restore all items to their “pre-loss” condition. We do not attempt to pre-spot or post-spot garments for normal everyday type stains. However, in our efforts to restore the garments from soot stains, water stains or mildew odor, we may be successful in removing several of the pre-existing stains as well.
How will my clothes be returned?
All outer wear garments and some miscellaneous garments are pressed, placed on hangers and packaged in bags. The remainder are folded and returned in boxes.
Will the smoke odor and smoke stains come out of my clothing?
We are successful in removing smoke stains and odor from over 90% of the items we restore. A number of factors determine the permanence of the smoke stain. The success rate is determined by how hot the items actually got and the chemical make-up of the smoke. Smoke and soot from a wood fire reacts differently with different fabrics and dyes versus the smoke and soot from a plastic fire. Since it is not possible to determine whether these stains can be removed prior to cleaning, we do not charge for the items that still have smoke stains or odor after restoration.
Will my clothes be free of all types of mold and bacteria?
Mold is present everywhere. It may be a health hazard when exceeding the normal accepted levels. The affected items undergo a series of treatments to ensure the elimination of any harmful mold or other bacteria. Random testing of our complete jobs by the environmental authorities, has revealed mold at, or below the accepted levels.
How long will it take to get my clothes back?
Normally, we require 3 weeks to complete a thorough restoration process for smoke or water affected garments and about 5 weeks for mold contaminated garments. Clothes are inventoried, deodorized, cleaned, pressed, inspected and sometimes processed again if we are not successful the first time. You may choose some garments as “emergency” items to get you through the weeks your clothes are being cleaned. These items can be returned to you in 24 to 72 hours.
Can I clean the clothes myself?
You can try, but fire or smoke damaged clothes must first be deodorized and treated to remove all odor. If smoke odor is present prior to cleaning, it may get deeply embedded in the fibers and may never be totally removed even after several cleanings. Mold contamination is much more dangerous and should be handled by professionals only. We go through a series of treatments, and use special chemicals which yield great results and a high success ratio.
Exactly what is the procedure that you can use to treat our clothes?
We take a very detailed inventory of the items. We identify any flaws or stains to garments prior to the “disaster,” and list it on our inventory sheets. Every piece is placed in the appropriate “pile” for processing and according to its care label. Every piece is then tagged with your name.
In the case of smoke damage: All items are first “ozoned”. It is imperative that the odor is first removed from all articles otherwise it may stay embedded in the fibers for a very long time. The ozoning process is very slow and deliberate and cannot be rushed because permanent damage may be caused to the articles. The items are then cleaned using additives to the wash and dry cleaning cycles to ensure elimination of odor. Next, the garments are folded or pressed and inspected. A final inventory is then taken to guarantee that all items are present. Then they are delivered back to your residence or stored until you are ready.
In the case of water damage: First all items are line dried. This may save any dry clean items that have been subject to excessive water or moisture. Then all items are cleaned according to the care labels attached. There is always a possibility of color run due to the dampness and if not treated immediately, mold and mildew may also grow on the articles. After all the items are cleaned and processed, they are placed in the ozone chamber to rid articles or “musty” odor. Then these items are folded or pressed and inspected. A final inventory is taken to guarantee that all items are present. Then they are delivered back to your residence or stored until you are ready.
In case of mold contamination: After taking the inventory of all the items, we use a HEPA Vac to vacuum each piece. This will not remove all mold from the garments but will eliminate the external, superficial mold. Additives are used to kill mold an other bacteria in both the dry cleaning and the washing processes. However, it is imperative that the temperature reach a certain level to eliminate mold or other bacteria. Due to the higher temperatures, some garments that call for cold water wash or delicate cycle, may shrink or lose color. Then the items are placed in the ozone chamber to remove any odor. These items are folded or pressed and inspected. A final inventory is taken to guarantee that all items are present. Then they are delivered back to your residence or stored until you are ready.
What articles do you clean?
We are equipped to clean almost all items of clothing, bedding, including pillows, mattress covers and linens, throw pillows, undergarments, towels, beaded or sequined clothing, leather, fur, suede, animal hide, shoes, purses, belts, hats and baseball caps. We even have the capability to take down, clean and re-hang drapes and cornice boards.
Is there anything I need to be concerned about?
We take the utmost care to restore all items of your clothing. However, there are some things you need to be aware of while your articles are being restored and cleaned.
Some plastic or vinyl items may not be cleanable. Certain suede articles may lose some brightness or luster. Drapes may shrink due to improper pre-shrinkage by manufacturer. Bedspreads or any other articles with a sheen may appear dull or lose some brightness. Water lines or stains will probably not resolve and may possibly darken after treatment. We require notice prior to delivering the clothes back to your home. This is necessary to account for all of your items, and to ensure we have provided the best quality of restoration possible. Although we look for items in purses, pockets and lapels to return to the insured, Restoration Cleaners cannot assume responsibility for rips, shrinkage, breakage, color loss, fading or other defects as a result of the normal and accepted cleaning method when these items are not removed.
How can I be sure that I will get all the items back?
Throughout the process your items are stored in a designated area apart from other customers’ clothing. After bringing your clothes to our facility, each article is also tagged with your name and stays tagged during the entire process. Following restoration, a final inventory is taken to ascertain that all items are present. A copy of the inventory will be supplied to you upon request. Otherwise, our count will be final and binding.