General FAQ

When are you available to help with my emergency?

Cleanway Services has technicians on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. When an emergency happens we can be there within the hour to help you through it.

Are you licensed and insured?

Cleanway Services is fully licensed and insured as well as IICRC trained. Our technicians undergo full background checks and a rigorous training program to meet the highest industry standards.

Who is responsible for knowing my insurance coverage?

It is your responsibility to know what your insurance will and will not cover. Don't worry though, we have worked with every insurance carrier on thousands of claims and will be able to help you figure it out.

Do I have to work with the contractor that my insuror recommends?

As the insured, you have the right to choose whichever company that you would like to work in your home. Your insurance company may recommend a contractor, but that does not mean that you are required to use them.

Will you help me with my insurance claim?

Yes, all you need to do is sign a contract identifying us as your selected contractor and we will negotiate directly with your insurance company.

Do you deal directly with the insurance companies?

Yes, we can. Once you have signed the authorization making us your contractor, we will deal directly with your insurance company to make the process easier and faster for you.

Can my items be restored?

That is dependent on the extent of the damage. Sometimes furniture, clothing, books, electronics, and even pictures can be restored. Cleanway has a team of specialists that will do everything they can in order to restore your valuables back to pre-loss condition.

Where will the salvageable contents from my home go during restoration?

Once the salvageable contents of your home are cleaned, we will pack your contents properly and securely, and store them in our portable storage units on our property. If it is necessary, due to outside temperature, we can also transport them to a temperature controlled storage facility closer to your home. Once the items have been restored and your property is ready to have them back, we will deliver the contents back to you.

Do you do both mitigation and reconstruction?

Yes, we provide both services. We have our mitigation technicians on call around the clock. Our carpenters are available as soon as the mitigation portion is complete.

 

Mold FAQ

Why hire a professional for mold services?

Mold can be extremely dangerous, rapidly spreading through your residence and causing incredibly amounts of damage. This in addition to the significant health risks mold poses. If an affected area is larger than 10 square feet, you should enlist the help of a professional. Here are the steps that differentiate Cleanway to ensure the problem is definitively addressed. 

  • Identify and Isolate: We know exactly how to identify and isolate the problem. It's easy to address spots you can see, but what about the areas you can't see? A professional can determine if you have a problem behind baseboards, wallpaper, paneling, or drywall. They will check under carpeting, under sinks, around pipes, in attics, basements, and in the HVAC system. Once located, the area can be sealed off to prevent the problem from spreading.

  • Cleaning and Disinfecting: Often, personal protective equipment is needed when performing mold remediation to prevent risk and exposure to mold spores. Specialized equipment is also needed and HEPA (High-Efficiency Particular Air) vacuums are often used. Cleanway technicians are trained to utilize the proper equipment and cleaning products to ensure effective mold removal.  

  • Repair and Removal: Once cleaning and disinfection are completed, any damaged porous material must be removed. Any water damage sources, such as leaky roofs or pipes, will need to be repaired. Once addressed, the drying and dehumidification processes are initiated. Cleanway will also inspect and clean your HVAC system to ensure spores are not circulating throughout your residence. 

Do not be misled by general contractors that claim they are qualified to tackle this problem effectively. Most do not have the proper training, knowledge, or experience to ensure the job is done right. It is best to contact a reputable mold remediation expert that specializes in this field of service.

Why is mold dangerous?

Mold is a problem that should be taken seriously and addressed quickly. Mold is a type of fungus and the three most common residential forms are: Aspergillus (food, air conditioning), Cladosporium (toilet, painted surfaces), and Stachybotrys atra (aka Black Mold). Untreated areas will continue to spread and can cause serious health issues.


Health risks associated with mold can range from mild symptoms to death. If someone in your home has a respiratory condition, they are much more likely to be adversely affected. Some types of mold can cause inflammatory or toxic reactions and can lead to pneumonia. Mold can also exacerbate allergies, causing symptoms ranging from fatigue, rashes, and congestion. You should always consult a physician with any health concerns.

What causes mold growth?

The two basic causes of mold growth are moisture and humidity. Under normal conditions, the bathroom is the ideal location to find moisture. It is not unusual to find mold around your toilet or in the grout around your tub, shower, or ceiling. These areas should be cleaned routinely using products specifically designed for the job. Mixtures of bleach are commonly used, but remember that these products are composed of 90% water, so it is important to dry the area thoroughly after cleaning. Basic water leaks or flooding are also major causes that should be eliminated and cleaned up as quickly as possible.

How do I identify mold?

It is very difficult to treat something if you don't know where it is. If you have a leaky pipe or roof that has gone untreated for any length of time, chances are you have a mold problem. You can identify the green or black spots in obvious places. Anything over 10 square feet should be referred to a mold remediation team for specialized treatment. If your roof has been leaking, there is a good chance you have mold behind the paneling, drywall, baseboards, or wallpaper. You may not always see it, but you can probably smell it. If your home smells damp and displays a penetrating odor, you should have a professional evaluate.

If I clean the visibly affected area, will it stop mold growth?

Cleaning the area will not stop mold growth. The source of the problem needs to be found and addressed. After finding the source, the affected area needs to be removed while the structural area is inspected and cleaned.

 

Biohazard FAQ

What do I do after a contamination event?

  • Call 911 if the situation is life-threatening

  • Call Cleanway ASAP

  • Stay out of the affected area(s)

  • Treat all bodily fluids as if they are contaminated

  • Turn off any heating or air conditioning systems if there is sewage damage, and it is safe to do so

What shouldn’t I do after a contamination?

  • Don’t leave wet fabrics in place, hang them up to dry

  • Don’t leave books, magazines, or other colored items on wet carpet or floors, the colors can bleed through, staining your floors

  • Don’t use your household vacuum to remove water

  • Don’t use television or other household appliances

  • Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet

  • Keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging

This stinks! How long until the smell goes away?

How long the smell will linger is dependent on a variety of factors including the source, how long the source was on the premises, and facility temperature. Cleanway will do everything to eliminate the odor as soon as possible from your home/facility, with safe removal of the source taking priority.

Will my insurance cover a biohazard cleanup?

A biohazard cleanup can be very expensive. The good news is that, depending on your insurance coverage, it may be covered. It is always a good idea to check in with your insurance agent with any questions regarding coverage.

What causes septic backups?

Septic backups can happen for a few different reasons, with a clogged sewer line being the most common. If there is a problem with just one toilet, sink, or tub, there is more than likely a clog in that specific drain; appropriate drain cleaning can resolve this issue without further issue. Unfortunately, if every time you flush you get a plugged toilet, sink, or tub, then the problem is likely more extensive. In this situation, it may suggest your main sewer drain is clogged and needs further investigation.

How do I fix a clogged sewer line?

A blockage in the private or main sewer line causes a backup through floor drains and toilets at the lowest point in your property. This first causes a septic backup in your basement and then ascends up to the remainder of your residence. This is a job for the professionals. First call in a plumber to investigate and then call Cleanway.

What are the health hazards related to septic backups?

There are many health hazards related to septic backups, which is why we always recommend that you call in the professionals and not try to take care of it on your own. Water contaminated with sewage usually has a variety of harmful bacteria. It can make you experience vomiting, diarrhea, or even contract Hepatitis A if you eat contaminated food or drink contaminated water. You can get sick if you use items that have been in contact with the sewage if it isn’t properly disinfected first. Calling the professionals will ensure that your property is properly cleaned and disinfected so you won’t get sick.

Are there any other hazards related to a septic backup?

Fire hazards can be a serious problem with septic backups. If the water level reaches any plugs, electrical outlets, extension cords, or gas burning equipment, DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING. Get out of the building immediately and call for professional help.

How can I limit the damage done by a septic backup?

  • Do not flush toilets, drain tubs, or sinks. Do not use the water supply system at all until you know the problem has been addressed.

  • Do not use harsh chemicals to try to unclog the drain system, they can damage your pipes and sewer lines and make the problem worse

  • Keep children and pets away from the affected area(s)

  • If it is still safe to do so, shut off the power. If not, stay away from electrical equipment.

  • Wear protective equipment such as gloves, eyeglasses, rubber boots, and a facemask

  • Open windows to allow ventillation

  • Use sump pumps to remove excess water

Will sewage backup insurance cover all costs?

Sewage backup insurance may or may not cover all of the costs for water damage restoration and expenses for replacing damaged household items. Each claim is uniquely reviewed and probable cause determined. If the problem is found to be secondary to your failure to properly maintain your drains, the insurance company is not likely to honor your claim. If the blockage is due to roots from a tree in a public area or if a pipe has collapsed on state property, the responsibility is not yours and you should be covered.

 

Fire Hazard FAQ

Fires kill nearly 30,000 people each year in the U.S. with 40% of deaths attributable to lack of functioning smoke alarms. Don't be a statistic, make fire safety something you practice routinely.

How do I maintain my fire alarm?

A properly working smoke alarm can alert people inside the house/facility to ensure the best chance of getting everyone out quickly and safely. Here are some tips for fire alarm safety:

  • Change the batteries in your smoke alarms at least twice a year

  • If your alarm is over ten years old, or if you are unsure when you last replaced it, you should get a new one

  • When installing smoke alarms, be sure there is one on every floor of your home 

Any fire drill tips?

Escape routes and fire drills should be practiced with your family/employees. Mock fire drills with your children, warning them of such things as hot doorknobs and staying low to the ground to avoid breathing in the smoke, could be life-saving. Material items can be replaced, your family can not! Here are some fire drill tips:

  • Practice drills during less-than-desirable times: in the middle of the night, in very cold weather, etc..

  • Tweak the plan as necessary: Who may be capable of sleeping through the alarm? Make sure that an escape plan is in place for physically disabled occupants, children, and pets.

  • Purchase a folding ladder in case an escape through an upper window is necessary.

  • Make sure that your family meet-spot is far enough away from your house

What are some tips for fireplace safety?

  • Have your chimney inspected and cleaned every year by a professional

  • If you have a glass door fireplace covering, leave it open while the fire is burning. This ensures that the fire gets enough air to keep creosote from building up in the chimney. Creosote build-up can block your chimney, causing a chimney fire. 

  • Use a metal screen for fireplaces that don't have a glass door covering

  • Clear the area around the hearth of flammable items

  • Never use flammable liquids such as lighter fluid to start your fire.

  • Only use dry wood - soft, moist wood speeds up creosote buildup in your chimney

  • Allow hot ashes cooling time before you dispose of them

  • Never leave a fire in your fireplace unattended and always put the fire out before you go to bed or leave your home

What are some tips for space heater safety?

  • Always place any portable heating devices at least three feet away from flammable objects

  • Never leave your home or go to bed without turning off your space heater

  • Never dry wet clothes over a space heater

  • Check the cord and outlet periodically, if it feels hot, turn it off

What are some safety tips for liquid/gas burning heaters?

  • Always vent to the outside to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning

  • Follow manufacturers' instructions very closely

  • Always allow the heaters to cool down before you refuel them

  • Never refill these heaters inside your home

What are some safety tips for wood stoves?

  • Make sure your stove is installed properly and maintained regularly

  • Proper ventilation is essential

  • Keep flammable objects away from your stove and stove pipes

  • Check all of your connections every year before you use your stove

  • Have your ventillation system inspected by a professional every year

How to prevent holiday fires:

Christmas trees:

  • If you are using an artificial tree, make sure that it is flame retardant

  • If you are using a real tree, make sure it is freshly cut

  • Don't put your real tree up too early, and never leave it up for longer than two weeks

  • Keep your tree watered at all times 

  • Don't put your tree too close to a heat vent or a fireplace

Lights and Decorations:

  • Maintenance is key! Inspect your lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, and broken or cracked sockets 

  • Do not overload electrical outlets

  • Do not link more than three light strands

  • Check the wires periodically, if they are warm to the touch, take them down

  • Do not leave lights unattended 

  • Use only non-flammable decorations

  • Always keep decorations away from heat vents and fireplaces

Any candle safety tips?

  • Make sure candles are in a stable candle holder

  • Place candles where they can't be easily knocked down

  • Never put candles on your Christmas tree

  • Never leave candles unattended

 

Cleanway

(802) 748-1697

Cleanway Headquarters
83 Felton Street, Waltham, MA

©2020 by Cleanway Services