Frequently Asked Questions


General

What kinds of things are considered to be an emergency?

Emergency situations are those that require IMMEDIATE attention including:

  • Floods
  • Sewer back up
  • Fire
  • Biological hazards

My home or business is a substantial size. Are you equipped to handle this damage?

Our professionals are capable of handling over 100,000 square feet of damage.

I have had a fire, flood or sewer back up in my home. What happens now?

You can expect to go through a 3-phase process in a disaster scenario, as follows:

Phase 1, Emergency: The first stage in a fire, flood or sewer back up clean up is referred to as “the emergency.” This is the stage whereby the source of the water is eliminated and/or corrected and the structure and contents are returned to a safe and dry state. The insurance industry commonly refers to the event as “the loss.”

The amount of time required for the emergency phase depends on the length of time it takes for the structure to dry or be made safe. On average this phase lasts 3 to 7 days unless there are extenuating circumstances.

Phase 2, Administration: When the structure is dry and the emergency stage is over, insurance claims move into an administrative stage. This is the stage whereby the insurance company assesses the damage and determines the scope of repairs required. The goal of the insurance company is to restore the insured to a “pre-loss condition” with quality work at a fair cost.

In the administration phase it is common for the insurance company to gather one or more repair or reconstruction estimates. After the reconstruction estimates have been gathered, the client is free to choose the service provider they wish to repair their property. In the event that the service provider that the client chooses is not the lowest bidder, it is the adjuster’s role to negotiate on the client’s behalf to contract with the company the client chooses. It is important to note that the client is not obligated to choose the lowest bidder or a preferred vendor of the insurer.

The amount of time required for the administration phase varies greatly depending on how broad the scope of work is, and how busy the insurance adjuster is. On average this phase lasts 7 to 21 days but can be much longer if there are extenuating circumstances or seasonal factors that impact the repairs.

Phase 3, Reconstruction: The rebuild or reconstruction phase is the process by which the property is restored to its “pre-loss condition”. In this phase the client works with the disaster restoration company he/she selected to facilitate repairs to the property.

What will happen if I don’t remediate?

Failure to properly remediate an emergency situation can have serious effects, such as voiding your insurance coverage or allowing harmful microbial growth to begin. Failure to remediate in a timely fashion is likely to substantially increase future repair costs.

Will my loss be covered by my insurance?

The only way to know with certainty if your loss is insured is to get an opinion from your insurance company. Generally, insured losses are those that are deemed to be “sudden and accidental” in nature.

Does ProStar work directly with my insurance agent or insurance adjuster?

Yes. Your project manager will communicate with your insurance agent or adjuster after you have called to file a claim. Together, we work to ensure your property is restored to its pre-loss condition.

I live in a condominium. How is my claim handled?

Condominiums have insurance to cover damages to the “common property” or “structure.” As such, you could be required to deal with two insurance companies and two adjusters for a loss in a condominium – one insurance company/adjuster for the building referred to as the “common property” or “structure” and another for your personal items referred to as “contents.”

The definition of “common property” and “structure” are outlined in your bylaws and varies between condominiums. Any questions regarding these definitions need to be referred to your condominium board or property manager.

If my loss is not insured OR I choose not to file a claim OR I have no insurance, what will happen?

In the event that your loss is not covered by insurance for any reason, you are responsible for paying the costs associated with clean-up directly to ProStar.

What is the warranty on repair work?

Warranty on workmanship is 1 year from the date of the completed repairs. This warranty is extended to 2 years for our preferred service providers.

Are you bonded and insured?

ProStar is fully bonded, insured and Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) covered.


What can I expect from ProStar?

Why should I use ProStar Cleaning and Restoration?

ProStar will respond to your emergency 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Simply call us at (403) 234-STAR (7827) to speak to our on-call representative regarding your emergency. ProStar is an Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (ICRC) certified firm trained to handle all types of emergency situations. Our staff has over 150 years of combined restoration and construction experience. We are leaders in restoration technology who strive to provide timely, reliable, quality service.

Does ProStar work directly with my insurance agent or insurance adjuster?

Yes. Your project manager will communicate with your insurance agent or adjuster after you have called to file a claim. Together, we work to ensure your property is restored to its pre-loss condition.

I have pets. What arrangements will be made?

Please provide the project manager with the details regarding your pets and our staff and contractors will make the necessary accommodations.

I have called ProStar. What happens now?

ProStar will assign you a project manager. The project manager will visit your property and assess the damages. He or she will remain your point of contact throughout your dealings with ProStar and will act as a liaison between the various stakeholders that may be involved including:

  • Property owner
  • Tenant
  • Insurance adjuster
  • Property manager
  • Home builder

I have called ProStar. What do I do next? What are my responsibilities?

You should call your insurance company. It is your responsibility to report the loss to your insurer and open a claim. At this time please gather the following information:

  • Claim number
  • Adjusters name and contact information
  • Advise that you have contacted ProStar Cleaning and Restoration to provide emergency service.

Safety – it is your responsibility to follow all safety procedures as outlined by the disaster restoration company. You should attempt to avoid areas where equipment is running or where there is exposed tack strip, as much as possible. You should wear shoes whenever possible. You should be cautious at all times and watch for slip and fall hazards created from cords and wet surfaces.

Equipment – it is your responsibility to take reasonable steps to safeguard any tools or equipment that is in your home from theft or damage.

Payment – it is your responsibility to pay any portion of the loss that is not covered by insurance, including but not limited to the deductible.

Can you work at night and on the weekends?

After the emergency phase is completed, evening and weekend work is generally not available due to the high cost. As such, in order to facilitate repairs to your property in a timely fashion, it is critical that you make appropriate access arrangements for our repair crews. Lock boxes are available to help facilitate this process.

Will my home be left clean?

ProStar strives to leave your home as clean and safe as possible at all times throughout the emergency and reconstruction process. A final clean will be completed as part of our reconstruction service.

Who do I contact if I have questions or concerns?

Contact the disaster restoration manager assigned to your file as a first point of contact for any concerns.


Equipment, Procedures and Processes

What is all this equipment for?

High-velocity air movers (or “fans”)and dehumidifiers are used to create air movement and trap humidity in order to dry the structure. Air Filtration Devices or AFDs are commonly referred to as “scrubbers” and are used to trap airborne particulate matter.

How long is this equipment going to be in my house?

Fans and dehumidifiers are placed in properties to reduce the moisture caused by flooding. Typically, they require 2 to 5 days to dry a structure. During this time, equipment is monitored every 24 to 36 hours to determine if the structure is dry.

This equipment is loud. Can I turn it off?

No. The equipment may not be turned off. Turning off the equipment may void your warranty on the work OR may result in additional costs being billed to you as the drying process will be slowed.

Will turning up the heat or opening the windows help to dry things out?

ProStar uses the science of psychrometrics, or psychrometry, to dry your home. As such, we determine optimal temperature and air flow levels that will dry your home as quickly as possible. We always set up the optimal drying environment before we leave your property. We also monitor drying daily to ensure that air flow and temperature levels are optimal. Any changes to the drying environment such as changing the temperature or opening windows may prolong the drying process.

How do you know if my home is dry?

ProStar uses the science of psychrometrics, or psychrometry, to determine if your home is dry. As such, we use equipment such as moisture sensors and thermal hygrometers (link to Resources, Key Terms page) to measure temperature and relative humidity in your home. We also take readings on the various surfaces or “substrates” in your home to determine if they are dry.

Can I stay in the home?

You may stay in the home unless the disaster restoration manager in conjunction with your insurance company deems otherwise. Unfortunately, noise alone is generally not a factor that is considered in this determination. Usually the main factors in determining liveability include safety or access to essential services such as heat, water or washrooms.

If I have to leave my home, will my expenses be covered?

The answer to this question depends on your individual insurance coverage. Talk to your adjuster about your specific situation.

How long will it take before my home is returned to normal?

Each situation varies. However, typically the emergency stage ranges from 2 to 7 days and the administration phase ranges from 7 to 21 days. After the administration phase is complete, your reconstruction provider should be able to give you a more accurate estimate as to the length of time needed to complete repairs.

What chemicals are you using and are they safe for my family and pets?

ProStar attempts to use environmentally preferred products whenever possible as dictated by the nature of the cleaning requirements. Our trained technicians can provide you with Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) on any of our cleaning products on request.

My contents have been damaged. What happens?

Your contents will only be handled under the loss if:

  • You have contents insurance, or;
  • You are willing to pay directly for the restoration costs related to your contents.

In the event you live in a condominium, it is your responsibility to contact your contents insurer and open a claim. At this time please gather the following information:

  • Claim number
  • Adjuster’s name and contact information
  • Advise your insurance company that you have contacted a disaster restoration company to provide emergency service.

Note: it is your responsibility to pay any portion of the loss that is not covered by insurance including but not limited to the deductible.


Water Damage and Sewer Back Up

My wood floors are wet and buckling. Will they have to be replaced?

Replacement vs. restoration of wood floors is dependent on many factors including the nature of the damage as well as the type of flooring (laminate, engineered, pre-finished, etc.) as well as the underlayment and construction of the sub-floor. ProStar utilizes specialized rescue drying systems to attempt to dry flooring without necessitating removal and will do so IF the circumstances are appropriate.

My carpet got wet. Will it have to be replaced?

Wet under pad is removed and discarded. Carpets are often able to be cleaned, dried and reinstalled effectively. Common factors that determine if carpet is NOT salvageable include permanent staining or discolouration that is a direct result of the loss, sewage contamination or delamination (when the backing separates from the carpet fibre).

How do you match my carpet and pad?

Samples of your carpet and cushion or “pad” are taken at the time of the loss. These samples are submitted to a lab for analysis and ProStar receives a recommendation of the names and values of suitable replacement products. You will then work with one of our flooring trade partners to make a selection.

How do you match my carpet and pad?

Samples of your carpet and cushion or “pad” are taken at the time of the loss. These samples are submitted to a lab for analysis and ProStar receives a recommendation of the names and values of suitable replacement products. You will then work with one of our flooring trade partners to make a selection.

In regards to the “pad”, if an exact colour match is not available, your pad will be replaced with a product of the same quality, thickness and density as the original.

Why did the technician leave wet carpet on my stairs?

Carpet is generally not removed from stairs for safety purposes. Exposed tack strip or staples is dangerous—especially on steps. If carpet that is left on stairs is unsalvageable, it will be removed and replaced when the new carpet is installed.

My walls and/or ceilings are wet. What needs to be done?

ProStar will use tools and equipment such as moisture sensors and Forward Looking Infra Red (FLIR) cameras to check for hidden moisture in your home. Wet insulation can also be a hazard that may need to be removed. In some cases where no insulation is present, ventilation holes will be cut to force air inside wall and ceiling cavities. In all cases, ProStar technicians work to minimize damage while safely and effectively drying your home or office.


What You Need to Know About Mold

What is Mold?

Mold is defined as any of the various fungi that often cause disintegration of organic matter.

“There are more than 100,000 species of mold. At least 1,000 species of mould are common in Canada. Some of the most commonly found are species of Cladosporium, Penicillium, and Aspergillus.

– An excerpt from Facts About Mold for Homeowners by Alberta Health Services

What causes Mold?

Because mold spores are naturally occurring in our environment, they cannot be entirely eliminated from our homes. In order for mold to grow, it requires a spore (like a seed), a food source (organic material such as paper, wood, and hundreds of others), a source of moisture (water) and time.

As such, in order to control mold growth indoors, the only variable that can be controlled is moisture. Therefore, detecting and eliminating sources of water intrusion into homes is critical to the process of mold remediation.

ProStar’s experts will help you locate and eliminate the source of water intrusion. We can also provide guidance on how to limit exposure for future occurrences. We use state of the art technology in order to assist us in this process.

How do I know if I have Mold?

Mold is generally found because you can see it, smell it or suspect it exists, due to resulting health consequences experienced by you, or occupants of the home or business.

What does Mold look like?

Mold is a furry or woolly growth on the surface of organic matter. It takes on many colours, forms and shapes.

I think I have Mold. What should I do?

If you think you have mold, the primary question you must ask before proceeding is:

Can you see the mold?

If you CAN see active mold growth, do the following:

Do not disturb the mold by touching it or causing air to blow on or near it. Many problems are made worse by people who attempt to complete uninformed home remediation and cleanup attempts. You should call us for a free telephone consultation, as circumstances and remediation techniques are widely varied and you will need personalized advice. Before you call, please be ready to answer the following questions:

  • What does the mold look like?
  • What material is the mold growing on?
  • Is the area wet and/or do are you aware of the source of water entry? (e.g.: leaks, humidity, etc.)
  • Is this a new problem or have you noticed it before?

ProStar provides free information over the phone and will do a personalized onsite consultation in your home for $150 – $250. In the event that the problem is small and can be cleaned up without the professionals, we will provide full instructions on how to cleanup the mold as part of our consultation fee.

Can you smell the mold?

If you CANNOT see the mold but suspect you may have a mold problem due to a persistent odour or smell, be aware of the following:

Odor is a primary indicator of mold colonization. Because mold is a living organism, it “off-gasses” as it grows. The industry term for this off-gassing is Micotoxin. Off-gassing or micotoxin causes the musty smell associated with mold, and is a primary indicator of mold colonization even when there are no visible signs of mold growth.

In order to remediate mold, it is necessary to locate the source of the colonization and the corresponding water intrusion. When odor is the primary indicator of a mold problem, ProStar’s experts can help you locate the source of the colonization.

Call ProStar’s mold experts for a free telephone consultation and receive personalized advice. Before you call, please be prepared to answer the following questions:

  • Where in your home is the musty smell most prominent?
  • Are there certain conditions when the smell is present and certain conditions when it is not?
  • What are the possible sources of moisture intrusion (condensation, leaks, flooding, etc.)
  • Is there any staining or watermarking present on drywall near the source of the odour?

OR

I think mold is making me sick.

If you CANNOT see the mold but suspect you may have a mold problem due to possible suspected health impacts:

Mold is only one of many potential indoor air quality contaminants that can lead to health consequences. If you suspect this to be an issue, feel free to call for an individual consult and one of the experts at ProStar would be happy to ask you a series of clarifying questions that may help you to determine if mold and the resulting poor indoor air quality may be an issue in your home. However, if health issues are your primary concern and you can see no visible signs of mold growth, often the best first step is indoor air quality testing provided by a reputable firm. ProStar would be happy to provide a referral to a reliable and knowledgeable firm that would be happy to help you.

Mold is everywhere, so why is it such a big deal?

It is true that mold spores are naturally occurring in our environment and are indeed “everywhere.” However, when certain types of spores exist in our homes in higher than average concentrations, they may negatively impact our indoor air quality and can be the source of health concerns for some individuals.

When is Mold toxic?

There are thousands of known types of molds. Some are toxic to humans when experienced in high concentrations and others are harmless. Our experts can help you determine the potential health risks of mold in your home or business. Call today for a free telephone conversation with one of our experts.

How can I tell if the Mold in my home is toxic?

Without laboratory testing, even a microbiologist could not conclusively identify a mold genus from a site visit. However, industry professionals can make certain assumptions with respect to genus and corresponding level of toxicity based on the type of materials that the mold has attached to. Specifically, when building materials containing cellulosic or organic materials have been affected, generally toxicity is suspected. The most common examples of such materials are drywall, cardboard and linoleum (due to the paper backing). Elemental or synthetic materials such as concrete, insulation, vapour barrier, ceramic tile and acrylic materials are typically not suspect. In the case of wood, toxicity is suspected when dealing with wood products of a composite nature that contain glues and formaldehyde which create an excellent food source for certain toxic mold varietals. Common examples of this type of composite materials found in buildings are MDF, OSB and K3.


How to Treat and Get Rid of Mold

What can I spray on drywall to kill Mold?

NEVER spray anything at an active mold colonization. Mold spores are hydrophobic and become airborne when attacked by an aerosol. It is a common myth that there is “a spray that kills mold on drywall.” Mold spores can only be killed by incineration. Otherwise, to eliminate mold spores they must be removed, collected or trapped. Non-porous surfaces that do not provide a food source for mold (like concrete, metal, glass) can be cleaned and salvaged. However, porous surfaces impacted by active mold growth must have the mold physically removed by way of removing the contaminated material. Antimicrobial agents or mold inhibitors are chemicals that deter or retard the growth of mold while water is removed from a structure. These products DO NOT kill mold spores.

Can I clean up the Mold myself?

Always consult a professional before proceeding with home mold remediation efforts. When mold problems are minor, international remediation guidelines provided by The Cleantrust(formerly IICRC) require experts to instruct the public on how to remediate the problem themselves. As such, as part of our on-site consultation package (when circumstances dictate that the problem is minor), ProStar’s experts will provide specific advice to homeowners on appropriate home remediation techniques.

Why shouldn’t I remove the moldy material myself?

Mold spores are highly susceptible to air movement. An active fungal colonization the size of a toonie can harbour up to one hundred million spores. When an air current is introduced, those spores become airborne and spread out over an extended area. When this happens, indoor air quality deteriorates significantly. In many cases, when people do home remediation without proper environmental controls such as air filtration and containment units, they can make the problem exponentially worse and the required clean up much more costly.

Who is qualified to clean up Mold?

Any firm that you use to provide mold remediation services should hold a certification from The Cleantrust(fomerly (IICRC). The specific C-certification is called an Applied Mold Remediation Technician (AMRT).

Will my insurance cover cleanup of Mold?

Typically the cleanup of mold is not covered by most insurance policies. One possible exception to this rule is when the water source of the mold can be directly linked to a covered water loss.

What is the average cost to clean up Mold?

ProStar charges between $150 to $250 for an on-site consultation plus a minimum charge of $400 for any remediation activities undertaken after the consult. Typically, remediation projects range anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 and up depending on the scope and severity.

What should I look for when selecting a Mold Remediation contractor?


Air Quality Testing

Does ProStar do Air Quality Testing?

No. ProStar works with a reputable, independent firm who performs air quality testing. Remediation firms such as ProStar should NEVER perform their own air quality testing as to do so would constitute a conflict of interest.

Who Should I use for Air Quality Testing?

Not all Air Quality Testing professionals are created equal. An Air Quality Report provided at the end of a mold remediation project is an important piece in ensuring that the work performed in your property has been executed properly, while limiting liability with respect to previous mold issues. It is critical to ensure that the contractor meets the guidelines recommended by the Calgary Health Region (see information in question above) AND follows the sampling protocol recommended by the Calgary Health Region.

Refer to the Calgary Health Region document “Hiring a Consultant to Help Solve Your Indoor Air Quality Problems” for more information on selecting an Air Quality Testing firm.

How much does an Air Quality Test cost?

An average price for air quality testing is $800 to $1200. Prices may increase based on the number and type of samples required, the scope and complexity of the project, the reporting requirements and the type of sampling required, and the timeframe in which information is required.

I want to know more. Where should I look?

Read “Best Practices – Mould at the Work” Site, an excellent document written by the Government of Alberta which outlines basic information about mold, health hazards, requirements for worker protection, safe work procedures, inspection criteria and applicable legislation.

What services does ProStar offer?

ProStar is a remediation firm. As such, we perform cleanup of mold. We do not perform Indoor Air Quality Testing as to do so would constitute a conflict of interest (one should not test one’s own work). ProStar provides free telephone information to prospective clients and provides onsite estimates with personalized information and advice for a fee ranging from $150 to $250.


Contents Restoration

What are “contents”?

“Contents” refer to any of your belongings that can be packed in a moving truck if you were to change residences. This might include: documents, books, clothing, machinery, office equipment, furniture, artwork, antiques, media, electronics and more. Appliances may have to be sorted out by your individual insurance adjuster based on ownership, your insurance policy and your condominium documents.

“Structure” is the floor, ceilings, walls, cabinets, etc.

In a condominium, the condominium policy will respond for the structure and the homeowner’s policy will respond to the contents and any Additional Living Expense (ALE) to portion of the claim that MAY BE required.

What is “structure”?

The “structure” is the floor, ceilings, walls, cabinets, etc.

As a rule of thumb, “contents” refers to any items that you would take with you in a moving truck if you were to move. This might include: documents, books, clothing, machinery, office equipment, furniture, artwork, antiques, media, electronics and more.

In a condominium, the condominium policy will respond for the structure and the homeowner’s policy will respond to the contents and any Additional Living Expense (ALE) to portion of the claim that MAY BE required.

I didn’t cause the damage. Why do I have to open a claim at all?

If you live in a condo or are a tenant in a rental property, the insurance industry protocol is that you MUST open your own claim to respond to any costs associated with your contents or additional living expenses. If you are not at fault for the loss, your insurer may choose to subrogate against the correct party after the fact, as part of your homeowner’s or tenant’s insurance policy.

I own a condominium and other units were affected by the loss. The source of the damage originated from my unit. What happens now?

If you are at fault for the damage, or in some circumstances if the damage originates from your unit, the condominium corporate may choose to assess you for the amount of the condominium corporation’s insurance deductible. This typically ranges from $2500 to $25,000.

If you have homeowner’s insurance, often your homeowner’s insurance may respond to this amount in which case you will be assessed only the deductible on your own homeowner’s policy, i.e. $500.

What other insurance industry terms should I know about?

Click here for the Insurance Bureau of Canada’s glossary of insurance terms

I am a tenant (i.e. I do not own my home) and my belongings have been damaged. What are my options?

Your belongings, referred to by the industry as contents, will only be handled under the loss if:

It is your responsibility to contact your insurer and open a claim under your tenant’s policy. At this time, please gather the following information:

  • Claim number
  • Adjuster’s name and contact information
  • Advise your insurance company that you have contacted a disaster restoration company to provide emergency service.

Note: it is your responsibility to pay any portion of the loss that is not covered by insurance including, but not limited to the deductible.

I am a condominium owner and my belongings have been damaged. What are my options?

Your belongings, referred to by the industry as contents, will only be handled under the loss if:

In the event that you live in a condominium or are a tenant, it is your responsibility to contact your insurer and open a claim under your personal insurance policy. At this time, please gather the following information:

  • Claim number
  • Adjuster’s name and contact information
  • Advise your insurance company that you have contacted a disaster restoration company to provide emergency service.

Note: it is your responsibility to pay any portion of the loss that is not covered by insurance including, but not limited to the deductible.

My insurance company says “betterments and improvements” are my responsibility. What does this mean?

Betterments insurance refers to coverage that a tenant in a commercial or residential rental property (including condominiums) carries in order to cover improvements, additions and modifications to the property. The property owner (e.g.: builder, developer, condo board, etc.) is responsible for a policy that protects the structure, while the tenant is responsible to hold a policy for any betterments and improvements (such as upgrades to flooring, cabinets, fixtures etc.).

For example, when a condominium tower is built, a unit might come with standard nylon carpet, but the homeowner’s unit has been upgraded to hardwood floors—betterments and improvements in this case refers to the difference in cost between the carpet (original spec) and hardwood (upgraded). The building’s insurance may not cover betterments and improvements so the building’s insurance will only pay to the amount of what is deemed to be the “non-upgraded” product. If the homeowner wants to go back to hardwood during the restoration of the loss, it would then be the homeowners’ responsibility to pay the difference, or, to process a claim on the homeowner’s insurance policy for the difference in costs between the original spec and the upgrade.

My belongings have to be moved to facilitate repairs. What happens?

If at all possible, your contents will remain onsite. ProStar will carefully pack, shift and cover your contents as required. If there is not enough room inside your home or garage to store your contents, ProStar makes every attempt to provide a container that can be left onsite. You will be provided with the only key. In the event that onsite storage is not an option, ProStar will make alternate storage arrangements for you. In some instances where extensive processing and inventorying is required, your belongings will be brought to ProStar’s contents processing facility where they will be inventoried, sorted and cleaned or restored accordingly.

I cannot stay in my home during repairs. What should I expect?

In the event you are displaced from your home due to the loss, your homeowner’s or tenant’s insurance policy may cover additional living expenses for a reasonable period of time while you are displaced. It is important to note that noise from equipment is not typically considered by insurers as a requirement for additional living expense.

How do I keep track of non-restorable items?

Make a list of items (including food items) deemed non-restorable. Use a format similar to the sample below or obtain a similar form from your insurance company. Make a copy for your insurance company and keep one for yourself.

Qty Item Year Purchased Cost Per Unit Total
2 boxes Frozen Pizza – 500g 2009 $4.50 $9.00
1 Paperback Novel – The Last Juror by John Grisham 2006 $11.99 $11.99
6 Wicker baskets from IKEA 12″ x 12″ 2004 $8.00 / each $48.00
1 Entertainment Unit – Black MDF and glass 48″ x 60″ x 24″ 1998 $399 $399.00
1 Area Carpet – 24″ x 36″ Green with white stripes 1992 $20.00 $20.00

What about my wet furniture?

Furniture is assessed on a case-by-case basis. Often furniture can be dried, cleaned, deodorized or restored successfully. Common factors that determine if furniture is NOT salvageable include sewage contamination or permanent staining, discolouration or damage that is a direct result of the loss.

What about my electronics, area rugs, art work and antiques?

ProStar employs many state of the art restoration techniques and works with a network of professional restorers who work to restore a wide range of specialty items. We work with your insurance adjuster to identify and address items requiring special attention.


Cleaning Products and Procedures

Do I need to provide cleaning products or equipment?

No. ProStar provides all the equipment and products required to clean your home. You do not need to provide anything.

Can you use cleaning products that I prefer and would provide in my home?

We are happy to accommodate your request. Please leave the products in a visible location with a note and we will use them as needed. However, we do carry with us a full line of cleaning products equipped to handle all of your cleaning needs.

What kind of products do you use? Are they safe around children and pets?

We use environmentally-friendly products wherever possible. However, some of our cleaning agents such as bathroom cleaner and oven cleaner (which are required to remove heavy buildup) are not environmentally-friendly. All of our products are water soluble and similar in toxicity to common household products. We endeavour to protect your home by keeping our cleaning agents with us at all times and thoroughly rinsing off all surfaces to remove residue.

Will you use my vacuum?

We provide our own vacuums which are equipped with the HEPA filter system and feature the ability to filter particles as small as 1/10th the diameter of a human hair. These vacuums are regularly cleaned and maintained, and are worn on our backs to provide maximum access to those hard-to-reach areas.

Will you clean inside my oven?

We would be happy to clean inside your non-self cleaning oven. However, if you have a gas or self-cleaning oven, we are unable to use oven cleaner on the inside. In the case of gas ovens, this is due to risks associated with the pilot light. In the case of self-cleaning ovens, this is because oven cleaner ruins the enamel, causing damage to the self-cleaning function.

Can you pull out my appliances and clean behind them?

We would be happy to clean behind appliances that are already pulled out prior to our arrival. Unfortunately, we are unable to move your appliances due to the risk of damage to your flooring.

I have pets. Is that a problem?

We are a pet-friendly company. Many of our customers and staff have pets so we take care to accommodate your specific pet needs.


Operations

What are your daily hours of service?

Our service hours are Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm. We do not offer service on evenings or weekends.

How many people do you send to clean?

Generally, we send a team of 2 people and sometimes 3 people. For larger jobs, we have the flexibility to send the appropriate amount of staff with onsite supervision to accommodate special needs.

Do I have to be at home when you clean my house?

It is up to you. We are able to accommodate both customers who choose to remain at home, or customers who prefer to be away from home when we clean.

What if I can not be at home when you clean my house?

If you will not be home, we do require access arrangements to be made in advance. We offer a secure key service to our clients where keys are tagged and coded alphanumerically—ensuring your house key is not associated with your identity. Keys are kept in our locked and secured key system and can only be signed in and out by the operations manager on the day of your cleaning.


Liabilities

Are you bonded and insured?

Yes. We are fully bonded and insured and provide full Workers Compensation Board (WCB) coverage. All of our staff have undergone a criminal record check to ensure that your home is secure.

What happens if something is broken while you are cleaning my home?

We inform the client immediately of any breakages and we repair or replace the item promptly. Although breakages do happen, we take the utmost care to protect your breakables.

Do your maids and cleaners drive company cars or their own personal cars?

All of our vehicles are company owned. As a result, they are clean, well maintained and in excellent working condition to ensure reliability. The 20 vehicles in our fleet are painted and clearly identifiable with ProStar’s corporate logo.


Payment and Cancellation

How do you charge for your services?

We bill hourly based on the exact amount of time spent cleaning the home. As such, costs may differ from the original estimates.

What is your hourly rate?

Our hourly rate is $45 per hour per cleaner. This rate includes all equipment, cleaning products and supplies. Our team is uniformed, supervised and arrive in a marked company vehicle. Additionally, all staff are WCB-covered, bonded and insured.

How do you determine how much it will cost to clean my house?

We provide telephone or onsite estimates to our customers. Pricing is based on the size of the home, the type of cleaning we will be providing (i.e. move in / move out, post construction, regular service) and the condition of the home. Estimates are based on average home conditions. Because we bill hourly based on the exact amount of time spent cleaning your home, the cost of your cleaning may differ from your estimate.

What types of payment do you accept?

We accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Cash and Cheque. Please note that we require a credit card on file to book service.

When is payment due?

Payment is due immediately upon completion of the cleaning. If you pay by credit card, your payment will be processed on the following business day.

Do I have to sign a contract for regular service?

No. We pride ourselves in providing top quality work. We are confident that our customers will continue to use our service because they choose to, not because they have a signed contract.

What happens if I need to cancel service?

We require 48-hours notice of cancellation of service. If cancellations occur with less than 48 hours notice, a $50 cancellation fee is charged.


Carpet Cleaning / Steam Cleaning

What method do you use to clean?

We use powerful steam cleaning equipment, also known as hot water extraction, to get a truly deep clean. This is the method recommended by major carpet manufacturers as part of regular carpet maintenance.

What is a bonnet and a scrub?

A bonnet clean is excellent for heavily soiled carpets as it removes soil that sits at the top of the carpet fibres. Scrubbing the carpets works well on heavily soiled carpets by providing major agitation which aids in distributing pre-conditioning agents. Scrubbing also assists in removing soils.

What is pile lifting?

The pile lifter is used in high traffic areas as it assists in lifting crushed or matted carpet fibres. This process can also be used as an industrial pre-vacuum for carpets that are heavily soiled as it removes dry particulate matter.

How long is it until my carpets are dry?

On average, carpets take 6 to 8 hours to dry. This time can be shorter or longer depending on factors such as temperature, humidity and airflow.


Stain Removal

Are your cleaning products safe for children and pets?

Absolutely! However, if you have a specific health concern please speak to our customer service representative who would be happy to answer any specific questions you have, as well as provide you with Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) on our products.

Do I need to move my furniture?

Our technicians are happy to move small furniture such as chairs or coffee tables. We will put blocks under medium-sized items such as couches. We will shift semi-portable items (such as beds on casters) to accommodate cleaning behind them. However, we are unable to move items such as electronics, china cabinets and other large, heavy furniture.

Do you guarantee stain removal?

Unfortunately, we are unable to guarantee that stains will be removed.

Do you clean specialty fabrics such as silk, wool, Persian area rugs, etc.?

Absolutely! Our The Cleantrust-trained technicians have the skill and experience to handle specialty fabrics, including the most delicate and antique fabrics.

Can you clean my area rugs at my house?

In many situations we are able to accommodate in-home area rug cleaning. However, if you do not have the space to accommodate the cleaning requirements in your house, we are fully equipped to clean them at our facility.

How do you treat pet stains?

We are pet stain remediation specialists. We use state of the art techniques including the revolutionary “water claw” to remove pet stains right at the source. Additionally, we offer other odour remediation options. Please speak to our customer service representative for details.


General

Can I make evening and weekend appointments?

We provide carpet cleaning appointments from Monday through Saturday from 9 am to 7 pm. For commercial carpet cleaning, we work by appointment.

Is your company bonded and insured?

Yes. We are fully bonded and insured and provide full Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) coverage.

What kind of training do your technicians have?

Our technicians are certified by The Cleantrust (formerly IICRC). The Cleantrust provides in-depth training modules attended by our technicians. Some of the certifications we hold include Carpet Cleaning, Upholstery and Fabric Cleaning, Odour Control, Carpet Repair and Reinstallation, Water Damage Restoration and Applied Mold Remediation.

How many people do you send?

We send 1 carpet cleaning technician to your home or business.