Clean Up Terms

The following are definitions of some of the terms that are used in your Standard Flood Insurance Policy and in the claims process.  If there is a term that is not listed, please email me and I will add it to the list.

Air Mover (Turbo Air Mover, Fans, Dryers)

A specialized type of fan that promotes evaporation of moisture by design. Air movers incorporate an electric motor, fan and specially designed shape and housing to promote rapid drying of carpets, pad, sub flooring, walls and framing members. They are also used for drying under cabinets and other hard to reach areas.


Anti-fungal and anti-microbial, refers to the prevention of the growth and spreading of fungi (mold) and its spores. This often involves the use of solvents or chemicals applied to building materials for the prevention of such growth.

Base Flood Elevation (BFE)

The computed elevation to which floodwater is anticipated to rise during the base flood. Base flood elevations are shown on Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and on the flood profiles. The BFE is the regulatory requirement for the elevation or flood proofing of structures. The relationship between the BFE and a structure’s elevation determines the flood insurance premium.


A mechanical device that promotes the reduction of moisture in the air. These devices when used properly with air movers, greatly reduce the amount of time taken to dry structural building materials, thereby greatly reducing the risk of unwanted microbial growth.

Drying Log

A drying log is used and kept by the water mitigation company to show how much moisture is being removed from your house. After the mitigation company sets up their drying equipment, they should return on a daily basis to take moisture readings. They enter this information into the drying log to show the progress of the drying process. The drying log is needed in order to maximize the coverage in your flood policy. Click here to see an example of a drying log.

Elevated Building

A building that has no basement and that has its lowest elevated floor raised above ground level by foundation walls, shear walls, posts, piers, pilings, or columns.


Flood, as used in this flood insurance policy, means:

1. A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area or of two or more properties (at least one of which is your property) from:

  • Overflow of inland or tidal waters;
  • Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source;
  • Mudflow

2. Collapse or subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or similar body of water as a result of erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels that result in a flood as defined above.

Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC)

The IICRC is a non-profit organization devoted to the certification and standard setting for the flooring inspection, floor covering, specialized cleaning and disaster restoration industry. It aims to set the standards within these industries and promote ethics, effective communication and technical proficiency. Aside from its role as a governing body, the IICRC also provides and disseminates information to maintain productive and fair recommendations throughout the industry. This is done to provide protection for the consumers, workers in the industry, and the environment.


A coating or discoloration on moist surfaces due to molds or fungi is called mildew.


Mitigate means to lessen or compensate for a previous event that had significant impact on a structure or area.


Molds are a form of fungi, which are naturally occurring in nature. These microorganisms produce enzymes that digest dead organic matter and help in the natural process of decomposition. However, mold infestations that occur within the home and other establishments can cause serious health risks to its human inhabitants. Molds are attracted to moisture, particularly on damp areas or surfaces, which have exposure to water damage. Molds propagate through spores released through the air and then land on moisture-rich surfaces.


A river of liquid and flowing mud on the surfaces of normally dry land areas, as when earth is carried by a current of water. Other earth movements, such as landslide, slope failure, or a saturated soil mass moving by liquidity down a slope, are not mudflows.


A specific risk or cause of loss covered by an insurance policy, such as a fire, windstorm, flood, or theft. A named-peril policy covers the policyholder only for the risks named in the policy in contrast to an all-risk policy, which covers all causes of loss except those specifically excluded.

Personal property (Contents)

Property owned or used by an insured.

Post-FIRM Elevated Building

An elevated building for which construction or substantial improvement occurred after December 31, 1974, or on or after the effective date of an initial Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), whichever is later. There are only 17 items covered if your home is a Post-FIRM Elevated building. See the list here.


In restoration work, remediation refers to the clean-up action used to reduce, isolate or remove contamination from a home or a business establishment, thus preventing exposure of people and animals to these contaminants. Examples are flood removal from basements or kitchens or mold remediation from drywalls.


The process of rebuilding or reconstructing a portion of a property to its original look and structural state prior to a destructive incident such as mold growth, water damage, flooding or fire damage.


Damaged property an insurer takes over to reduce its loss after paying a claim. Insurers receive salvage rights over property on which they have paid claims, If the insurance company pays to replace your damaged sofa, they have the right to take possession of the sofa.

Special Flood Hazard Area

An area having special flood, or mudflow, and/or flood-related erosion hazards, and shown on a Flood Hazard Boundary Map or Flood Insurance Rate Map as Zone A, AO, A1-A30, AE, A99, AH, AR, AR/A, AR/AE, AR/AH, AR/AO, AR/A1-A30, V1-V30, VE, or V.


Commonly referred to as “black mold” (see Toxic Mold), this type of toxigenic mold is known to produce the harmful metabolite known as mycotoxins, which can cause adverse health effects for humans and animals, when exposed. Towards the beginning stages of growth, this mold appears white in color, but soon becomes black.

Toxic Mold

Also known as “black mold” or “toxic black mold”, are popular terms used to describe dark or black colored mold that may or may not produce toxic byproducts. These terms became highly publicized in the late 1990s and early 2000s when the potentially toxic and black colored species of mold called Stachybotrys was found at a number of properties with the occupants experiencing associated health problems. In actuality, there are only a few species of mold that are potentially harmful in the toxic sense. It’s important to note that while any mold is potentially harmful to those with allergies or who have weakened immune systems, not all mold is toxic and not all toxic mold is black. Stachybotrys is a type of mold that is considered toxic. There are also other types of molds that secrete mycotoxins that do not have a dark or “black” appearance.

Water Damage Restoration

The process of returning a property to its condition prior to when water damage occurred through the extraction and drying of any remaining water, dehumidifying inside air, cleaning and preserving any household items, applying deodorizing detergents and solvents and/or rebuilding any irreparable sections of the property.


Is the process of making an area of a property, such as the roof, windows or basement water-resistant or protected from water or moisture intrusion from rain, flooding, or other environmental means by applying certain construction techniques, building materials and/or chemical treatments.