Mold and Water Damage Glossary
Category 1 Water
Refers to a source of water that does not pose substantial threat to humans and classified as "Clean Water". Examples are broken water supply lines, tub or sink overflows or appliance malfunctions that involves water supply lines.
Category 2 Water
Refers to a source of water that contains a significant degree of chemical, biological or physical contaminants and causes discomfort or sickness when exposed or even consumed. Known as "Grey Water". This type carries micro organisms and nutrients of micro organisms. Examples are toilet bowls with urine (no feces), sump pump failures, seepage due to hydrostatic failure and water discharge from dishwashers or washing machines.
Category 3 Water
Known as "Black Water" and are grossly unsanitary. This water contains unsanitary agents, harmful bacteria and fungi, causing severe discomfort or sickness. Type 3 category are contaminated water sources that affects the indoor environment. This category includes water sources from sewage, seawater, rising water from rivers or streams, ground surface water or standing water. Category 2 Water or Grey Water that is not promptly removed from the structure and or have remained stagnant for 48-72 hours may be re classified as Category 3 Water. Toilet back flows that originates from beyond the toilet trap is considered black water contamination regardless of visible content or color.
Final Inspection and Completion
Once the temperature, humidity, and moisture content is deemed acceptable and safe according to industry standards, the water damage restoration equipment would be removed and the water damage restoration process would be complete.
Some homeowners, property managers, building maintenance operators use their own personnel to perform water damage restoration to save on the growing costs, it is prescribed to hire a professional water damage restoration company to perform these services since there are defining criteria's and methods to be used for assessing water damage and establishing restoration procedures. Because of the unique circumstances of every water damage restoration project, it is impractical to issue blanket rules intended to a situation. In extenuating circumstance, deviation from portions of the S500 may be appropriate. In performing a job, carelessness is never acceptable and common sense should always prevail.
Loss Assessment and Evaluation
A professional water damage restoration service will document the materials which were affected by the water damage and refer to industry standard pricing guides such as The Blue Book in order to determine the proper value of the residence's materials lost and their service.
Water damage services include the inspection of the affected area(s) with water sensing equipment such as probes and other infrared tools in order to determine the source of the damage, and possible extent of area affected. Restoration services would then be rendered to the residence in order to dry the structure, sanitize any affected or cross contaminated areas, and deodorize all affected areas and materials. After the labor is completed, water damage equipment including, but not limited to, air movers, air scrubbers, dehumidifiers, wood floor drying systems, and sub floor drying equipment is left in the residence. After a period of two to three days are the labor is completed, a reevaluation of the residence is taken to monitor the drying process, and any equipment not further needed is removed as to keep the charges under control.
It is important to be proactive in the monitoring process. Many questions have to be asked and answered: Is the drying equipment set up properly? Is the personnel qualified to relocated equipment and conduct new techniques? Are the machines in good working order and are they maintained properly? In a water damage program OnSide Restoration of Vancouver Canada, in a water loss situation, actually added humidity to the wet areas, broadcast wet/moist to unaffected areas that were otherwise dry and installed machines to perform no beneficial purpose what so ever causing additional costs to the Insurer and additional time lost in restoring the structure to a pre-loss condition let alone exposing the occupant to unknown contaminates. Check the work of "professionals" it is important and dont assume their interests are yours.
After professional water damage equipment is left for two to three days after the labor was completed, firms will return to the residence to monitor the temperature, humidity, and moisture content of the affected walls, contents, or other affected materials. Should one area be dry and another affected area still wet, the firm will relocate or remove equipment as they see fit.
Structural and Contents Consideration
When working within a residence, it is often the case that those whom are performing the water damage restoration must work with and around the contents of the home. This includes, but is not limited to, furniture, electronics, books, and any other materials that may have been affected by the water damage. The moving around of the said contents is often referred to "contents manipulation." Water damage restoration firms often bill contents manipulation on a per hour basis.
Contents may also require treatment due to the affects of water damage. This may include, but is not limited to, sanitization, deodorization, drying, and storing of said contents. Other contents may simply be unsalvageable or the cost of having it salvaged would exceed its current value. In these cases, the contents would be discarded.
Water damage describes a large number of possible losses caused by water intruding where it will enable attack of a material or system by destructive processes such as rotting of wood, growth, rusting of steel, de-laminating of materials such as plywood , and many, many others.
The damage may be imperceptibly slow and minor such as water spots that could eventually mar a surface, or it may be instantaneous and catastrophic such as flooding. However fast it occurs, water damage is a very major contributor to loss of property.
Water Damage Restoration
Water damage restoration is the process of restoring a property back to pre-loss condition after sustaining any level of water damage. While there are currently no government regulations in the United States dictating procedures, two large certifying bodies, the IICRC and the RIA, do recommend standards of care. Most companies use the IICRC procedural standard, which is the S500. It is based on reliable restoration principles, research and practical experience with extensive consultation and information gathered from numerous sources. These include but are not limited to, the scientific community, the international, national and regional trade associations serving the disaster restoration industry, chemical formulators and equipment manufacturers, cleaning and restoration schools, restoration service companies, the insurance industry, allied trades persons and others with specialized experience. The S500 water damage guide is subject to further revision as developments occur in technology, testing and processing procedures.
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