Water Damage Restoration – A Brief Preview
Water Damage Restoration is the process of repairing a house or property to its pre-loss condition. Damage to the property could be because of an overflow, flood or any other water damage event. The water damage restoration process involves several key procedures like loss assessment, categorization based on the water contamination levels, decontaminating and drying the structure, monitoring of the process and completion of the process. There are two large certifying bodies, namely the IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification) and the RIA (Restoration Industry Association) that recommends standards for water damage restoration. The S500 damage due to water guide is the benchmark tool that is used by companies that specialize in restoration of water damage.
Loss Assessment and Categorization
Loss evaluation is the first and the most important step in water damage restoration. The assessment has to be correct so that an appropriate response can be taken. In restorating the damage caused by water, technicians and the insurance companies must work together and understand what is damaged and how to go about restoring the damage. Identifying the source of the damage, documentation of damage, and accurate estimates are mandatory for a proper water damage restoration. Categorization is based on the contamination levels of the water source. The categories are listed below
Category 1 – This is water from clean sources like pipes, sinks and toilets without faeces or urine.
Category 2 – This is water that has some contaminants like water from a dishwasher, washing machine or toilet with urine.
Category 3 – This is water that is highly unsanitary and is capable of causing illness or death if ingested. Sewage water, water from toilet with faeces, standing water with microbial growth and floodwater are some examples.
Decontamination and Drying
After the evaluation is complete, the process of drying and decontaminating begins at the site. Based on the extent of damage, damage caused due to water can be classified into 4 types. Class 1 Damage- When loss is restricted to a small area and less water has been absorbed by materials. This results in slow evaporation rate. Class 2 Damage – When the damage is to the entire room and carpet area. Class 3 Damage – When the entire area is saturated with water and Class 4 Damage – when there are many deep saturation pockets. Decontamination and drying is a key stage in Water damage restoration and equipments like blowers, dehumidifiers, scrubbers and subfloor drying equipments have to be used. Decontamination has to be done if contamination has been detected in the area. Decontamination may be done for the entire area or in specific pockets where contamination has been detected.
Monitoring and Completion
Monitoring the restoration process of damage caused due to damage is critical to achieve the desired results. One has to be proactive during the monitoring process. Checking if the drying equipment is setup properly, assessing if the personnel involved are qualified for the job and checking if the equipments are in working order are all part of the monitoring process. Necessary steps are to be taken if anything wrong is spotted during the monitoring process. The entire process of water damage restoration would be classified as complete only once the humidity, temperature and the moisture content is as per industry standards. Upon completion of the water damage restoration process, the drying equipment can be removed.
Water Damage Restoration Contractors
Typically, there are more than 70 water damage incidents monthly in a population of 100,000 people. That means that there are over 1,400 water damage incidents per month in a metro area the size of Houston. Even though there is a minimal chance that you may experience a water damage incidence in the next five years, there there is a very good chance that you won't be ready for it. The water damage may be very devastating, especially if you do not know what to do in this situation.
First, remain calm. Be sure to turn off the breaker to the wet areas of the building before entering hose areas, or unplugging and moving anything electrical. Only then should you move any items on the floor to dry areas. If the source of the water is a broken or leaking pipe, turn off the water to building, or to that area.
Second, call a professional who has the experience to know how to handle these situations. Then the professional will know how to take care of your problem. They can immediately being the drying process, and most importantly, take control of the situation and put your mind at ease. They will monitor the drying process daily, and keep your insurance company informed.
Third, don't wait. Most insurance policies require the insured to take actions to mitigate further damage. Experts agree that the first 48 hours are critical in preventing the growth of mold and other microbes that can lean to can unhealthy environment and the need for more extensive structural repairs. That's why it is important to have professionals on site as soon as possible to remove all excess water and set up the property equipment to produce large amounts of dry air and begin the drying process immediately.