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 Emergency Tips and Information
Water damage is one of the most serious things which can happen to your home. To ensure that you will act in the fastest way possible, you need to have a clear idea of what has to be done exactly for your house to be restored. Here is a brief guide to the different types of water damage and the methods for remediating them. Make full use of it to protect your home.
Types of Damage Based on Category
Clean water damage occurs when the water is clear and does not contain contaminants. In this case, the water usually comes from a burst pipe. Even though the health hazard for people is practically non-existent, you must act immediately to dry the flooded area or mold can grow quickly.
Grey water is an indicator of slight contamination with microbes. It may come from the washing machine or from the toilet bowl. Cleaning should begin immediately provided that cleaners wear protective gloves, masks and goggles.
Class 4 destruction is when the water has saturated even non-porous materials such as stone. The most serious type of water damage typically occurs when the house has not been dried quickly. It is worth noting that sometimes the delay is due to technical reasons such as uncertainty whether the structure is safe enough for the restoration crew to get in. Again, expert inspection is required for determining if and how the house can be saved. If the foundation is mostly still intact, for example, repair may be an effective solution.
Is there a way to prevent water damage? Proper house maintenance is essential. While an insurance cover for flood may not be a prevention method, it will help you deal with the consequences of the disaster.