04 Nov Flood Damage Restoration
When your home or business is severely damaged by flood waters, getting back to normal life is the priority number 1. Where do you start if you home or business is damaged by flooding? The first step is to get an experienced and trained remediation company involved. The first thing to know as a homeowner is that there are three categories of water. Each requires a different level of response:
- Category 1 Water- Water originating from a source that does not pose substantial harm to humans. This is also referred to as “clean water.” It is important to act quickly because as time elapses, the cleanliness deteriorates as it dissolves or mixes with soils and other contaminants.Examples of clean water are:
- Broken domestic water supply lines
- Tub or sink overflows with no contaminants
- Appliance malfunctions involving domestic water supply lines
- Broken toilet tanks and bowls that do not contain contaminants or additives
- Category 2 Water- Water containing a significant degree of chemical, biological, and/or physical contamination and having the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if consumed by or exposed to humans. This is also referred to as “gray water.” Gray water carries microorganisms and nutrients for microorganisms. Time and temperature aggravate category 2 water contamination levels significantly. Gray water that remains untreated for longer than 48 hours may change to category 3 or “black water.” Examples of gray water are:
- Discharge from dishwashers or washing machines.
- Overflows from toilet bowls with some urine (no feces)
- Sump pump failures
- Seepage due to hydrostatic pressure
- Chilled and condensed water
- Fire protection sprinkler water
- Category 3 Water- Grossly unsanitary water containing pathogenic agents, arising from sewage or other contaminated water sources and having the likelihood of causing discomfort or sickness if consumed or exposed to humans. Examples of black water are:
- Toilet back flows that originated beyond the toilet trap, regardless of visible content or color
- Ground surface water
- Rising water from rivers or streams. Such water sources carry silt and organic matter into structures and create black water conditions.
Now that you know the water categories, what is required for proper clean up? The process starts with:
- Excess Water Removal- This is essential as the beginning point of restoration procedures. It is key to use the proper equipment such as pumps, extractors, or specially designed commercial wet vacuuming equipment to expedite the process.
- Evaporation- Once excess water is removed, remaining water must be changed from a liquid to a vapor by promoting evaporation. Normally, this is accomplished efficiently with specialized air-moving equipment.
- Dehumidification- Once moisture is evaporated from structural materials and contents into the air, the moisture must be removed from the air through dehumidification, or it must be externally exhausted. Failure to dehumidify may result in substantial secondary damage and present a significant health hazard.
- Temperature Control- Both evaporation and dehumdification are greatly enhanced by controlling the temperature in a confined environment. Additionally, microorganisms’ growth is temperature related.
- Monitoring- The damaged structure must be monitored starting with the initial assessment and evaluation, and continuing throughout the restoration process. Monitoring may include, but are not limited to the following:
- Temperature and humidity readings
- Updating drying progress status
- Checking the moisture content of structural wood and other materials with a moisture meter
- Inspection- Following the removal of excess water, a detailed inspection must be conducted that considers the extent of water migration, the types and quantities of affected materials and the degree of apparent damage. The information obtained may be used to analyze the extent of damage and to determine the job scope. A comprehensive inspection may include, but is not necessarily limited to, the following:
- Identifying and evaluating health and safety hazards
- Determining the source of water
- Determining the need to protect floor covering materials and contents
- Determining the extent of moisture intrusion
- Determining the job scope
- Assess other structural materials (walls, ceiling, etc.)
- Establishing drying goals
Orange Blossom Construction is experienced and qualified to help you through this process and also work with your insurance company to make sure your claim is paid correctly. We will get your home or business back to normal quickly and with the highest quality of work.
Information in this article was obtained from IUB Water Damage Restoration Guideline