Cleaning Tips – How to Repair Water Damage and Handle Water Emergencies

As a homeowner, you should always be concerned about how to clean up water damage, even if it has not yet happened to you. In truth, this is every homeowner’s worst nightmare scenario, and it makes no difference whether the damage is caused by a faucet that was not turned off, a burst pipe, a bad rainstorm, or a flash flood. The fact is that water can cause massive amounts of damage in a very short time, and you should know what to do if you should ever have to go through a cleanup.

It is quite evident that the first thing you need to do is to find the source of the water and begin from there. If your bathtub or toilet overflowed, or if rain got into your basement or crawlspaces, that is very easy to see. On the other hand, if water is seeping through cracks in the ceiling, or if it is staining your walls, it may be very difficult to get to the source.

If you have a leaky roof, then you need to fix your roof immediately so that you can stop any further damage. If you have a leaky pipe or a burst pipe, you need to shut off your water supply until you find the damaged pipe.

Before getting started on your cleanup, you need to determine just how badly things are damaged in your home. You may have a limited amount of damage to your drywall, floors, ceilings, and so on, or you might even have damage to the home’s structural integrity, including the foundation. It depends on how long you have had the leak, and on how long the water has had to cause damage to your home.

This article will proceed on the assumption that you have the time and equipment to handle the cleanup on your own, so the very first thing that you need to do is to get fresh air moving through the area that is water damaged. You need to open your windows, your doors, turn on your fans, bring in box fans, etc. What you are trying to accomplish is to completely dry out the area, and this will help to reduce bad smells later on.

The next thing you are going to need is a dehumidifier, and you need to get it going as quickly as you can. The dehumidifier will take that moisture out of the air, which will really help in your water damage cleanup and perhaps even ameliorate the effects of the water damage.

When you have plenty of air going and the dehumidifiers running, you need to pick up books, magazines, photographs, cardboard, and any other paper products. You need to throw them away if they are not valuable and if they are heavily damaged.

You should be able to make copies of most of your paperwork, but then make sure you throw the damaged paper away. If you have valuables that have been damaged considerably, put them in a frost-free freezer, and find a water damage restoration professional as quickly as possible to see whether they can be restored and saved.

The next step in the process would be to get hold of a wet and dry vacuum and clean up all the water that you can. You will find that the vacuum will be especially helpful with carpeting, upholstered furniture, wooden and tiled floors. You have to continue using the vacuum until you have cleaned up the bulk of the water and to prevent any further water damage to your home.

You need to be especially careful with wooden surfaces that were water damaged, so get the fans and dehumidifiers going around your wooden surfaces as quickly as possible so they can dry out. While you have the machinery going, you may want to try using fresh, clean water and mild detergent to clean treated wood. However, you should know that if the wood was not effectively treated, you will end up with permanent damage unless you work very quickly and effectively.

You can also clean other surfaces with mild detergent and fresh, clean water, and you may even want to scrub them with a small brush if needed. You may want to repeat the process if there are areas that were badly water damaged or if they were greatly affected by your water emergency.

Drywall and ceiling damage will probably occur as a result of your water emergency, so you are going to have to carefully inspect your walls and ceilings to try to spot the damage. In general, drywalls and ceilings can probably be dried out as long as they have not swelled or buckled and the seams are still intact. Swelling, buckling and seam separation are signs of greater damage, and that means that you will have to replace the entire damaged area. Even if you manage to dry things out thoroughly, you will probably have to prime and paint the places that water affected the most.

You need to continue ventilating and dehumidifying, and this may take some time until everything is completely dried out. If you want to avoid giving mold and mildew a chance to get a foothold in your home, make sure everything is completely dry.

In the end, you have to consider the time that it is going to take for you to go through the entire water damage cleanup process, as well as the cost of buying or renting the necessary machinery. You will also have to decide what needs to be thrown out, and what needs to be saved, and you may end up throwing things out that could have been saved, and that will add to your cost.

When you have taken all of these things into consideration, it may be more cost effective for you to call the professionals at Orange Restoration to handle the water damage cleanup. It may just be that will end up saving money by calling the best water damage restoration professionals in the San Diego area.

Water Damaged Indoor Environments

It seems as though, as with the subject of mold, that water damages have become controversial and complicated. Maybe one person heard this and another that; this company is saying do this, while another says do that; or some people feel they’ve gotten sick during a water damage, while others don’t. Either way, most people have either experienced a water damage or known someone who has, but few understand its affects on the Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) and their health. I hope that this page might help you understand a little more about the indoor environment of a water damage.

Wikipedia Encyclopedia defines water damage as, “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 can be caused by a number of sources, such as leaking plumbing, sewage back-ups, vandalism, hail damage, clogged guttering, natural disasters, hydrostatic pressure, leaking or congested crawl spaces and attics, and many others. Whatever the cause, prompt, thorough attention should be given to the situation in order to protect everyone’s health, the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), and the building components from compromising degradation. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) in its Standard & Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration (hereafter referred to as the S500), states several times how “it is important to begin mitigation procedures as soon as safely possible following the initial loss, as the quality of the water is likely to deteriorate over time.As the quality of water deteriorates, the greater damage to the structure and contents, along with increased environmental hazards, are likely to develop.”

The IICRC S500 goes on to say, “If increased water activity and/or ERH (Equilibrium Relative Humidity) (from high relative humidity, leaks or floods) is allowed to exist for more than 24 hours, the high moisture condition changes the normal stable ecology of either a part of the indoor environment (a micro-environment such as carpet or wallboard) or of the entire building.”

So, “What are some of the changes taking place in a water damaged environment?”

1. chemical and microbiological off-gasing
2. mold and bacteria amplification
3. in some cases, virus transmission
4. parasitic infestations
5. and much more

“Where do these things come from?” Indoor and outdoor environments naturally harbor, in varying degrees, microscopic life forms, termed “microbes”. Microbes is a term used in short for microorganisms. Microbes are tiny, one-celled organisms, bacteria, fungi (such as mold), and viruses. Being found in all living things, they are ubiquitous, that is to say they are existing or being able to be found anywhere, especially at the same time. When exposed to excessive moisture for a prolonged period of time microbes will begin to flourish into a population, or ecology, that is not natural and may cause harm.

The off-gasing that takes place comes from the microbes, cleaning agents and the building components, such as pesticides and other biocides used on water damages, plastic, paints, synthetic fibers, and many more. This off-gasing and chemical distribution has been contributed to a number of health effects in sensitized people. Some examples of these health effects include, but are not necessarily limited to migraine headaches, excessive fatigue, neuro-cognitive symptoms (“brain fog” or memory loss), muscle pain (fibromyalgia), joint paint (rheumatoid arthritis), burning, tingling or numbness in peripheral nerves (parasthesias), and even gastrointestinal symptoms.

Because of the seriousness associated with health effects and water damage, the IICRC felt it necessary to categorize water damages based on the cleanliness of the water, to help remediators, restorers, home owners, and all other materially interested parties make decisions on what action would be appropriate to first provide for the health and safety of everyone involved, and, secondly, how to restore the home to its pre-loss condition. The three categories of a water damage are:

1. Category 1, refers to “water originating from a source that does not pose substantial harm to humans. Also referred to as ‘clean water’.”;
2. Category 2, refers to “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. Also referred to as ‘gray water’.”; and,
3. Category 3, refers to “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 by or exposed to humans. This category includes all forms of seawater, ground surface water and rising water from rivers or streams. Also referred to as ‘black water’.”

I had someone ask me once, “I had a water damage company come to my home and tell me that I had a Category 3 water damage. Does that mean they found hidden mold?” Remember that the Category of water is referring to the cleanliness of the water not the presence or absence of mold. The S500 states that when “suspect or visible mold growth is present” whomever is inspecting the home to determine the scope of work, or protocol, should refer to the IICRC S520, Standard & Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation. This is termed a “Specialty Situation” rather than a Category.

“Well, then how do I know what the Category of water is, and whether or not I really need to get all of this demolition and reconstruction done that my contractor is telling me I need?” An inspection, testing and consultation from a Council-certified Indoor Environmental Consultant (CIEC) can provide you some laboratory work and description of the conditions in your home or office. SOLUTIONS Indoor Environmental Consulting can perform tests such as the PCR – Environmental EPA Relative Moldiness Index (ERMI), as well as Endotoxin testing, sewage contamination in buildings testing, and microbial Volatile Organic Compound (mVOC) screening, along with thermography and moisture content measurements of building materials (such as drywall, plaster, wood, etc.), and psychrometric measurements (such as temperature, relative and specific humidities, dew point, and thirst) all to help diagnose the condition of your water damaged environment and provide you with a recommendation of care, or protocol.

The good news is that you can do things to help avoid water damage in your home or office with routine maintenance. Here area few suggestions:

1. Routinely check and secure water supply lines, such as those under sinks, around toilets, tubs and showers, the dishwasher, washing machine, water heater, and refrigerator.
2. Make sure to test your sump pump before the start of each wet season to make sure that it is functioning properly.
3. Battery-operated back-up sump pumps and/or a generator can also be used to protect against power failure or failure of the primary pump.
4. Check your water heater for signs of rust or moisture.
5. Have your HVAC system serviced by a qualified contractor, making sure they include in their inspection and cleaning the condensation pan drain line (keep it free of obstruction).
6. Make sure that your Heating, Ventilation, and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) system’s filter stays clean and use a filter with a MERV 6 rating or greater. This helps to cut down on the particulates flowing through your HVAC system; thereby reducing the likelihood that this system will be a source of poor indoor air quality.
7. Consider installing a water alarm. These systems can be set up as individual appliance systems or whole house systems. Some systems can be set up to sound an alarm when moisture is sensed, others can shut off the water to the building when leak is detected.

But if you have the unfortunate experience of having a water damage in your home or office, make sure to process the damage quickly and completely. Water damaged environments can be impacted by mold and other microbes (like bacteria), in some cases, as quickly as 24 – 72 hours. That doesn’t necessarily mean you will see mold growth that soon, but the IAQ could be compromised by mold or bacterial activity, so can the cleanliness of the water.

The S500 says of Category 1 and 2 water damages that “water contact with structural surfaces and content materials may deteriorate in cleanliness as it dissolves or mixes with soils and other contaminants, and as time elapses.”

“How do you find a qualified Water-damage Restoration Technician (WRT)?” I am familiar with two organizations that can help you find WRT as they certify them. The first is the Restoration Industry Association (RIA). You can search by certificant or member on their website. The second is the Institution of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC). They list firms that are certified through their training and certification programs. You will also find references to other professionals that they certify such as fire restoration technicians and carpet cleaners.

There are times and places where you may find yourself in a position where there isn’t a WRT available to help you remedy, or re-mediate, the water damage problem in your home or office. SOLUTIONS Indoor Environmental Consulting offers moisture mapping, monitoring, and project management services to help those in need of a WRT on remediation/restoration projects. We do not re-mediate or restore the building, but we can work with your contractor on-site and manage the remediation/restoration process with you. If you feel like there is no one close enough to your area to manage the re-mediators on your water damage contact us and we’ll be happy to assist you.

The founder of SOLUTIONS Indoor Environmental Consulting, Jason Yost, has been in the cleaning, restoration, remediation, and indoor air quality industries for over sixteen years, doing everything from carpet cleaning, installation and repairs; water and fire damage inspection, consultation, and restoration; microbial inspection, consultation, and remediation; crime scene remediation and restoration; as well as been an educator to private and public groups through various business network groups, classrooms, seminars, and news programs.

Jason currently holds four of the most prestigious board-awards in the industry, awarded by the American Indoor Air Quality Council:

Council-certified Indoor Environmental Consultant

Council-certified Indoor Environmentalist

Council-certified Microbial Remediation Supervisor

Council-certified Microbial Re-mediator

Additionally, Jason holds a certification as a Water-damage Restoration Technician from the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC).

Water Damage Repairs: Securing Your Home From Impending and Immediate Risks

Water damage repairs are necessary to ensure that the structure of the house is safeguarded and protected from deterioration. As we all know, Water damage is a big concern for many homeowners. It is a form of loss that results from the intrusion of water across specific areas or an entire level of the property. The damage can be minor and progressive and it could also be catastrophic with instant results. The damage is a big contributor to the loss of property value. Flooding, rainfall and stagnant water can result to a number of risks like the weakening of the soil foundation, damage to home interiors, electrical devices, rotting and others. Any homeowner should aim to minimize the risks and prevent future damage. This is critical to keep the home safe and maintain its market value.

Risks levels caused by water damage

Water damage repairs can address a number of risks. There are several kinds of damage caused by water. The first level is due to clear water. It could be broken pipes or water spots. The second level is caused by gray water that could be filled with contaminants. It could be sewage water, or failure of water dependent devices to discharge the water out. Lastly, there is damage caused by black water that could be caused by catastrophic events and could be difficult to fix.

Is it safe to go DIY?

When considering water damage repairs, there are some conditions that can be addressed simply by DIY methods. If the damage has not seeped through various systems across the home and can be mitigated by simple repairs, then it might be relevant to do it yourself. However, most water damage shows symptoms when the condition it is already widespread. Plywood and other wooden structures that have been moistened by leaking pipes, ice dams or broken roofs can lead to build up of mold and mildew, causing illness. Such problems can lead to multiple structural and health concerns. Therefore, fast and immediate action is necessary for any homeowner.

Getting a restoration contractor

A restoration service is most beneficial for homes with massive and instantaneous damage like plumbing issues, sewage problems, flooding, hurricane damage and other events that could last more than 24 hours. These particular damages can make the home uninhabitable. It could also lead to health risks due to the growth of microorganisms. Such damages need to be addressed by experts since it is not just on the surface where the problem can settle. The foundation of the house can experience damage as well. Hence, for most damage cause by water, it would be best to have the help of an expert in dealing with them.

Water-related damage has always been a big concern for many homeowners and to address both mild and severe issues, getting the help from restoration services can be critical to:

– find out the extent of the risk using state of the art equipment
– make the room/home habitable again
– protect your family from microorganisms that are present in stagnant, dirty water
– safeguard the goods such as furniture or electronics from risks
– Keep interiors and exteriors in top shape after the damage.

Damages incurred from water can be devastating. It is important to do something about it fast and effectively. With minor or large scale damage, it would be best to get advice from expert doing water damage repairs to ensure a home that is dry and safe from future risks that could happen. Investing on quality restoration service is then necessary for any homeowner as it will make sure that their homes are secure at all times.

Copyright 2011 water-damage-guide.com, all rights reserved.

Negotiation Win-Win

Finding the win-win deal

Freight negotiations don’t need to be like poker games, where only one side can win the pot.

Negotiation is something logistics professionals will be called upon to conduct many times throughout their careers. It comes with the territory. Successful negotiation is essential in business – especially when the economy is struggling. Everyone strives for the best value and the lowest costs when obtaining the best service possible.

Unfortunately, however, when it comes to freight negotiations, many companies specialize in the “win-lose” approach – a positional or distributive negotiation whereby one party’s gain is another party’s loss.

In win-lose bargaining, both parties are in direct competition and there can be only one winner.

Understandably, many people look at win-lose as a kind of game. Indeed, it can be compared to poker in that it is adversarial in nature, with both side trying to win the pot through keen observance of an opponent’s weaknesses, and a strategic use of bargaining chips. The big difference, of course, is that win-lose negotiations are not a game. And the stakes are very real.

Poker players like to play their cards “close to the vest,” careful not to share information or reveal too much to their opponent. The same is true in win-lose negotiations, where there is minimal disclosures to the other party. Furthermore, buyers avoid giving any clues (or “tells”) that would reveal their true position. In fact, good negotiators are known for their poker faces. They ‘hold’ and ‘raise’ as necessary with pressure tactics and they pressure their opponents through delays, walkouts, and threats.

How effective is this approach to negotiations? Not very. In fact, it is often counterproductive and does not have any long-term sustainability.

Even when you win in this confrontational style of business, you still lose because the relationship with your counterpart is irreparably damaged. If you win enough your opponent will eventually stop playing the game. No one likes to lose, and they certainly don’t appreciate being bullied. As the relationship deteriorates, the winner can expect the tables to turn when their opponent gets even by providing substandard service at lower cost in an effort to recoup losses.

In win-lose negotiations, logistic professionals are taking a short-term view, potentially locking their companies into a narrow range of positive outcomes. Win-lose does not serve the long-term interests of the winner, even in if short-term objectives are achieved.

“Win-win” negotiations, on the other hand, involve integrative bargaining or interest-based bargaining, where the parties collaborate to find a mutually beneficial solution.

In the win-win approach to freight negotiations, both the shipper and carrier are engaged in finding the best solutions to move freight economically. It yields a freight agreement that each party is willing to fulfill.

Successful logistics buyers looking to achieve best outcomes use win-win techniques where both parties in the negotiation walk away with the sense they have accomplished their objectives. Relationships are developed that have a foundation of trust because they are mutually beneficial. At the heart of the negotiation is true cooperative problem solving, cost cutting, customer service, and mutual profit.

This kind of collaborative takes additional work on the part of the logistics buyer.

1. Preparation

This is the most important element in achieving an agreement… and it starts long before you sit down at the table. It involves a lot of data gathering.

First, understand the shipment. What is the size? The weight? The average cube per shipment? What kind of commodity is it? Is it dangerous? Does it have special requirements? Will it need temperature controls? Additional security? Dunnage?

Next, you have to know your customer’s requirements. How much will be shipped? How often? What are the delivery locations? What about the dock-side requirements? Unloading equipment at consignee? Dock? Tailgate? Pallet? Hand bomb?

Now, what kind of equipment will be required? Dry van? Reefer? Heated service? Flat bed? Tridem? Tandem?

And finally, what is the service cycle time? What is the best mode of transportation?

Proper preparation will help you understand the implicit costs. Use benchmarking, historical data, industry associations, and the Internet to map out what you need. Based on this information, the shipper can set flexible objectives. They’ll consider what would be the ideal situation, the very best that can be achieved. They’ll also get a sense of the biggest challenges they’ll face.

Preparation also involves finding the right transportation suppliers to negotiate with. Research and qualify the carriers that can provide the services you required. Find out as much about the companies as you can, the lanes they service, their service objectives, their response to damages, their reputation in the market place, the corporate culture they have fostered… anything that will help with the discussion.

2. Exchanging Information

At preliminary meetings with potential partners, a frank and open discussion is the best way to meet objectives. Shipment data is shared and service requirements are discussed. Where the sides differ, their expertise will be needed to improve the cost and service.

3. Making a Deal

When you’re close to an agreement, have the carrier provide the full cost and service proposal electronically in advance of the meeting. This allows you to prepare for the meeting. Analyze the quote against current shipping data to understand the value proposition. The meeting agenda should consist of a discussion to understand services, rates, fuel surcharges and ancillary charges, and process improvements.

There is no room now for misconceptions. Don’t be afraid to ask the carrier representative how rates can be lowered. Talk about what needs to be done. Never assume the amount quoted is the final price. Most carriers’ rates have some “wiggle” room.

The steps you take to improve the transportation deal are important blocks to building a solid relationship. Some concessions may have to be provided, to get lower costs, but it is worth it. Problem solving must be done jointly.

Focus on the issues at hand, don’t take positions, and be flexible, using fair business practices. Most important, use reason not control, pressure, or power. Listen to what is being said. Find ways to make your freight attractive to the carrier.

This is true win-win negotiating, and it ensures that in the long run, everyone wins.

Acne – The Best Acne Solution Home Remedies

Home remedies and lifestyle modification for acne prevention are the best methods to deal with the dermatitis – the bane of existence of countless sufferers. Adherence to a regular regimen can not only cure acne vulgaris but also effectively prevent its recurrence. Over the counter medications that use synthetic ingredients often provide only a temporary respite. Acne raises it ugly head within a short time after ceasing the use of such products. This is because such medications are only palliative in nature; they target only the external symptoms of acne and do not repair the damage within the skin. So why waste your money on expensive products when you can get a holistic treatment in your own home?

Following are some home remedies that have proven to be the best acne solutions from time immemorial.

– An All Fruit Diet: Eliminate the toxins from your body and rejuvenate your system by resorting to an all fruit diet for a week every month. Focus only on fresh, juicy fruits like apricot, apples, grapefruit, guava, olive, papaya, pears and pineapples. This will not only cleans your system but also improve your vitality.

– Go Green: Give the pizza and ice cream the dump. Opt for fresh green vegetables instead. These are rich in essential vitamin and minerals and help in detoxification.

– Water Baths: A hot Epsom salt bath taken two-times a week may prove to be beneficial. Alternatively, bathing the affected area with Castile and Calendula extract mixed with warm water can be beneficial.

– Steam Bath: Local application of hot fomentation should open up the pores draw out the waste material. A hot steam application should always be followed with rinsing with cold water to close the open pores.

– Heal the Body: Correct the diseases inside your body to cure the acne. Beetroot is extremely beneficial for the liver. The herb milk thistle protects the liver. Keeping the liver healthy will in turn help prevent acne. Apples and Psyllium husk are excellent for cleansing the bowels and preventing build-up of mycotoxin producers.

– Cooking Procedure: All food that you eat should be low in oil content. Do not fry your food, try baking or grilling instead. Stick to lean meat products – poultry items and fishes like cod or salmon.

– Fenugreek: Boil fenugreek seeds in water and apply the extract on the face to cure acne.

– Exfoliate using baking soda: Form a paste of baking soda with water and use it as a scrub. Massage gently, not more than 15 seconds.

– Vinegar: Balance your skin pH and eliminate acne-causing bacteria by the application of diluted vinegar or apple juice on your face, after cleaning and drying it properly. – Acne

Acne – The Best Acne Solution Home Remedies

Home remedies and lifestyle modification for acne prevention are the best methods to deal with the dermatitis – the bane of existence of countless sufferers. Adherence to a regular regimen can not only cure acne vulgaris but also effectively prevent its recurrence. Over the counter medications that use synthetic ingredients often provide only a temporary respite. Acne raises it ugly head within a short time after ceasing the use of such products. This is because such medications are only palliative in nature; they target only the external symptoms of acne and do not repair the damage within the skin. So why waste your money on expensive products when you can get a holistic treatment in your own home?

Following are some home remedies that have proven to be the best acne solutions from time immemorial.

– An All Fruit Diet: Eliminate the toxins from your body and rejuvenate your system by resorting to an all fruit diet for a week every month. Focus only on fresh, juicy fruits like apricot, apples, grapefruit, guava, olive, papaya, pears and pineapples. This will not only cleans your system but also improve your vitality.

– Go Green: Give the pizza and ice cream the dump. Opt for fresh green vegetables instead. These are rich in essential vitamin and minerals and help in detoxification.

– Water Baths: A hot Epsom salt bath taken two-times a week may prove to be beneficial. Alternatively, bathing the affected area with Castile and Calendula extract mixed with warm water can be beneficial.

– Steam Bath: Local application of hot fomentation should open up the pores draw out the waste material. A hot steam application should always be followed with rinsing with cold water to close the open pores.

– Heal the Body: Correct the diseases inside your body to cure the acne. Beetroot is extremely beneficial for the liver. The herb milk thistle protects the liver. Keeping the liver healthy will in turn help prevent acne. Apples and Psyllium husk are excellent for cleansing the bowels and preventing build-up of mycotoxin producers.

– Cooking Procedure: All food that you eat should be low in oil content. Do not fry your food, try baking or grilling instead. Stick to lean meat products – poultry items and fishes like cod or salmon.

– Fenugreek: Boil fenugreek seeds in water and apply the extract on the face to cure acne.

– Exfoliate using baking soda: Form a paste of baking soda with water and use it as a scrub. Massage gently, not more than 15 seconds.

– Vinegar: Balance your skin pH and eliminate acne-causing bacteria by the application of diluted vinegar or apple juice on your face, after cleaning and drying it properly. – Acne

Water Damage Restoration – A Brief Preview

Water Damage Restoration – What Is It?

It 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.

An Overview of Water Damage Classifications and Categories

Water damage comes in a variety of forms that can be merely annoying or potentially dangerous, depending on the source of the flow. Today, we will go over the general categories of water leaks, the type of damage they can cause and the recommended steps to treat them. Water damage is split up into various categories and classifications according to standards set by the IICRC.

Category 1 (Clear Water)

This type of water damage occurs when a pipe or appliance springs a leak or overflows when left on unattended. Fortunately, in these types of situations, the water is usually clean and does not pose any real risk to you immediately. Clean water damage typically is an issue for the surrounding environment, such as carpets, books and other belongings which are not waterproof and may need restoration work done if the flooding happens over a long period of time. Additionally, water damage can potentially lead to more severe issues such as mold growth that will need the attention of a professional mold inspector and remediator.

Category 2 (Grey Water)

Gray water damage involves some degree of contamination, whether it’s physical, biological or chemical. In layman’s terms, gray water is dangerous but not hazardous and needs some form of remediation in order to ensure that the environment is properly restored for human inhabitation. The most common household gray water situations come from toilets, dishwashers and washing machine leaks, where detergents or food particles are mingled in with the water supply. Gray water, like clean water, may also cause mold damage in unattended situations and can also potentially lead to other structural issues depending on the type of contaminant in the water.

Category 3 (Black Water)

This is the most uncommon form of water damage as well as the most dangerous. Black water contains extremely unsanitary agents including bacteria and fungus, and contaminate all surfaces it touches. Black water damage is usually caused by natural disasters such as storms and floods, where debris is washed into the water, or from ruptured sewage lines or septic tanks. This type of water damage must be handled by a professional restoration firm and potentially the state environmental protection agency, as the consequences of leaving the situation untreated or improper treatment can be devastating to many others besides the property owner.

In addition to the types of water damage, there are also various classifications to specify the rate of evaporation for a water damage scenario. This information is subsequently utilized by the technicians to determine the proper method of dryout and an approximate timeline.

Class 1 (Slow Evaporation Rate)

This is the most benign level of water damage in which only a part of a room or area is affected, or the materials involved are relatively low permanence or porosity such as particle board, structural wood or plywood. In these situations, there is usually a minimal amount of moisture absorbed by materials and restoration time is typically fast.

Class 2 (Fast Evaporation Rate)

This class generally involves an entire room, or flood damage where water has wicked up to 24 inches on the wall. Moisture can be present in the structure as well. These scenarios are middle of the road as far as the work and time involved.

Class 3 (Fastest Evaporation Rate)

Class 3 situations commonly involves water that comes from above, either from an upstairs room or outside during heavy rain. In these scenarios, water has saturated more than 24 inches above the wall, posing severe structural risk and potential damage if not immediately addressed.

Class 4 (Specialty Drying Situations)

In this class, the surrounding structure and materials have very low permance/porosity, causing water to remain in saturated pockets throughout. Examples include hardwood, brick, concrete or other materials that do not have a high amount of absorption rate for moisture. These scenarios require very specific low humidity and ventilation solutions in order for water to be effectively removed.

While the class and categorization of a water emergency can usually be quickly inferred, be sure to double check with your water technician when they arrive on site to get the full scope of the situation after a professional inspection has been conducted. Your technician should be able to provide you with an approximate estimate of the timeframe, as well as details on the exact work that needs to be done to bring everything back up to speed. We will cover the various methods of water damage restoration in our next article so be sure to stay tuned!

Water Damage Restoration – 3 Reasons to Get Water Damage Cleaned Quickly

In today’s economy home or business damage is harder to take care of. If you have a flood or water damage to your home or business and don’t have insurance the cost of getting your problems fixed can break the bank pretty fast. If you do have insurance, it is better to hire a professional water damage restoration company to handle the problem for you.

Unfortunately, water damage cleanup is an inevitable part of owning a home for many of us. Whether the water is from a clogged floor drain, torrential rains, or plumbing mishaps, there are three reasons for immediate water removal.

Cleanup Water Fast to Prevent Mold

The first is to prevent mold. This cannot be stressed enough,because there is a twenty four to forty eight hour window before mold begins to grow, so water damage cleanup needs to be performed within that open window.

Cleanup Water Fast to Prevent Foundation Damage

The second reason is to prevent foundation damage. Standing water over time will break down concrete floors by weakening them in the center, so it must be kept dry.

Cleanup Water Fast to Prevent Bacteria

There is a third reason for quickly removing water, and that is to prevent bacteria and the risk of contamination. I prefer the ease of use with a rented water extractor to cleanup water myself.

Before I begin water damage cleanup, and because I prefer the job of cleanup water myself, here are some tips I would like to share. Starting with paper products including books that may have gotten wet, remember, if they are of no value, toss them into the garbage.It’s also a wise idea to copy important documents and if damage isn’t too severe, freeze dry the originals.

Carpeting usually has a pad on its underside, if the carpet gets soaked, so will the pad. Using the water extractor to suction up as much water as possible, place a dehumidifier and several fans in the area. If it’s a sunny day, open the windows as well. Repeat this process for all fabric covered furniture and concrete floors. Ceiling tiles are not worth saving and are inexpensive, so get rid of them and purchase replaceable ones.

For floors covered with linoleum or ceramics, after removing excess water, scrub the area with a mild detergent or clean with white vinegar, it repels mold.Plastic and metal items are the easiest to clean with just some warm soapy water. Rinse and dry thoroughly. Hopefully, the drywall hasn’t received too much water, if so it needs to be removed and replaced or it will swell.Wood paneling will also swell so pull it out from the wall to get air behind it and clean thoroughly. These tips are for individuals who like me prefer to cleanup water myself, so be sure the damage is from clean water only.For mold buildup, sewer leaks, or other possibly contaminated water problems, a licensed professional should be called immediately.

Water Damage to the Home

Every year, millions of properties all over the world suffer from the risk and destruction associated with water damage to the home. There are several identifiable culprits including flooding, torrential rains, and broken water pipes, but the effect is almost always the same; poor response by homeowners to the calamity often leads to abandonment of the property because it is already beyond repair.

With water damage to the home, it is important to remember that the speed and quality of the response can mean all the difference starting from scratch or successfully restoring a property to pre-damage condition. Although there will be cases when the damage will be too much to repair, in situations where the damage is moderate the type of response means everything. In this regard, every homeowner should take it upon himself to learn as much as possible about water damage to the home and the steps that can be taken to reverse the damage.

Here is a short guide on water damage repair that may come in handy when a rainy day come along.

· Begin by assessing the type of damage that your property has suffered during the calamity. A good rule of thumb is to identify specific places where damaged is observed, the type of material that is exposed to the water, and the duration of the exposure. Remember; even concrete, when immersed in water for a prolonged period, can weaken leading to irreparable damage.

· If there is significant water accumulation in the property, evacuating the standing water is the most important step towards repair. In cases of moderate flooding, a pump is required to suck out the water fast enough to prevent lasting damage. If the risk of water damage to home is very high because of the flood-prone location of the property, having a pump on standby is absolutely a must.

· Once the water has been evacuated, the next step to reverse water damage to home is to completely dry the wet portions of the property. This is where many homeowners make a big blunder; most think that you can simply dry a wet property without having to do anything. If you are dealing with wood, and other wood-based materials, you need to have blowers and heaters that can dry the material faster. Wood is highly sensitive to water exposure so time is a precious commodity for making sure the damage is not permanent.

· Some materials are better thrown out than dried after exposure to water. Examples include foam, insulation, and fireboard which can harbor mold and mildew with just minimal exposure to water. Don’t attempt to dry out these materials, especially if you are not trained to do so. Avoiding sickness which may happen because of mold infestation is more important than rescuing certain portions of your property.

· When in doubt, consult the opinion of water damage restorers who are properly trained and equipped to handle varying degrees of water damage to the home. Think about the cost implications associated with employing a professional, but know that a job-well-done can save you thousands more than if you were to lose your property altogether.

Water damage to the home is not something to scoff at but there are ways for it to be managed properly. Be conscious of these ways so the next time you find your property under risk of water damage, you know exactly what to do to save and repair your prized and valuable possession.

If you would like to learn more about water damage to the home and what actions that must be taken to salvage it, be sure and browse the many well-done article on our website concerning the subject.