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.

Types and Classes of Water Damage

Water damage comes in many shapes and forms, and can leave lasting damage to not only your property but your health as well, if not dealt with correctly. One of the first steps to relieving your property of potential water damage is to determine what kind of water damage you are dealing with. According to the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) there are three types of water damage, which they outline in their Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration (the S500). Water damage is categorized by its source, length of time in the structure, history of the structure, and other impactful factors like chemicals such as pesticides, fertilizers, animal feces, fuel, detergents, rat poison, etc.

Category 1
The first type of water damage they outline is Category 1, which includes burst water pipes, leaking appliances, and small amounts of rainwater. The defining characteristic of Category 1 water is that it is clean at the source, and therefore does not pose a hazard if consumed by people. Category 1 water requires much less equipment and time to remedy.

Types of Category 1 water damage include, but are not limited to burst water pipes, failed supply lines on appliances, falling rainwater, melting snow or ice, broken toilet tanks, or toilet bowl over flow that does not contain any contaminants. While this type of water damage is not necessarily hazardous, if it is not dealt with it could turn to category 2 within 24 hours. That time period could be sped up if the right conditions for microorganism growth are present such as stagnant air, humidity, and moderate temperatures (68-86 degrees Fahrenheit).

Category 2
Category 2 water damage, or gray water, is characterized by beginning with some amount of contamination at the source, or Category 1 water that has been neglected as mentioned before. This type of water damage is moderately dangerous, and could cause some degree of sickness or discomfort for people or animals if exposed.

The most common types of Category 2 water damage are discharge from washing machines or dishwashers, toilet flow overflow with urine but no feces, sump pump back-up, hydrostatic pressure seepage, washing machine overflow, broken aquariums, and puncture water beds. These instances of water damage may contain chemicals, bio-contaminants, and other forms of contamination that are hazardous to human health. Health effects are as follows: allergic asthma, allergic rhinitis, hypersensitivity pneumonitis (lung tissue inflammation), burning eyes, skin irritation, inflammatory response, nausea, headache, and fever. Again, time and conducive temperatures allow for deterioration to a Category 3 within 48 hours.

Category 3
The final and most dangerous type of water damage is Category 3, or black water. Black water is highly contaminated, contains pathogens, and can cause serious illness or even death in extreme conditions. Any person with a weak immune system, respiratory illness, allergies, or young children should remain away from the structure for the duration of the infection and clean-up.

Examples of this type of damage include sewage, ground surface water intrusion, toilet backflow from beyond the trap, and flooding sweater/rivers/streams that have entered the premises. Flooding water brings in silt and other organic matter, that may already have bacteria growing in it, and resting stagnant in your home will only provide a more suitable environment in which microorganisms can grow. Negative health effects from black water are numerous, and include bacterial infections from E. coli, salmonella, and shigella, soil organisms like Streptomyces, saccharopolyspora, thermonospora, viruses like rotavirus, hepatitis, and echovirus, and even parasites such as giardia, cryptosporidium, and others. In any situation, black water is very serious and needs to be dealt with immediately.

Besides categories of water damage, there are also 4 classes per the IICRC. Water damage is divided into class based on the rate of evaporation required. Often the type of material that has been affected is the determining factor.

Class 1
The water loss has been limited to only a partial room area, and the materials effected are of low porosity (water is retained on the surface). There is little or no wet carpet or cushion.

Class 2
The entire room is affected, as well as the carpet and cushion. Water has wicked up the walls 1-2 feet. Moisture remains in the structure of the building.

Class 3
The slowest evaporation rate and water may have come from above. Ceilings, walls, carpet, cushion, and sub-floor is all saturated, and will require ample time to dry.

Class 4
Class 4 comprises wet materials with low porosity or permeation such as hardwood, concrete, stone, brick, or plaster. Water has formed deep pockets of saturation and will require special equipment that creates an environment of very low humidity.

As you can see, water damage is a very serious matter. If not dealt with immediately, the negative health effects are numerous. If your home or other property has been affected by any type of water mentioned or not mentioned above, I recommend calling a professional restoration company ASAP. They will know exactly what to do.

How to Have a Luxury Interior Without Spending Too Much – Part I

Almost all the interior clients we deal with in Mumbai are looking for elite or luxury home interiors. There is nothing wrong in it. Everybody wants to get most out of the things. But the problem comes when they are not ready to invest what is necessary to get that. This used to halt us on many occasions.

But not anymore.

Because we have found ideas that we implemented in making their home looks like they wanted – luxurious, elite, classy interior. Today & in subsequent articles I’ll be disclosing some of those ideas with all of you.

But a warning before proceeding further – Interior decorating & designing is a matter of personal preference & personal style. The things that appeal to you may not appeal to your brother at all & vice-versa. Fortunately, there are many styles & ideas that suit many personal preferences.

Having said that, let’s start with the first concept to have luxurious interior for your home. As you might have observed, one of the important thing in having the elite & classy interior is wall decor paintings by artists.

Now there is some good news & some bad news.

Bad news is these arts by famous artists are costly, very costly. That’s another reason why the famous paintings are considered as an investment. Because, they do appreciate in value. But as I said it requires huge amount to get these in the first place. So we must look for another option. Gladly for you, we have already done that.

We have found an alternative to this problem. And that I consider as good news for you. First, their paintings – when selected carefully – really enhance the looks & create an aura. For that I suggest to take help of professional interior designer.

There are many places where you can get the paintings – real good ones – by upcoming artists. The best part is you get these at a fraction of price as compared to the very famous ones. Get help of your interior designer & chose appropriate paintings for your home.

Do this & see how the looks of your home changes to more elite & classy interior.