Water damage restoration is the process of restoring a property back to pre-loss condition after sustaining any level of damage. While there are currently no government regulations in the United States dictating procedures, two large certifying bodies, the IICRC and the RIA, do recommend standards of care. Most companies use the IICRC procedural standard, which is the S500.
The S500 is based on reliable restoration principles, research and practical experience with extensive consultation and information gathered from numerous sources. These include the scientific community, the international, national and regional trade associations serving the disaster restoration industry, chemical formulators and equipment manufacturers, cleaning and restoration schools, restoration service companies, the insurance industry, allied trades persons and others with specialized experience. The S500 water damage guide is subject to further revision as developments occur in technology, testing and processing procedures.
Important Tips When Dealing With Water Damage
Water damage can be deceptive. Water penetrates into structural cavities creating trapped pockets of saturation. The detection of water in these areas can often only be discovered with sophisticated moisture detection meters. Undetected moisture will continue to cause damage. Water damage, at a minimum, will cause odors. Greater water damage will surface when materials delaminate, shrink, split and further deteriorate to where costly repairs are required.
More than just removing excess water, cleantrust-certified restorers have the knowledge and equipment to further dry a home or facility (including substructure materials) completely back to pre-loss conditions. Through timely response and the careful monitoring of water damage, mold and other health issues can be prevented. If water damage has been present too long, mold will occur. All 24/7 Restoration Technicans are IICRC-certified professionals and have the training and experience to identify moisture sources, evaluate mold growth (visible or suspected), contain damage, remove contamination and dry materials to ensure that mold will not return.
Important tips if you, or someone you know is having a water damage emergency:
- Use caution when inside buildings. Make sure electrical power is off if there is standing water present until a trained professional arrives.
- Some items may have to be replaced. Depending on the category of water damage loss. Drywall, carpet and pad, mattresses, pillows, box springs and particle board may potentially be discarded if wet.
- Wet clothing and many household fabrics may be salvageable. Machine washing, including at least a 10-minute soak in detergent and hot water, should remove most contamination and stains. Determination will depend on category of loss. (We can help when we arrive.)
- Open pockets of saturation. Expect removal of base molding and portions of damaged walls and wet insulation. Flooring, such as hardwood, laminate or sheet vinyl, should be removed to expose pockets of saturation underneath for cleaning, sanitizing and drying.
- Clean aggressively. After thoroughly cleaning and flushing salvageable materials, application of a disinfectant solution . A water damage professional will be needed to perform this service safely and effectively on structural materials.
- Prevent mold growth. Time is of the essence, mold thrives in a moist environment with organic material (e.g., paper or particle board), and temperatures between 68°F and 86°F. Keeping air moving and maintaining moderate temperatures along with drying equipment is key to a successful restoration. (Never introduce air movement to areas you suspect mold growth has already started. Have us come do an assessment.)
- Dry out before you rebuild. To prevent dry rot and on-going structural damage, don’t reconstruct or cover wood materials until its moisture content falls below 16 percent, and we have confirmed proper drying before reconstruction.
- Consider hiring 24/7 Restoration. A water damage restoration company that has trained technicians, specialized cleaners and antimicrobial agents, and extraction, drying, dehumidifying and moisture measuring equipment.
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