Water damage services include the inspection of the affected area(s) with water sensing equipment such as probes and other infrared tools, in order to determine the source of the damage and possible extent of area affected. Restoration services would then be rendered in order to dry the structure, sanitize any affected or cross contaminated areas, and deodorize all affected areas and materials. After the labor is completed, water damage equipment including, but not limited to, air movers, air scrubbers, dehumidifiers, wood floor drying systems, and sub floor drying equipment is left in the residence. After a period of three to four days after the labor is completed, a reevaluation of the residence is taken to monitor the drying process, and any equipment not further needed is removed as to keep the charges under control.
Structural and contents consideration:
When working within a residence, it is often the case that those who are performing the water damage restoration must work with and around the contents of the home. This includes, but is not limited to, furniture, electronics, books, and any other materials that may have been affected by the water damage. The moving around of the said contents is often referred to “contents manipulation.” Water damage restoration firms often bill content manipulation on a per hour basis. Contents may also require treatment due to the effects of water damage. This may include, but is not limited to,sterilization, sanitization, deodorization, drying, and storing of said contents. Other contents may simply be unsalvageable or the cost of having it salvaged would exceed its current value. In these cases, the contents would be discarded.
After the water has been extracted and any non-salvageable materials have been removed, water damage professionals should place drying equipment according to industry guidelines for capacity in the affected areas. Industry standards state that drying vendors should return to the residence at regular time intervals, preferably every twenty-four hours, to monitor the equipment, temperature, humidity, and moisture content of the affected walls, contents, or other affected materials. Should one area be dry and another affected area still wet, the firm will relocate or remove equipment accordingly.
Once temperature, humidity, and moisture content are deemed acceptable according to industry standards, drying equipment is removed and the drying process is complete. There are defining criteria and methods to be used for assessing water damage and establishing restoration procedures, but because of the unique circumstances of every water damage restoration project, it is impractical to issue blanket rules that apply to every situation.
Water damage is classified into one of the following classes:
- Class 1 Water Damage – (least amount of water, absorption and evaporation): Water losses that affect only part of a room or area, or larger areas containing materials that have absorbed minimal moisture. Little or no wet carpet and/or cushion are present.
- Class 2 Water Damage – (large amount of water, absorption and evaporation): Water losses that affect at least an entire room or carpet and cushion(pad). Water has wicked up walls less than 24”. There is moisture remaining in structural materials (e.g., plywood, particleboard, structural wood, concrete).
- Class 3 Water Damage – (greatest amount of water, absorption and evaporation): Water wicked up over 24″, or water may have come from overhead affecting ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet, cushion and sub-floor. The entire area are saturated.
- Class 4 Water Damage – (specialty drying situations): These consist of wet materials with very low permeance/porosity (hardwood, plaster, brick, concrete, stone). Typically, there are deep pockets of saturation, which requires very low specific humidity.