According to the IICRC Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration (IICRC S500), three categories of water cause damage in buildings. They are summarized as follows:
Category 1 Water – burst water pipes, failed supply lines on appliances and vertically falling rainwater.
Category 2 Water – That which begins with some degree of contamination and could cause sickness or discomfort if consumed by humans. As with Category 1 water, time and temperature can cause Category 2 water to become progressively more contaminated.
Category 3 Water – That which is highly contaminated and could cause death or serious illness if consumed by humans. Such as sewage, rising flood water from rivers and streams, and ground-surface water flowing horizontally into homes.
There are two ways in which water enters a building as a result of windstorm damage. The first involves falling or windblown rainwater that enters because of damage to roof components or wall assemblies. The second involves horizontally traveling ground-surface water (Category 3) containing silt and soil contaminants that infiltrates into structures, generally through doors or around foundation walls. This ground-surface water (storm surge) may accumulate to a depth of several inches or several feet. When structures are partially submerged or remain substantially flooded for weeks, far more elaborate procedures usually are required.
As you can see, the longer the water remains in the materials, the more risk is involved, the more materials need to be removed and the more odor is developed. Getting a company onto the site as soon as possible is very important. Getting control of the environment, such as moisture content and humidity, is very important. Humidity should be lowered to 40 percent within the first day. There is a formula used to determine how much equipment is necessary for your home.
Typically, a minimum of four air movers per room is required to adequately dry the structure. Air movement has been proven to increase the drying rate. The amount of air movers used on the site will be determined by one of our certified technicians who will use the IICRC standard.
Generally, a minimum of one per floor is required. Many factors come into play when sizing a job properly. You definitely do not want too few. If the relative humidity is allowed to exceed 60 percent, all materials begin to absorb water from the air. This causes unnecessary secondary damage to your belongings. The class of water loss comes into play at this time.
Class 1: Slow Rate of Evaporation
This class involves water losses affecting only part of a room or area or losses with low-permeance/porosity materials (e.g., plywood, particle board, structural wood, VCT, concrete, etc.) Little or no carpet and/or cushion saturation is present (or damage is confined to a small area or wet for a short period.) Minimum moisture is absorbed by materials, which release that moisture slowly.
Class 2: Fast Rate of Evaporation
This class involves water losses affecting an entire room of carpet and cushion. Water has wicked less than 24 inches up walls. There is moisture remaining in structural materials (e.g., plywood, particle board, structural wood, VCT, concrete, etc.).
Class 3: Fastest Rate of Evaporation
Water may have come from overhead. Ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet, cushion, and sub-floor, in virtually the entire area, are saturated.
Class 4: Specialty Drying Situations
These losses involve wet materials with very low permeance/porosity (e.g., hardwoods, sub-floor, plaster, brick, concrete, stone, crawlspaces, etc.) Typically, there are deep pockets of saturation that normally require very low specific humidity.
The class of water loss is determined in order to gauge the amount of dehumidification that is needed. The amount of pints of dehumidification needed is calculated based on this information. All dehumidifiers are rated in pints at AHAM. Dehumidifiers are added until the number of pints needed equals the pints in use.
With the complexity and importance of properly drying a water-damaged house down, you want someone you can trust. We pride ourselves on striving to maintain 100 percent customer satisfaction on every job. No two jobs are alike, and not all restoration companies are created equal. Make sure you use trained, certified and insured companies to get the job done right.
Remember, who you use to care for your home is completely up to you. The insurance company cannot force you to use a particular company. Let us show you why Central Restoration is mid-Michigan’s most trusted water-damage restoration company.