hour Emergency Service
Keeping Households Safe Following Storm Water Damage
As we have just
witnessed in Sacramento with the recent lightning storms, these warm
months can still offer a wide range of weather activity - including
storms with heavy rainfall that can cause ground flooding. These floods
often result in water damage to homes, which may appear on the surface
as a minor loss, but can quickly escalate into needless, extensive damage
to both property and health.
According to the
restoration industry benchmark (IICRC Water Damage Standard S500), all
such flooding is defined as Category 3 damage - the highest level of
contamination. This includes all instances where water travels over
the ground and then enters the home through basement windows or rises
higher than the level of the floors. Category 3 floodwater is sometimes
referred to as black water. This designation applies to water that contains
unsanitary materials with the potential to cause illness in humans.
Examples of black water include sewage backflows and rising water from
rivers, streams, runoff, and seawater that enter a structure.
Safety must be the
very first consideration when exposure to Category 3 contaminates are
a possibility. Category 3 water can contain harmful organisms such as
viruses (Hepatitis A, rotaviruses, adenoviruses, enteroviruses, etc.),
parasites, and many kinds of harmful bacteria. In addition, numerous
fungi in the form of mold spores are always present. This can become
a problem if timely decontamination does not occur, followed by professional
drying within 24 to 48 hours after water enters the home.
When dealing with
Category 3 water damage, it is very important to contact a professional
remediation company such as PuroClean Home Rescue (866-722-7876) to
handle the loss. Professionals will accomplish several basic functions:
- First, the safety
of the building occupants and all workers are the primary consideration.
- Second, a thorough
inspection to determine the severity and extent of the damage and
the appropriate restoration
- Third, the quick
removal of excess water and contaminated porous items (carpet and
pad, drywall, upholstered
furniture, etc.) and any sewage, wastes, and other materials.
- Finally, the
restoration of the environment to its pre-loss dry state as quickly
as possible using an established
Balanced Drying System.
Flooding from outside
the building causes a large area of direct contamination and an elevated
health risk. All porous and many non-porous materials are affected by
the contamination. All contaminated porous items, such as drywall, carpet
and pad, upholstery, drapery, and particleboard furniture, must be removed
and properly disposed. Restoration must be thorough to include removing
moisture barriers such as vinyl and plastics that will conceal and retain
the contamination. Cabinets and other structural enclosures must be
inspected and possibly removed if contamination is present - especially
if it is inside the walls behind these items.
As stated, all Category
3 losses present serious risk of illness. Therefore, Contractors should
ensure that all employees wear appropriate personal protective equipment.
The protection needs to be extensive, which could include waterproof
coveralls, face shields, and even respirators.
restoration company will know when to use an air scrubber to help clean
the air and when to set up a Negative Air Machine to prevent contamination
from spreading to unaffected areas. This is important if the flooded
area is limited to a specific area of a structure, to prevent additional
contamination from moving to other areas. The professional restoration
company will also insure that all remaining surfaces and materials (such
as structural lumber, subfloors, concrete, etc.) are cleaned and sanitized
with approved cleaners and disinfectants. In some cases, structural
materials are sealed to stop further contamination and to help prevent
the development of mold.
Following a Category
3 black water loss, a professional restoration business will know and
apply the proper procedures, techniques, products, and equipment to
help restore property to its pre-loss condition safely and as rapidly
as possible - at the same time protecting the health and well-being
of employees and others who might need to enter the area.
Regardless of the
circumstances - if water damage occurs from storms, floods or other
sources, call your local PuroClean Home Rescue office, the "Paramedics
of Property Damage." For all water damage or damage from fire or
smoke, these professionals are standing by and will mitigate the loss
to prevent further damage, and will then provide restoration services
to return the property to a pre-loss condition as quickly as possible.
All PuroClean offices have professional, well-trained and certified
Technicians who provide the latest state-of-the-science services to
all property damaged from water, fire/smoke, mold, and other disasters.