Flood Damage Happens

Flood damage can be found in any geographical area, regardless of elevation. The common causes of flooding can be due to heavy rainfall, pipe bursts, backed-up sewer lines, or broken fixtures and appliances such as toilets, refrigerators, sinks, and washing machines. When you experience a devastating event such as this, it’s important to reach out to a water damage restoration expert here at Restoration 1 of Tuscaloosa. We have a proven process for cleaning up different categories of water damage that result in your property becoming as good as new, with undetectable signs of previous water damage.

Fire & Rescue on the scene in Alabama

May 4th-5th (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Mold found on Fruit
Mold Found Around A Leaky Window

Vestavia Bowl facing potential flood damage

May 4th-5th (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Vestavia, AL Apartment Complex Flooding

May 4th-5th (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Mold Spores Growing On Food
Mold on a Wall Caused By Water Damage

Rescue from flooded aparement buildings

May 4th-5th (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

The purpose of this guide

This guide is not intended to be used as a self-help or DIY guide to water damage restoration. Restoration 1 of Tuscaloosa seeks to help people understand the complexities of performing a water restoration, as well as to understand the potential hazards of the job. Many techniques are used that will not be covered in this guide, but we will provide you with the basic information of what needs to happen to perform successful water damage restoration.

If you have just experienced an incident that has left your home or facility with water damage, please immediately reach out to our water damage restoration and repair experts here at Restoration 1 of Tuscaloosa.

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The IICRC Water Damage Categories and Classifications

Before beginning any water damage restoration, it’s important to categorize and classify the damage to the property or facility. We can assess the damage and get a greater understanding of the complexity of the restoration project by following the standardized categories and classifications for water damage documented by the American National Standards Institute.

Restoration 1 of Tuscaloosa holds the nationally accredited and recognized Institute of International Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). This accreditation is given by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).  This governing body ensures that the water damage restoration process is safe for those performing the cleaning duties and for those returning to the cleaned or restored property.

Restoration 1 of Tuscaloosa adheres to the IICRC S500, which establishes a standard for water mitigation, flood damage repair, and sewage cleanup. The document provides the foundation for basic principles of water damage restoration, including the steps in the process. It includes both the standards and the supporting references.

Before beginning any water damage restoration, it’s important to categorize and classify the damage to the property or facility. We can assess the damage and get a greater understanding of the complexity of the restoration project by following the standardized categories and classifications for water damage documented by the American National Standards Institute.

Restoration 1 of Tuscaloosa holds the nationally accredited and recognized Institute of International Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). This accreditation is given by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).  This governing body ensures that the water damage restoration process is safe for those performing the cleaning duties and for those returning to the cleaned or restored property.

Restoration 1 of Tuscaloosa adheres to the IICRC S500, which establishes a standard for water mitigation, flood damage repair, and sewage cleanup. The document provides the foundation for basic principles of water damage restoration, including the steps in the process. It includes both the standards and the supporting references.

IICRC Water Damage Categories

Water Damage Category 1

The water originates from a portable or sanitary source and is fit for human consumption. This water is not toxic and is not deemed harmful if ingestion, dermal, or inhalation occurs. Water sources in this category would include broken water mains, water pipes, or natural sources like rain or meltwater. These are all considered “freshwater” sources.

Water Damage Category 2

This water contains substantial contamination and could potentially cause sickness or discomfort if humans consume or come in contact with it. This water is unsafe for consumption or use and has high levels of microorganisms and/or chemical or biological matter such as diluted urine, detergents, seepage from hydrostatic pressure, or ruptured storage tanks. This water is known as “gray” water.

Water Damage Category 3

This water is “grossly contaminated” and contains dangerous and harmful pathogenic and toxigenic agents. Raw sewage is by far the most common offender of “black” water and can be deadly to people and destructive to the property if sewage damage restoration is not completely remediated. Sources of black water include sanitary sewer backups, brackish water from rivers and streams, flooding seawater, and all forms of ingress from natural events where contaminants like pesticides and heavy metals are carried into a building.

It’s important to also consider that the water category can change based on how long ago the water damage occurred without attention. A simply Category 1 water-damaged property can turn into a Category 2 if left untreated for too long. This is why it is vitally important that water damage is taken seriously, and treated as soon as possible.

IICRC Water Damage Classes

Water Damage Class 1

Class one represents a scenario where a small amount of water has flowed onto materials that are predominately low porosity. This class of water damage requires limited mitigation and little moisture is left after the bulk of the water is removed, leaving a minimal amount of evaporation needed to finish drying. Examples would be a burst hot water tank on a sealed concrete floor or an overflowed toilet on a tile floor.

Water Damage Class 2

Water damage considered class two identifies a significant amount of water has discharged and the exposed materials are medium to high porosity. There is a greater absorption of water into the materials and the water damage process is lengthened by the volume of water that needs to be removed and a lengthened drying time. Examples would be a ruptured pressurized water line inside a gypsum board wall, or a wooden floor joist system.

Water Damage Class 3

To be considered class three, a large amount of water must flood the area, regardless of its category. It is absorbed by highly porous materials, resulting in the highest rate of evaporation necessary to affect the water damage restoration process. Examples are a storm-forced leak, which floods a building’s interior and soaks carpeted areas, or broken water mains filling an underground parking area.

Water Damage Class 4

As you may have guessed, class four represents the worst of the circumstances. Water floods and is trapped by building materials and assemblies, which makes the restoration process difficult, time-consuming, and expensive. Affected areas are highly porous or tightly confined and require special methods and equipment, longer drying time, or substantial vapor pressure differentials. Examples would be stormwater flooding of wooden, plaster, masonry, or concrete enclosures or a severe sewage backup that permeates floor and wall systems. You will need a qualified team of Water damage repair experts such as our team here at Restoration 1 of Tuscaloosa to handle the repair and restoration of class 4 water damage.

Final Assessment of Water Damage Category and Classification

Before any restoration job is performed, Restoration 1 of Tuscaloosa ensures that we have a complete and comprehensive assessment of the damage caused by water. Once we have the assessment complete, we can move forward with the necessary steps for complete water mitigation and restoration process. Cost and timeframes for completing jobs are completely dependent on the scale of the damage and its category and classification. It’s most important that you get started immediately on any water damage, as any damage left untreated could result in catastrophic losses or permanent damage.

Assessing The Extent of The Water Damage

In many cases, people are unaware that water damage has occurred because most water damage cases begin with small pinhole leaks or a simple drip. The continued dripping and small leaks can infiltrate an entire wall or subfloor over time creating a large problem that cannot be ignored. In these cases, it’s necessary to do a damage assessment to determine how widespread the problem is. To do this, we use several techniques listed below.

Perform a thermal scan

The first step we take is to perform thermal scans with the use of specialized cameras to scan a large area for temperature differences. Floors and walls can show significant temperature differences when moisture is present, helping us discover the extent of the damage.

Check the moisture content using a moisture meter

If we identify major temperature differences, we then use a moisture meter to determine the moisture content in the spaces around the identified temperature anomalies. Doing this while also getting a baseline of the moisture content in the entire home will help us to make a definitive determination that significant moisture is present, and the property must undergo repairs.

The Water Damage Restoration Process

Below we’ll outline a simple but effective process that we at Restoration 1 of Tuscaloosa take to mitigate water and restore the property to its original state.

Water Extraction Process

Step One – Dehumidification

Using dehumidifiers, we can dry the home or facility’s internal air, which results in pulling the moisture out of the floors and walls of the facility. This helps to cease the spread of mold or keep mold from forming altogether.

Step Two: Heating the Air

With the assistance of high powered heaters that are commonly found in ATMs, these same heaters are now used in the water mitigation process. By heating the air it allows for us to easily dry out the surfaces and internal spaces of the home. These heaters use special perforated mats that blow the heated air directly onto and into the water damaged surfaces. This process speeds the drying process up by almost 600%.

Step Three: Moving the Highly Moisturized and Heated Air

Utilizing high powered fans, we move warm air across all affected surfaces, which helps to move the moist air away from the damaged areas.

Step Four: Monitor the Facility’s Moisture Reading

After we’ve completed the final steps in the drying process, we need to continue to monitor the moisture levels in the affected areas of the facility and compare them to the unaffected areas, if any. By doing this it allows us to create the “dry standard” for the home or facility. The dry standard is the base level of moisture detected in the facility. The reason this is important is that homes and buildings located all across the nation will have a different dry standard based on their surrounding environment. What may be considered dry in Birmingham, Alabama may not be considered dry in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. For instance, wood in Alabama has a moisture content of around 13%, which is considerably higher or less than its many surrounding states.

FACTS ABOUT MOLD GROWTH

According to scientific research and the EPA, mold cannot grow when the moisture content is below 16%, or when the humidity levels are below 60%. Ensuring that your environment falls below these moisture and humidity levels is vital to eliminating harmful mold growth.

To learn more about mold growth, view theEPA mold course.

Also check out our Ultimate Guide to Mold Remediation

Step Five: Antimicrobial Treatment of the Water Damaged Areas using Selectrocide

After having completed the mitigation and drying process, Restoration 1 of Tuscaloosa takes extra steps to blanket the facility with a ClO2 compound called Selectrocide. This powerful disinfectant has unique properties that make it 200 times more powerful than bleach, yet without it carrying the negatives of bleach. It will not burn skin or damage materials. Selectrocide will leave no residual, is completely safe to use on food and food surfaces, and works in minutes. It kills up to 99.9999% of germs, bacteria viruses, and spore-formers. It is so powerful that the EPA has registered Selectrocide as a broad-spectrum hospital grade disinfectant. All of these properties make it the perfect disinfectant to use in your home or business for handling any lingering mold spores and bacteria that may have been missed by the water damage restoration process.

Step Six (Optional): Use CoverSheild as a Preventive Measure Against Future Covid-19 Exposure

As an optional step at the customer’s request, Restoration 1 of Tuscaloosa takes extra steps to blanket the facility with CoverShield, a completely safe, organic compound that kills mold and microbial contamination on contact. Furthermore, CoverShield acts as a defensive system, safeguarding the area from future growth for up to 3 months after application. This step isn’t always taken by water damage restoration companies, but we feel it is vital to ensure that the hard work that went into the mitigation process isn’t quickly reversed by a minimal amount of remaining live mold spores.

Do you need help with water damage restoration?

Water damage restoration can be a large task. We’re here to help. Please reach out to us for a free consult and we’ll get started when you’re ready!

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Please ask about our 90 day product, Covershield, to aid in your fight against Covid-19!

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