Water damage can include a water main break, sewer backup or plumbing leaks, but whatever the emergency, it must be looked after immediately. The need for emergency service becomes more apparent as we take a look at the following conditions that occur with water damage.
The primary damage occurs through direct contact with water from its source. It is imortant to remember that water will migrate horizontally from the source in all directions so it is important to determine the exact perimeter of the water damage. Everything that could have a remote chance of being affected should be checked.
The secondary damage occurs when there is damage to the structural materials and/or contents from indirect or prolonged exposure to moisture or excessive humidity in the air. As standing water evaporates, the humidity can increase beyond 60% and in time, fungi and bacteria spores germinate and multiply in organic materials. Because bacteria, fungi and viruses become hyperactive in this moist environment, it can create a health risk for those who live and/or work there.
It is very important to remember that some water losses, such as from sewage, the microbes can include a variety of disease causing human viruses and parasites in addition to the bacteria and fungi.
Initial Water Removal – It is highly recommended that the excess water is extracted immediately using pumps and commercial vacuum extraction units with specialized extraction tools. The purpose is to contain damage to the smallest area possible.
Pressure Washing/Cleaning – Residual organic matter in cracks and crevices of salvageable materials can be removed by pressure washing. Recover the solution with an extraction unit immediately after application, to prevent further absorption of contaminants into other porous materials.
Disinfectant Application – Treat the affected area with an antimicrobial biocide to reduce or eliminate human pathogens.
Implement Drying Procedures – When the excess water is removed, the remaining water must be changed from a liquid to a vapor by promoting evaporation. Normally, this is accomplished most efficiently with specialized air moving equipment. This equipment is specifically designed and engineered to deliver a high volume of airflow over and under surfaces to expedite the drying process. Once the moisture has evaporated into the air, it must be removed by commercial dehumidifiers to reduce secondary damage and any possible health hazards. The humidity level must be reduced to 30 – 50% rh as quickly as possible.