Archived Water Damage Blog Posts
Determining the Category of Water Damage
IICRC S500 Standard Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration defines three categories of water. Category refers to the type of water affecting the structure.
A Category I loss is where water originates from a sanitary water source and does not pose substantial risk from dermal, ingestions or inhalation exposure. A Category II loss is when water contains a significant contamination and has the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if contacted or consumed by humans. Category II water can contain potentially unsafe levels of microorganisms or nutrients for microorganisms. Examples of Category II are: Discharge from dishwashers or washing machines, overflows from washing machines, overflows from toilet bowls on the room side of the trap with some urine. Category III water is grossly contaminated and can contain pathogenic, toxigenic or other harmful agents and can cause significant adverse reactions to humans if contacted or consumed. Examples of Category III water are: Sewage, Flood water, and other contaminated water entering or affecting the indoor environment, such as wind-driven rain from hurricanes, tropical storms or other weather-related events.
Have questions about water damage? Contact the SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton today at (409) 729-2800.
Drying and Dehumidification
SERVPRO helping properly dry this commercial building.
The first step to any water damage is removing the standing water. Even though your floors and walls may look dry at first glance; they are still wet to the touch. Most building materials, like drywall and wood, are porous and will retain significant water. The retained water will cause these materials to warp, swell, or break down and can also cause damage.
SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton will manipulate the temperature and relative humidity to remove the remaining moisture. We use specialized equipment, including industrial air movers and dehumidifiers, to remove water retained by building materials and other hard-to-access moisture. Our SERVPRO professionals carefully monitor the progress using moisture meters until the materials return to acceptable drying goals.
Our SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton professionals are trained and certified according to the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) guidelines specifically in Water Restoration. SERVPRO also encorporates its own Employee Certification Trainings in Water Damage as well. Our SERVPRO team members are highly trained and ultimately Here to Help!
Faster to Any Disaster
SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration services.
Flooding and water emergencies don’t have to wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.
Faster to Any Size Disaster
Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture and more. SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.
Need Emergency Service? Call us 24/7—(409) 729-2800
Water Damage Timeline
- Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
- Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery and belongings.
- Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
- Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.
- Drywall begins to swell and break down.
- Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
- Furniture begins to swell and crack.
- Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
- A musty odor appears.
48 Hours to 1 Week:
- Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
- Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
- Metal begins to rust and corrode.
- Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
- Paint begins to blister.
- Wood flooring swells and warps.
- Serious biohazard contamination is possible.
More than 1 Week:
- Restoration time and cost increases dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structure rebuilding may be extensive.
- Structural safety, mold growth, and bio-hazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.
What To Do Until Help Arrives
Many of us do not know the first steps to take in the event of water damage in our homes. SERVPRO has over 40 years of leadership and training in cleanup and restoration services. SERVPRO has put together a few Do’s and Don’ts to help in the event of water damage in your home.
Water Damage from Clean Water
- Shut off the source of the water as quickly as possible.
- Turn off any circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the breaker box is safe from electrical shock.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping & blotting.
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.
- Remove any documents, computers and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.
- Enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards are at risk.
- Enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches or circuit breakers are exposed to water/
- Leave books, newspapers. Magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors to cause staining.
- Leave oriental rugs or other colored rugs on wet wall-to-wall carpets to cause staining.
- Use your household vacuum cleaner to remove excess water. This could cause electrical shock or damage the vacuum cleaner.
- Use TVs or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors.
- Turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceilings are wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
Preventing Water Damage
A small amount of water soaking into your floors, walls or cabinets is all it takes to cause damage in your home or business. A study of closed water damage insurance claims identified plumbing pipes and drain systems as the leading cause of interior water damage. The following tips can help you minimize the risk in your home or business.
- Proper Maintenance—majority of insurance claims were caused by corroded, rusty, or frozen pipes. Maintaining these in your home or business can help prevent any future damage.
- Look for an increase in your monthly water bill—pipes with leaks can cause your water to bill to increase.
- Rust stains, moisture in the walls or on the floor are all potential indicators of plumbing issues.
- If you are on a sewer system or you are located below street level—contact a plumbing professional to install a backflow prevention into your sewer system.
- Make sure to plant trees away from lateral drain lines to prevent roots from damaging pipes.
- NEVER pour grease down the drain.
The Science Behind Drying
Warehouse full of state of the art drying equipment.
Most people do not know that there is a process behind the science of drying. One of SERVPRO’s goals is to help restore a water damaged structure back to its preloss condition. The knowledge of psychrometrics is a vital part of the restoration process. Here at SERVPRO, we understand the first reaction during any water loss is to grab a towel and to try and clean the mess up. SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton is trained in the science of drying and follow strict industry guidelines to help lower the chances of any secondary damage to your home. Allowing your home to dry on your own is possible. However, drying naturally make take too long and the moisture may can cause more damage to areas in your home. Our team is trained to help speed up the natural drying process, including equipment to help dry hardwood floors, difficult to reach areas, and spaces inside walls. Our team uses state of the art monitoring equipment and a proven scientific process to help speed up the drying process. This process helps our customers get back to normal in no time!
Understanding Water Types
This is a picture of a commercial water loss that occurred at a church.
Understanding Water Types
When your home or business suffers a water damage, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensuring proper cleanup.
There are three types of water. Clean water is water from a broken pipe, or other water source; rainwater is also considered clean. The term gray water is used to classify slightly contaminated water. Clean water becomes gray water when it is left untreated allowing bacteria and other contaminants to begin growing, making the water hazardous. Black water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more. Black water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be handled by trained professionals.
Consider taking the following precautions to help minimize damage or prevent further damage while waiting for help to arrive.
Damage from Clean Water
- Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so.
- Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electrical shock. Do not enter rooms with standing water, as electrical shock hazards may exist.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
- Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to allow more even drying.
- Move any paintings, are objects, computers, documents and other valuable items that may be sensitive to moisture to a safe place.
- Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors as they may cause staining.
- Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water as there is potential for electrical shock or causing damage to the vacuum cleaner.
- Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet; do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
Damage from Contaminated Water
- Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage. Wash your hands thoroughly if you come in contact with contaminated items.
- Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.
- Do not turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
- Do not use household fans to dry the structure, air flow could spread contaminants.
- Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas. SERVPRO’s network of more than 1,700 Franchises is ready to help in the event a fire, water, or mold loss occurs.
Call on our restoration system serving insurance companies and their insureds, as well as thousands of commercial property owners in North America. Don’t leave your property to chance.
Flooded Italian Restaurant
This is the initial photograph that was taking by the SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton.
A water value in the back of the restaurant broke during the middle of the night. When the employees of the restaurant showed up the next morning to open for business they found water all throughout the restaurant. They immediately contacted their insurance company to file the claim. The insurance agent who has a great trusting relationship with the SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton was referred in to take care of the water loss. After three days of drying the restaurant was back open serving the awesome food it makes!