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Water Damage 101

When to Call the Pros

Before deciding if you can use a shop-vac and some fans, ask these questions.

What type of water are you dealing with?

 Category 1. This is liquid from a clean and sanitary source, such as faucets, toilet tanks, drinking fountains, etc. But, category one can quickly degrade into category two.
 Category 2. This category of liquid used to be called grey water, and is described as having a level of contaminates that may cause illness or discomfort if ingested. Sources include dishwasher or washing machine overflows, flush from sink drains, and toilet overflow with some urine but not feces.
Category 3. This is the worst classification and is grossly unsanitary. It could cause severe illness or death if ingested. It used to be called black water, and sources include sewer backup, flooding from rivers or streams, toilet overflow with feces, and stagnant liquid that has begun to support bacterial growth.

How big is the job and what needs to be done?

Class 1. The lowest and easiest to deal with, this has a slow evaporation rate. Only part of a room or area was affected, there is little or no wet carpet, and the moisture has only affected materials with a low permeance rate, such as plywood or concrete.

Class 2. With a fast evaporation rate, this level affects an entire room, carpeting, or cushioning, the wetness has wicked up the walls at least 12”, and there is moisture remaining in structural materials.

Class 3. This class has the fastest evaporation rate, and ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet and sub-floors are all saturated. The liquid may have come from overhead.

Class 4. This class is labeled as specialty drying situations, which means there has been enough liquid and time to saturate materials with very low permeance, such as hardwood, brick, or stone.

Is it safe to handle the work without professional help?

Safety considerations:

  • Wet electrical outlets and fixtures
  • Wet ceilings and walls that may collapse
  • Slip hazards

Do you have dehumidification?

While fans will “dry” the floor it’s important to remember that fans will only move the water to the air. Without some way to capture the moisture (i.e. dehumidification), the water will be adsorbed by the walls, furniture, pictures, books or anything that is able to adsorb up the water. It’s important to dry everything to prevent mold growth.

When in doubt, call a professional and protect yourself and your property.

 

Advance Catastrophes Technologies (ACT) is your partner for total disaster planning, response and recovery. Disaster strikes in an instant, and although you can’t predict when it will happen, you can be prepared.

Companies across the U.S. are turning to ACT for advance planning, immediate disaster response, and expert restoration. Whether the event is a Cat 5 hurricane in New Orleans, a wildfire in Southern California or a nor’ easter in New England, ACT is there when it matters.

From the initial plan to the final steps of recovery, ACT is the single source solution for all of your disaster management needs.

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