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Water Damage Classifications
Water damage is classified into one of the following 4 classes:
- Class 1: Water Damage – Slow Evaporation Rate: Water losses that affect only part of a room or area, or losses with lower permeance /porosity materials (e.g., plywood, particle board, structural wood, VCT, concrete). Little or no wet carpet or padding is present. Minimum moisture is absorbed by materials, releasing moisture slowly.
- Class 2: Water Damage – Fast Evaporation Rate: Water losses that affect an entire room or carpet and cushion. Water has wicked up walls 12″ – 24”. There is moisture remaining in structural materials (e.g., plywood, particleboard, and structural wood, concrete).
- Class 3: Water Damage – Fastest Evaporation Rate: Water may have come from overhead. Ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet, cushion and sub-floor in the entire area are saturated.
- Class 4: Water Damage – Specialty Drying Situations: These consist of wet materials with very low permeance/porosity (hardwood, plaster, brick, concrete, stone). Typically, there are deep pockets of saturation, which drying requires very low specific humidity.
Key Principles In Drying
Structural and contents consideration
When working within a residence, it is often the case that those who are performing the water damage restoration must work with and around the contents of the home. This includes, but is not limited to, furniture, electronics, books, and any other materials that may have been affected by the water damage. The moving around of the said contents is often referred to “contents manipulation.” Water damage restoration firms often bill content manipulation on a per hour basis. Contents may also require treatment due to the effects of water damage. This may include, but is not limited to, sterilization, sanitation, drying, and storing of said contents. Other contents may simply be un-salvageable (i.e: a total loss) due to the cost of having it salvaged would exceed its current value. In these cases, the contents would be discarded.
It is important to be proactive in the monitoring process. Many questions have to be asked and answered: Is the drying equipment set up properly? Are the personnel qualified to adjust equipment placement and conduct new techniques? Are the machines in good working order and are they maintained properly? Perform a background check and ask for references prior to hiring a contractor to restore your dwelling back to its pre-loss state. After the water has been extracted and any non-salvageable materials have been removed, water damage professionals should place drying equipment according to industry guidelines for capacity in the affected areas. Industry standards state that drying vendors should return to the residence at regular time intervals, preferably every twenty-four hours, to monitor the equipment, temperature, humidity, and moisture content of the affected walls, contents, or other affected materials. Should one area be dry and another affected area still wet, the firm will relocate or remove equipment accordingly.
Once the temperature, humidity, and moisture content is deemed acceptable and safe according to industry standards, the water damage restoration equipment would be removed and the water damage restoration process would be complete. Some homeowners, property managers, building maintenance operators use their own personnel to perform water damage restoration to save on the growing costs, it is prescribed to hire a professional water damage restoration company to perform these services since there are defining criteria and methods to be used for assessing water damage and establishing restoration procedures. Also, because of the unique circumstances of every water damage restoration project, it is impractical to issue blanket rules intended to a situation. In extenuating circumstance, deviation from portions of the S500 may be appropriate. In performing a job, carelessness is never acceptable and common sense should always prevail.