Unwanted water in your home comes from two sources – the water system inside your home, or sources of nature, such as rain or a local stream. Before you grab the guest hand towels from the downstairs bathroom, take a minute to understand what type of problem you have to clean up. Either the source can be ‘pretty’ clean, or REALLY dirty and require professional remediation.
The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) has set a standard to classify water damage situations in order to follow industry practices for safe, effective cleanup. For example, in a
category 1 situation, the source is usually a toilet tank, a drinking fountain or a water faucet. While always sanitary and clean, if it isn’t cleaned up quickly it can become contaminated and lead to a Category 2 water loss.
Category 2 water (or grey water) loss involves water that has biological, chemical or physical contaminants that would cause illness if ingested. Examples are washing machine overflow, dishwasher overflow, sump pump failures, flush from sink drains and toilet overflow with urine only.
Category 3 is the worst classification and is extremely unsanitary and hazardous to your health if ingested. Once referred to as ‘black water’, it may contain heavy metals, organic matters, silt, pesticides or toxic organic substances. Additionally, flood waters can be contaminated with soil bacteria, decaying insects, animal droppings, oils and fluids from roadways, and fertilizers to pesticides from fields or gardens.
General Safety Tips
Use caution when entering buildings. Make sure electrical power has been turned off and the structure is sound before entering and inspecting a flooded building. Small animals or reptiles may also seek shelter inside a structure, so be cautious when repositioning contents or removing materials.
Protect yourself with an organic vapor respirator, rubber gloves, eye protection, and protective clothing. Ventilate affected areas by opening windows or using fans.
Don’t keep germy items; know what items to throw away. Have a professional inspect and advise you salvaging or disposing of drywall, carpet and pad, mattresses, pillows, box springs, and particle board.
Clean aggressively in hidden areas like wall cavities. Floors, exposed studs, and joists should be cleaned with detergent solutions. After thoroughly cleaning and flushing salvageable materials, apply a disinfectant solution liberally. Be sure that the entire area is completely dry to avoid a future mold problem.
When You Have A Water Emergency:
Turn off the water source, or contact a certified professional to do it for you.
Don’t Panic! Contact CPR for immediate assistance.
Remember to put your safety first. Do not unplug any electrical devices, or remove any contents without shutting off the breaker or cutting-off electricity.
If it is safe to do so, remove furniture and contents from wet areas. If you have questions about personal property that could be saved, CPR can help. Many items that look destroyed might actually be salvageable. Don’t throw out anything before you’re sure.
Advice From The Experts
Dry out before you rebuild. To prevent dry rot and future structural damage, don’t cover up wood materials until its moisture content falls below 16 percent. Moisture meters are available for home but hire a water restoration professional with professional equipment and expertise to confirm proper drying before reconstruction.
Beware of scam artists targeting storm victims. When approached by any company for water restoration services, ask to see the technician’s certification, proper licensing and liability insurance.
Wait for help-
Don’t use your vacuum to remove water.
Don’t use any electronics or appliances that are plugged into the walls.
Don’t use your ceiling fans if the ceilings are wet.
Don’t go to rooms with sagging ceilings.
The IICRC serves as an independent, certification body, that sets and promotes high standards and ethics, and advances communication and technical proficiency within the inspection, cleaning and restoration industries. The IICRC also ensures that when consumers hire a certified firm or technician, they have hired experts who will provide reasonable assurance that work will be completed in accordance with the industry’s “standard of care.”
Certified Professional Restoration (CPR) is a restoration company attentive to both the physical and emotional pressure of home water damage. CPR offers 24-7 immediate response and is dedicated to customer satisfaction, serving Akron, Canton and surrounding areas at 234-231-9850 or cpr4yourhome.com