Restoration Principles of Water Damage
The Fundamentals of the Water Damage Restoration Process
The restoration principles of water damage govern every project undertaken by a professional flood and water cleanup service company. Every water damage project is different, each with their unique circumstances and characteristics, but there are central restoration principles that should always be respected. Outlined by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) in the S500, these restoration principles are broad and generalized, but provide an excellent foundation and framework for all water damage projects. Each project may be different, but this framework remains the same.
Principles and Regulations set the framework for any quality industry, including water damage restoration service.
1 – Provide for the Health and Safety of all Workers and Occupants
The first and most important of all water damage restoration principles is a strict emphasis and dedication to safety. For any business in the construction field , safety is a critical issue that should take precedent over all other concerns. The first and most vital restoration principle of safety includes following all proper techniques and procedures while wearing the correct personal protective equipment, or PPE. This ensures the safety of all service technicians. The project leader should also inform clients of any safety concerns in order to protect all building occupants.
2 – Document Conditions and Work Procedures
Another chief restoration principle is the rigorous documentation of all project conditions as well as the processes and procedures performed during the work. This begins with an initial inspection, where professional water detection equipment is used to evaluate and record psychrometric conditions and moisture content of both affected and unaffected areas inside and outside of the building.
Insider tip: “Psychrometric” refers to the relationship between air mixtures including humidity, temperature, and air. Psychrometry refers to the engineering practice of measuring and evaluating the thermodynamic properties of air and water vapor. This enables water damage restoration service professionals to accurately analyze and manage conditions during the drying process.
Other factors that should be identified and examined at the outset of the water damage project are the source and time of water intrusion, the apparent material deterioration of affected areas, as well as the pre-existing damage and microbial growth. The extent of the water migration related to intrusion should be identified and documented using industrial-grade moisture detection equipment.
Finally, this restoration principle asserts that moisture content and drying goals should be established at the outset of the flood cleanup project. This is most often completed by setting a drying standard for the project, which is an appropriate estimation of pre-loss conditions that were present at the time before the water intrusion occurred. Restoration principles clearly state that the project is considered complete after these pre-loss conditions are met, and the process should be monitored and documented along the way.
3 – The Restoration Principle of Mitigation
Mitigation is defined as minimizing, alleviating, or reducing the severity of something, and this refers most commonly to the spread of contaminants and moisture control with respect to water damage restoration principles.
Flood restoration companies should work to minimize the spread of microbials and reduce moisture problems throughout the water damage project. Contamination by microbes and other harmful pathogens should be kept as close to their source as possible, and eventually eliminated. Moisture problems should be identified, located, and alleviated as quickly as possible.
4 – The Restoration Principles of Drying
The primary function of the water damage service company is restoring the building to its natural, pre-loss state. Quite often, these objectives are primarily achieved through the drying process. The building materials should be dried as quickly as possible, remaining safe and practical while also considering the elements of psychrometry. These restoration principles include:
Removing excess water
Removing water vapor (Dehumidification/Ventilation)
5 – Cleaning and Repair
Once the drying process has been completed, all soils and contaminants should be cleaned and removed from the property. The extent and scope of the cleaning process is entirely dependent on the severity and unique circumstances surrounding the water damage restoration project. Finally, only the most qualified professionals should perform this activity.
By adhering to these primary restoration principles, water damage service companies ensure a high-quality project with a positive outcome for all parties.