Restoration of water damage can be described as restoring the property’s condition to its initial state before the intrusion of water. The process involves inspection extraction, dehumidification, sanitation, and reconstruction (if needed). While restoration of water damage typically doesn’t require certification, it should be handled by an expert in water damage restoration with the necessary tools and know-how to complete the job.
Water Damage Restoration Process
The whole water damage restoration process is typically completed in five simple steps:
Conduct a Water Damage Inspection
A specialist performs an inspection of water damage or a water damage assessment to determine the source of the water as well as the water-related category and the class of water damage. In certain instances, it can be challenging to pinpoint the source of water, even without knowing the reason for the water damage (e.g., flood water could be able to enter the building through a variety of access points).
Identifying the category of water contamination can help the specialist determine the type and scope of decontamination required in the future. Materials that are low evaporation include concrete, wood, and masonry. The classification of water damage is vital because it reveals the degree of drying as well as dehumidification that is required to be done later. Read more!
Remove Standing Water via Extraction
This is particularly important when a home has a basement that is flooded. Getting rid of standing water (also called stagnant water) is accomplished by extraction. Extractors are industrial vacuums as well as submersible pumps. Once all standing water has been removed, surface water may be removed using portable dry and wet vacuums.
The professional may also utilize an infrared or moisture meter thermal camera to find the hidden areas of saturation in the walls or beneath floorboards. The residual surface water might persist even after vacuuming.
Dry and Dehumidify Affected Areas
Like extracting water, the expert uses other equipment, like heavy-duty fans (including air movers) and commercial-grade dehumidifiers, to dry and dehumidify the affected areas. In addition to using this equipment, the expert may open doors and windows to allow air circulation. Drying and dehumidification generally take longer than water extraction, particularly when the water damage is of Class 3 or 4 and needs the removal of a portion of walls and floors.
Clean and Sanitize All Surfaces
Before cleaning mold is completed, the expert must be wearing personal protective Equipment (PPE) like N-95 masks, gloves, gloves, goggles, rubber boots, disposable clothing as well as protective clothing.
Similar to extraction and dehumidification, a specialist also uses equipment like a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) vacuum cleaner, air scrubber, and other kinds of negative air machines for sanitation. If the water damage is classified as Category 3 or higher, the entire surface must be scrubbed using an antimicrobial treatment.
Repair and Reconstruct if Necessary
In the final phase of restoration, after water damage, the expert will remove the unsalvageable components (e.g., walls below the flood line and medium to low-density trim boards and carpet padding). Carpets can be deep-cleaned, but they’ll most likely require replacement.
In certain cases, wood trim boards can be reused, and drywall can be repaired if the water damage isn’t Class 4 or Category 3. However, reconstruction might be required, particularly if the source of the water damage is a natural catastrophe.
Although the process is extremely complex, following a few basic restoration guidelines will help you to ensure a thorough and efficient restoration process.
Water Damage in Healthcare Facilities: What Are the Major Causes?
Various sources can cause water damage in healthcare facilities, and its consequences may be particularly devastating due to their sensitive environments. Some of the major sources of water damage in healthcare facilities include:
Plumbing Failures: Healthcare facilities use complex plumbing systems to meet patients’ needs, yet burst pipes, leaking pipes, or plumbing malfunctions may lead to water damage and create other issues due to corrosion, high water pressure, or inadequate maintenance.
Roof Leaks: When roofs become damaged or poorly maintained, rainwater can enter the building through leaks, allowing rainwater into patient care areas, equipment, and sensitive medical records. Leaks may cause disruptions that disrupt patient care services and compromise patient records.
Issues With HVAC Systems in Healthcare Facilities: HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems in healthcare facilities are extensive and often produce condensation. If these systems are neglected, or their drainage systems malfunction, water damage may result.
Sprinkler Malfunctions: Healthcare facilities often employ fire sprinkler systems to ensure safety. Unfortunately, accidental discharges, frozen pipes, or system failures can result in significant water damage that necessitates costly repair measures.
Appliance Failures: Malfunctioning washers, dishwashers, and water heaters can leak water into healthcare facilities that house their laundries and kitchens equipped with various appliances.
Accidents in Patient Rooms: Flooded patient rooms or water leakage from medical procedures can become an accident waiting to happen, necessitating immediate response and cleanup efforts to limit potential damages.
Equipment Leaks: Medical devices like X-ray machines or sterilizers may develop leaks that damage both their performance and that of the facility and patient care areas. Not only could such leakage compromise equipment but also the facility’s structural integrity and patient care areas.
Construction and Renovation Issues: Healthcare facilities may undergo construction or renovation projects that include waterproofing, drainage, or construction issues that lead to water damage during these activities.
Human Error: Accidents like leaving faucets running, improper cleaning practices, or failure to address issues promptly can all lead to water damage, making staff training and awareness crucial in avoiding such catastrophes.
Maintenance Gaps: Lack of adequate maintenance on plumbing systems, roofs, and infrastructure can contribute to water damage issues. Preventive maintenance is critical in mitigating risks.
Aging Infrastructure: Older healthcare facilities may have outdated infrastructure and plumbing systems, which are more susceptible to breakdown, so upgrading these systems may often be necessary.
As healthcare facilities pose unique risks to both patients and staff members, comprehensive water damage prevention and response plans must be put in place. Regular inspections, maintenance checks, and staff training sessions should all help protect both building occupants from its devastating consequences.