What Type of Loss?

What Type of Loss?

This is a picture of a Category 2, Class 2 water loss. Why? It is a Cat 2 because it originated from the clothes washer which overflowed during a cycle due to a faulty sensor. Class 2 because there was a significant amount of carpet which was wet, and because the water ran along the walls, there was removal required but not more than twenty four inches.

Classes of Water – Part 2

Class 3

Class 3 water intrusion is where moisture has wicked up the walls more than 24 inches, water may have come from above and/or wet insulation may be present and there is more water present than any other class. Class 3 water losses include:

  • Strong wins damage the roof and rain enters from above, saturating ceilings, walls, flooring materials and structural items.
  • Second floor water supply failure saturates entire areas below with large amounts of water.
  • Overhead water supply pipes malfunction, saturating entire areas with large amounts of water.

Class 4

A Class 4 water intrusion results in a specialty drying situation. Typically, wet materials present in a Class 4 water situation have very low porosity. Materials that are common to Class 4 intrusions include hardwood, plaster, brick, deeply saturated concrete, deeply saturated ground soil and stone. Other examples of Class 4 situations include:

  • Plaster and lath walls that are deeply saturated
  • Gymnasium floors
  • Hardwood floors in residential construction
  • Very old construction with multiple layers of building materials
  • Concrete
  • Dirt floors

Use of desiccant and/or LGR dehumidifiers is necessary in Class 4 situations.

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Classes of Water – Part 1

Along with Categories of water, there are also Classes of Water. Classes of water describe the potential rate of evaporation based upon the amount of water present and the type of material affected. In this session, we will define the different classes of water.

Class 1

Class 1 intrusions involve only a part of an area, or involve a larger area that has only been lightly affected. In a Class 1 loss, there is little or no wet carpet or cushion, typically, only low porosity materials such as plywood, concrete and structural lumber are affected. Examples of common Class 1 water intrusions are:

  • A concrete basement floor that only absorbed a small amount of water.
  • And losses where carpet and pad have been removed and there is no wet gypsum.

Class 2

Class 2 water intrusions are ones that have affected significant areas of carpet and cushion. Water may have wicked up the walls but is less than twenty four inches high, and structural materials are wet. Some examples of Class 2 common intrusions are:

  • A loss that includes wet carpet, cushion and gypsum wicked less than twenty four inches.
  • A structure that was affected by Category 2 water and where the underlay was removed, but wet carpet, drywall and structural materials remain.

Structures with no wicking on walls but where the carpet and underlay is being dried in place.

Part 2 will include Classes 3 and 4.

More information can be fund on our website at biowashing.com

Category 3 Water Loss

Category 3 Water Loss

Here’s a photo of a category 3 water loss. This is probably the least offensive photo we can show, but it is a sewer back up. Category 3 is when water intrusion results from a grossly unsanitary source, or carries pathogenic agents. Examples of Category 3 water sources include discharge from toilets that originate from beyond the trap, sewer or septic system, and intrusions from the surface of ground water into the structure like flood water.

View more examples by clicking here: MSIPhotos

Categories of Water – Part 2

Category 2

Water that does carry a significant degree of chemical, biological and/or physical contamination is said to be Category 2.  Aquarium leaks, waterbed leaks, toilet bowl overflows that contain urine, dishwasher and clothes water discharges, and water which enters the structure through hydrostatic pressure. 

With Category 2 water losses, special steps and procedures are necessary in order to return the structure to a pre-loss condition.  Hot water extraction must be executed and the underlay of the carpet must be removed and disposed of.  Antimicrobials should also be used to mitigate growth of microorganisms especially when there are porous materials that are to be cleaned and restored. 

Category 3

When water intrusion results from a grossly unsanitary source, or carries pathogenic agents, it is said to be category 3.  Examples of Category 3 water sources include discharge from toilets that originate from beyond the trap, sewer or septic system, and intrusions from the surface of ground water into the structure like flood water.

Many procedures are necessary to address cleanliness and safety when dealing with category 3 water losses.  Worker and occupant health and safety are the first priority on such losses as they are considered potentially hazardous. 

Individuals with compromised immune systems, individuals who have undergone recent surgery or chemotherapy, and those whose immune systems are suppressed by conditions such as AIDS should be evacuated from the structure until it has been judged safe for occupancy. 

Various cleaning and decontamination procedures must be applied, while surfaces that are to be restored must be thoroughly cleaned.  Category 3 loss, like all other losses requires immediate action, but materials that have been affected by this type of loss will most likely be discarded, unless those items can be restored, but the process is quite expensive.  Appropriate biocides during and after the demolition process should be implemented to help control microorganisms while increasing the cleaning process.   Be sure to check your contractors certifications and insurance prior to hiring anyone for a water loss.  Hiring an uninsured contractor, or one that doesn’t have the proper training and certification needed for such remediation projects could result in thousands of dollars in damage.

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Categories of Water – Part 1

When water loss occurs, determining the type of water which enters the structure is vital in determining the proper steps needed to restore the dwelling back to pre-loss condition.  Water intrusion is broken down into 3 Categories.

Based on the source of water, the length of time the water has been allowed to dwell in the structure, the temperature, and pre-existing conditions, it is possible to asses the category and employ the appropriate means of restoration.  Here are the following categories:

Category 1

Water from a clean source with no substantial risk of causing sickness or discomfort is said to be Category 1, or clean.  In order to remain Category 1, water must not have been present for a substantial amount of time, and materials affected must be cleaned and maintained.  Certain odors from the water loss can indicate that the water is not Category 1.

Examples of Category 1 water include broken water supply lines, tub or sink overflows with no contaminants, and appliance malfunctions involving water supply lines.

Once the loss has been established as Category 1, the structural drying can proceed.  It is possible to restore the structure to pre-loss conditions by thoroughly and rapidly drying materials, and only replacing materials which have permanent structural or aesthetic damage.

Part 2 will include both Category 2 and 3 descriptions.

More information on Water Restoration can be found by clicking here:  Water Loss Info

Severe Water Damage

Severe Water Damage

Upon concluding our four part series on Water Extraction, I thought of showing you some photos of homes which had major water losses. This photo is taken from a home where the water feed for a toilet broke and allowed several hundred gallons of water to go from the second floor to the basement. The home owners were on vacation when this happened and it led to tens of thousands of dollars in remediation and reconstruction.

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Water Extraction – Part 4

Like tools, instruments also aid the restorative process in making sure the structure is brought to pre-loss conditions.  In this session, we will discuss some of the instruments used in restorative drying.

Moisture Sensor
A Moisture Sensor is the most basic of moisture detection instruments.  It is designed to detect high levels of moisture in the carpet and underlay.  A moisture sensor will indicate the presence of abnormal moisture levels through an audible beep.  The wetter the material, the faster the beep.  Because the instrument has been designed only to detect relatively high levels of moisture in carpet and underlay, it is limited in other uses and also does not give numerical values preventing technicians from evaluating progress.  Moisture sensors may also give false readings if high levels of urine are present in the carpet, underlay or subfloor.   A weak battery can also produce false readings. 

Invasive moisture Meter
Pin Type
Unlike moisture sensors, moisture meters provide numerical value for moisture detected.  This numerical value can then be documented and used to monitor drying progress.  Invasive moisture meters offer a variety of accessories and attachments designed for various building materials and construction methods.  These attachments generally include pins or probes that vary in length, diameter, tip style and electrical shielding along their shaft. 

Non-Invasive Moisture Meter
Noninvasive moisture meters use radio frequency signals or conductive pads to measure either impedance or capacitance through a sample of the suspect material.  Higher levels of moisture produce higher transfers of signals through the material.  Because of their noninvasive nature and quick surveying capabilities, noninvasive moisture meters are the most effective tools for locating abnormal moisture behind and beneath finishing materials such as ceramic tile and vinyl floor coverings. 

ThermoHygrometer
A thermohygrometer measures air temperature and relative humidity.  This information is recorded in the Record of Drying Conditions and used to calculate other important properties of the air being monitored.  It is important to note that thermohygrometers can provide inaccurate information for a number of reason.  Operator error is often the cause typically because of inadequate acclimation time time.  Thermohygrometers are very useful for to verify equipment operation and to evaluate the need for additional equipment intended to reduce the humidity and control the temperature within a drying environment.

This concludes our four part series on water extraction.

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