Information Regarding Water Damage Restoration
Posted on October 23, 2015 by Ty Hines
Water damage restoration includes any maintenance or repair activities that are performed as part of the process of restoring a property after some level of water damage is sustained. In the U.S, there are no laws regulating or prescribing how restoration processes should be carried out, but there are a number of non-governmental organizations that have published recommended standards. The largest of these organizations are the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and the Restoration Industry Association (RIA).
The IICRC’s documentation deals more with standards and classifications of water damage restoration jobs than specific restoration practices or methods that must be used. Their reference guide includes ways to categorize water damage based both on the source of the water, the level of damage and the makeup of the damaged materials. They then provide general recommendations and standards, not specific instructions, regarding the type of restoration process necessary for each level. Note that depending upon the region, the recommendations issued by the IICRC may exceed or fall short of regional legal recommendations or requirements.
The ANSI/IICRC Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration classifies water into three categories with regards to water damage. The first category consists of water from a sanitary source, meaning it contains no contaminants that pose a health concern. Water from clean water supply lines almost always falls into this category. The second category is water with minor levels of contaminants that could cause illness if ingested, but is not contaminated enough to be considered dangerous. The third category is water contaminated to the point where there is a risk of severe illness or death if ingested. It is important to note that particularly with regards to water damage, category 1 or 2 water can degrade after sitting for some period of time. The speed of the degradation is largely dependent on the environment.
Besides the categories of water, the guide also classifies water damage into four different classes, from least serious to greatest. Class 1 includes water damage in a very restricted area such as a single room or part of a room, or water damage to materials that absorb a very limited amount of water. Class 2 includes situations with a larger amount of water affecting an area at least as large as an entire room, and class 3 includes water damage that affects more than an entire room, or affects an entire room above a height of two feet, often including the ceiling. Class 4 includes water damage where water has saturated specific materials that are very difficult to dry, such as hardwood, brick, or stone. These scenarios require specialized drying practices to address.
- Ty Hines