It seems as though, as with the subject of mold, that water damages have become controversial and complicated. Maybe one person heard this and another that; this company is saying do this, while another says do that; or some people feel they’ve gotten sick during a water damage, while others don’t. Either way, most people have either experienced a water damage or known someone who has, but few understand its affects on the Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) and their health. I hope that this page might help you understand a little more about the indoor environment of a water damage.
Wikipedia Encyclopedia defines water damage as, “a large number of possible losses caused by water intruding where it will enable attack of a material or system by destructive processes such as rotting of wood, growth pedestal pumps, rusting of steel, de-laminating of materials such as plywood , and many, many others.
“The damage may be imperceptibly slow and minor such as water spots that could eventually mar a surface, or it may be instantaneous and catastrophic such as flooding. However fast it occurs, water damage is a very major contributor to loss of property.”
Water damage can be caused by a number of sources, such as leaking plumbing, sewage back-ups, vandalism, hail damage, clogged guttering, natural disasters, hydrostatic pressure, leaking or congested crawl spaces and attics, and many others. Whatever the cause, prompt, thorough attention should be given to the situation in order to protect everyone’s health, the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), and the building components from compromising degradation. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) in its Standard & Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration (hereafter referred to as the S500), states several times how “it is important to begin mitigation procedures as soon as safely possible following the initial loss, as the quality of the water is likely to deteriorate over time.As the quality of water deteriorates, the greater damage to the structure and contents, along with increased environmental hazards, are likely to develop.”
3.5 million American homes lose electrical power to their homes every week of the year, according to the National Weather Service. In an instant, lights, heat, refrigeration, communications and other vital services are lost.
In years gone by the loss of power in a home or business was little more than an annoyance. Even today, a few hours without power are little more than a nuisance. However, extend the loss of electrical power over days and, the consequences can range from destructive to lethal.
Given our reliance on 21st Century technology, it’s easy to imagine how destructive a few days without electrical power can be: Heating and cooling systems fail. Pipes freeze and then burst, causing flooding and structural damage. Sump pumps fail, creating more destruction when basements and cellars flood. Security systems fail, leaving businesses and residences easy targets for looters and thieves. Food spoils in refrigerators and freezers that died. Wells stop pumping water. The potential for dangerous fires spike because most Americans have long forgotten how to live safely with candles and kerosene lamps.
In fact, the National Weather Service says that weekly interruptions of electrical service cost American businesses and homeowners $80 billion a year. Increasing numbers of savvy homeowners use a portable generator to cope with these costly power losses. Typically gas-powered, these versatile units set up quickly, enabling the home or small business owner to rapidly restore power to selected appliances and services.