Ensure Safety: Before entering the water-damaged area, assess the safety risks, such as electrical hazards or structural instability. If necessary, turn off the power supply to the affected area.
Mitigation: Begin mitigation immediately to prevent secondary damage and microbial growth. This involves stopping the source of water, extracting standing water, and drying the affected area. Use professional-grade drying equipment, such as dehumidifiers and air movers, to accelerate the drying process.
Contact a Certified Contents Restoration Firm: Engage a reputable and IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification) certified Full-Service Contents Restoration Firm like "My Contents" to handle all water-affected contents. They have the expertise and equipment required for proper restoration.
Salvageability Assessment: The restoration firm will assess the salvageability of all affected contents. They will evaluate the extent of damage, the material composition, and potential restoration methods. Salvageable items will undergo restoration, while severely damaged items may be deemed a total loss.
Total Loss Inventory: A comprehensive inventory of all damaged contents will be created, including replacement costs for insurance purposes. This inventory helps determine the scope of the loss and assists with the claims process.
Indoor Hygienist's Protocol: An indoor hygienist may be involved to assess the potential for microbial contamination and establish appropriate protocols for remediation. They will ensure that proper procedures are followed to restore indoor air quality and prevent health risks associated with water damage.
Categories of Loss:
Category 1: Involves clean water from a source such as broken pipes or sink overflows. Contents affected by Category 1 water have a higher salvageability potential.
Category 2: Involves water with some level of contaminants, such as washing machine or dishwasher leaks. Contents affected by Category 2 water may have a reduced salvageability potential due to the presence of contaminants.
Category 3: Involves highly contaminated water, such as sewage backups or floodwaters. Contents affected by Category 3 water have the lowest salvageability potential due to the significant risk of microbial contamination and health hazards.
Classes of Loss (Based on the Extent of Damage):
Class 1: Least amount of water absorption, affecting only a small area. Quick evaporation is expected, resulting in minimal damage to contents.
Class 2: Significant water absorption, affecting a larger area. Evaporation and moisture removal become more challenging, potentially leading to moderate damage to contents.
Class 3: Highest level of water absorption, affecting the entire area and often involving saturation of walls, ceilings, and floors. Restoration requires intensive drying and may result in severe damage to contents.
Class 4: Specialty drying situations, involving materials with low permeance or significant water absorption, such as hardwood floors or concrete. Contents affected by Class 4 losses often require specialized restoration techniques.