Best Tools and Practices for Flood Damage Drying and Cleanup

Today, remediating flood damage and drying a structure is a formalized process driven by extensive research and sound scientific principles. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) has established criteria to classify types of water damage as well as compiled best practices to achieve effective, efficient results. The remediation process is implemented using industrial-grade equipment engineered specifically for professional water damage recovery. These standardized procedures and tools ensure consistent results that meet industry guidelines for successful remediation.

Water Damage Classification

The IICRC divides water damage incidents into three levels, depending on the source of the water:

  • Category 1: Clean water from a source such as a ruptured water supply pipe.
  • Category 2: Gray water – Water soapy or dirty from a washing machine overflow, leaking dishwasher, etc.
  • Category 3: Black water – Toxic water from a sewage backup, outdoor flooding or other contaminated source.

IICRC Best Practices and Tools

  • Verify the house is safe to enter.
  • Identify the source of water and stop the flow.
  • Start industrial-grade dehumidifiers and run continuously to prevent secondary water damage from high indoor humidity.
  • Perform baseline moisture measurements using moisture detectors, hygrometers, infrared cameras and other technology to establish extent of water infiltration.
  • Remove saturated furniture including mattresses, cushions and other absorbent materials from the house. Take steps to protect furniture and other objects still left inside.
  • Mop up or vacuum pooling water from hard surfaces.
  • Use high-volume directional air movers to accelerate drying of flooring, walls and ceiling.
  • If Category 1 water damage, utilize professional extraction equipment to remove water from carpeting and pad. For Category 2, remove pad and dispose before extracting water from carpet. For Category 3, dispose of both pad and carpeting.
  • Remove absorbent building materials that are saturated and cannot be dried, such as drywall and ceiling tiles.
  • Apply biocide to all wet surfaces to prevent microbial growth including mold.
  • Repeat moisture measurements at intervals to track drying process and determine when drying goals have been achieved.
  • Replace any saturated building materials with new material.
  • Clean and disinfect the area of the premise affected by water.

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