How A Water Restoration Technician Assists After Disaster

A water restoration technician has an extremely important job when a home is affected by excess moisture or fluid. Certified professionals in the industry can quickly reverse the extensive damage that a flood or sewage backflow can cause, and save as many items as possible in the process. And when dealing with contaminated fluids, especially when it has pooled in the home, only certified professionals should be allowed to manage the cleanup. Attempting to perform cleanup efforts without expert assistance can lead to injury or illness, both of which can be severe.

A certified water restoration technician will usually be on call around the clock, except for those times when an entire community has been affected by a major disaster. As soon as a professional is on site, they will assess the situation and determine what items need immediate rescuing. If fluid has pooled in areas around the home, then pumps will be used to remove it.

The home will be dried using a configuration of heavy duty air movers and dehumidifiers, and while it dries, the firm will move through the building and look for any evidence of mold or pathogen contamination. If pathogens or mold are present, they will be eliminated using special  procedures. This will ensure the home is safe to return to, and with concerted drying efforts, the building will as good as new once professionals have completed their work.

Damage From Water Should Be Cleaned By Certified Professionals

The amount of damage water can cause is amazing, and often underestimated by homeowners. Excess moisture is bad enough, but when a home is flooded or hit with a plumbing disaster (like a burst pipe), the situation can quickly get out of hand. There’s a reason why these incidents are among the most expensive problems a homeowner can face. Contaminated water not only creates immediate structural problems, it can leave serious biological threats behind after it has been removed.

Floods, sewage backflows, and other sources of contaminated fluid usually cause the worst damage. Dirty water is filled with all kinds of deadly substances, ranging from chemical residues to animal feces to parasites. Bacteria, viruses and fungi grow explosively in contaminated fluid, and severe health risks, like salmonella and hepatitis, are common in flood waters.

This problem is compounded by the composition of most homes, which are filled with organic materials. Drywall, wood and the matter that is trapped in carpet fibers are just a few examples, and they can give pathogens room to grow. Within 48 hours, mold may begin creeping behind the walls and releasing spores, and any organic materials that have been soaked through by contaminated fluid will usually have to be destroyed.

That’s why restoration firms, in addition to surveying the home for structural problems, will dry the home quickly and apply antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal agents to all surfaces that had contact with the water. This ensures the family can return to a safe home, and not one harboring a collection of deadly pathogens.

Always Call A Water Damage Service For Repairs

A water damage restoration service is the kind of professional that no one wants to call, but when they are needed, it is important not to delay. Homeowners know that moisture is often the enemy, capable of penetrating into just about any space, and taking advantage of every little crack and structural problem. No matter how moisture gets into the building, the response should be the same. Bring in a certified firm as soon as possible to clean the home, dry it, and ensure there are no lingering health threats once the moisture is gone.

If water has entered the home through a contaminated source, don’t try to handle it on your own. Floods and sewage backflows contain a cocktail of deadly bacteria, viruses and fungi, and even momentary skin contact can leave a person seriously ill. A certified water damage restoration service not only has the tools to eliminate the moisture, they have the protective equipment to remain free from harm.

Restoration technicians have a lot of technology at their disposal. These include powerful vacuums and pumping systems, high volume air movers, dehumidifiers, heat injectors, moisture meters, and a number of detergents formulated for destroying fungi and other microbial threats. While the technicians work on the building, disposing of compromised materials, and drying the rest, they will also destroy all mold and microbial colonies. This is the only way to ensure a home is safe to live, and a business safe to work in; any other cleaning method is a dangerous gamble.

Call A Restoration Company For Water Damage

When restoration is necessary for water damage, it’s usually needed right away. Moisture has the nasty tendency to attract all kinds of microbes, and it can destroy nearly anything if given enough time. And it doesn’t take much time for it to destroy anything containing cellulose or other organic materials. In fact, it only needs hours to leave a house in bad shape. Certified technicians know that time is of the essence when responding and come prepared for nearly any situation. This knowledge will speed the process along and help the technicians salvage as much as possible.

Before a restoration firm can repair water damage, its technicians have to know what they are dealing with. A thorough inspection with moisture meters will allow the technicians to pinpoint just how much moisture is in the home. Upon finding moisture, the technicians will pump out any standing water and begin the drying process. Heavy equipment like air movers are used during the drying process and it generally takes several days to complete the job. If the professionals can respond quickly enough, they can often save flooring and drywall, though if either take on at least 25 to 50 percent of their weight in moisture, salvaging may not be possible. During drying, technicians will also test for various microbes and destroy any found with powerful antimicrobials and fungicides.

In the aftermath of a flood, burst pipe or other disaster, it may seem like the situation is an impossible one. Not only is this not true, a certified firm can fix the problem in just days, making it look as if the home never suffered any damage.

Find A Certified Professional To Repair Water Damage

It may be possible for a homeowner to repair minor water damage in their home, but when the problem begins to worsen or if it is widespread, professional help will be needed to fix the issue. In general, if a problem can be completely fixed without having to tear through a wall or dig out plumbing in the yard or basement, a homeowner might be able to resolve it without help. This includes small, isolated leaks. In many cases, though, it is not clear where the moisture is coming from and how extensive the problem is. Professionals certified through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) should be called in to deal with larger issues.

Why should a homeowner hire certified professionals to repair water damage?

The damage left behind in the wake of a flood, leaky pipes or a natural disaster can be extensive. The homeowner will likely only notice the damage to the surface, but a certified technician is trained to look beyond the surface. It doesn’t take long for a saturated area to pose a health risk, so dealing with the full extent of the issue is imperative.

How does the IICRC train technicians to repair water damage?

The IICRC has long been a leading training and certification agency for technicians in this field since the early 70s. To further this cause, the IICRC offers several classes aimed at expanding the knowledge of industry professionals.

The IICRC’s coursework will teach students how to handle a wide variety of work environments and how to avoid the most common hazards associated with the job. These risks commonly include wildlife, chemical and sewage contamination and electrical hazards. Students will learn how to use standard protective equipment and technology designed to locate the source of infiltration. Technicians will be introduced to the latest methods, cleaning solutions, disinfectants and equipment for cleaning up job sites and eliminating microbial threats.

The IICRC’s Applied Microbial Remediation Technician course (AMRT) and Applied Structural Drying technician course (ASD) will expand on these concepts. The AMRT will show students how to deal with the many strains of mold, bacteria and viruses they are likely to encounter while on the job. The ASD will demonstrate how to oversee the drying process properly, including how to accelerate it and how to adequately dry a variety of materials. Once complete, students will have the knowledge to assess and fix problems left behind by leaks, floods, plumbing problems and more.

How To Choose Water Damage Restoration Services

When a storm leaves a home flooded, or a burst pipe causes serious issues in the house, getting water damage restoration services from a respected company should be considered a top priority. Unfortunately, this industry is not regulated, and there are people out there who pose as professionals or overstate their qualifications. Therefore, homeowners should be mindful of who they hire, as an untrained technician may do more harm than good or delay repairs, resulting in a higher degree of destruction. Before selecting a company to handle the job, keep in mind these points of emphasis:

  • Only choose certified professionals to perform water damage restoration services. Even though the industry is not regulated, technicians who have received certification have made the effort to get the best training possible, proving that they take their job seriously. Certification through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is a sign that a professional has received the most up to date training and is knowledgeable in the latest techniques and technologies employed during repairs. The IICRC operates a Certified Firm registrant-only database on its site, making it easy to find a local, certified professional without trouble.
  • Do not select a technician based only on the price or an insurance company’s recommendation. When possible, speak to neighbors or friends who have had to hire a technician recently and try to get a recommendation from them. Insurance companies often select a restoration company based on price, and unusually low pricing suggests the company does not use modern drying or repair methods.
  • Choose a company that offers a range of water damage restoration services. The easiest way to determine the expertise of a firm is to see if they provide a full range of options for homeowners. Mold remediation, for example, is often needed given how quickly mold can set in. This is a standard field of knowledge that advanced technicians should possess. If a company doesn’t offer mold remediation, it may not be prepared for all job settings.
  • A company that is available 24/7 is a good sign. Stay away from any firms that are reluctant to start right away. In many cases modern equipment can enable near-complete drying in as little as 36 hours,  although many situations require longer. Also, a homeowner should not have to wait before repairs begin. Every minute counts when there is standing water present, and reputable professionals understand this. If a technician insists on waiting to begin the  remediation portion of the loss, they probably cannot be trusted to see the job through in a reasonable timeframe.

Using these guidelines, a homeowner should be able to find a technician that can be trusted and is equipped to do the job the right way. A storm or other disaster is hard enough to deal with, and a remediation firm should do everything in its power to make this difficult process easier.

What Is Required For Water Damage Restoration?

Companies that perform water damage restoration have to be skilled in a number of areas to stay current in their field. Technicians in the industry have to combat a number of threats, some visible and some invisible, before their job is done. Structural weakening, chemical runoff, electrical hazards, dangerous wildlife, and deadly microbes are all common risks technicians have to contend with. Without the proper education and equipment, a technician risks grave injury and may leave health risks behind for a family to encounter. Fortunately, technicians in the industry have access to the educational resources offered by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, or IICRC.

After getting certified in water damage restoration and a number of related fields, a professional in the field will be able to identify and neutralize any problems they are likely to face at a job site. In most cases, a technician is called to a home following a flood or plumbing disaster. In either case, the initial threat a technician has to encounter is hazardous standing liquid. Floods and sewage backups are normally host to dangerous chemicals, like oil runoff, bacteria and viruses. Before any repairs can be done on the home, a technician will need to be outfitted with the proper safety wear and begin investigating where the liquid is pooling. Moisture meters can detect the level of moisture in and behind drywall, carpet, and other areas. Using minimally-invasive tools, a technician can quickly find pockets of heavy moisture in areas not readily accessible.

This is important because only thorough drying will ensure that further destruction does not occur. Most companies use a combination of industrial  air movers and dehumidifiers to extract moisture from both materials and the air. This process can take some time, but diagnostic tools like moisture meters help technicians monitor the drying process. Once all of the materials inside the home have reached safe levels, mold and other microbial growth can be halted.

The most severe threats a water damage restoration company has to deal with are molds and other pathogens. These  contaminants can remain a major hazard for years after they have taken root, and can cause insidious health problems while remaining hidden in vents or behind walls. Trained technicians are capable of neutralizing molds and other pathogens by utilizing special  cleaning products and quickly removing compromised materials. Being able to identify mold growth is an important skill for a professional, and stemming the growth of a colony can be the difference between saving a home and having to condemn it. Certified firms are capable of quickly working through a property and disposing of anything that is beyond repair. Anything that is salvageable but soaked is separated, cleaned properly, and promptly dried. If the building’s structural integrity has been affected, these technicians can identify it and alert the homeowner and the insurance representative to its presence.

Without professional help, a homeowner will never know for sure that their home is safe to live in again. This is why the help of a certified technician is so valuable. They don’t just repair homes, they restore normalcy.

Why Do Water Damage Restoration Technician Training?

Though IICRC does not in fact operate its own school, it does recommend the best water damage restoration technician training courses per industry standards. Take a look at what a certified professional has studied in order to be good enough for the CleanTrust™ name.

Time is of the essence after a major water disaster. Though Journeyman-certified technicians may be the right choice for water damage that does not threaten structural integrity, it is vital to bring an IICRC certified Master professional to the scene of a major disaster as soon as possible. Certified professionals use the skills they’ve learned in the accreditation courses to examine the structure, textiles, and the belongings, and will likely be able to control the damage, so no further damage will occur.

Furthermore, knowing the fastest and best means of drying the structure and textiles is imperative. Familiarity with the most effective processes and safest compounds to stop the spread of molds and microbes is also needed to protect people and animals in the environment. Graduates of the relevant IICRC-approved classes excel in these areas.

The importance of providing customer satisfaction cannot be over-emphasized. Each  certified technician  must pass a stringent series of exams prior to acceptance, and continual training is required. Complaints are taken seriously and must be handled promptly to ensure continued accreditation as a certified firm.

Water damage restoration technician training is a surefire way to  insure the latest and greatest procedures are used to protect a customer’s property. There are various courses of study and ways to learn the information, so IICRC works with both the consumer and the professional to guarantee the best experience. Don’t forget to look for the CleanTrust™ symbol to find the best possible solution for your water-based damage.

How Are Mold Remediation Courses Online Not The Best Option?

Though it is possible to find mold remediation courses online, as well as in local classrooms, this is one time that online is not the best way to acquire knowledge. Technicians that repair water damage work in time-sensitive environments that require knowledge as well as practical expertise. The best way to accrue this experience is with hands-on guidance from a certified expert in the industry. However, locating a certified expert for this purpose can be extremely difficult without some help.

This is where the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, or IICRC, comes in. This organization is one of the most respected oversight agencies in the world when it comes to carpet treatment. Among its many certification programs, the IICRC offers mold remediation courses. While not taught online, the IICRC’s site can help a technician locate a nearby approved school. Instructors approved by the IICRC uphold the agency’s standards and are well-versed in the latest techniques and methods available in the industry.

During the class, the student will learn how to identify and assess the scope of a microbial infestation in a water-damaged home. Both clean and contaminated water can foster microbial growth within hours of contact, so nearly every flooded and water damaged home will be compromised to some extent. The student will also learn how to isolate and contain the microbes and prevent them from spreading further. The instructor will demonstrate how to physically remove compromised material and properly dry everything so the microbial infestation won’t reappear. Where there is water there can be mold and bacteria growth, so technicians will also learn where to look for excess moisture and how to detect its presence. Water has a tendency to collect in hard to reach areas, so a professional will need to be thorough when performing the job.

Find A Certified Water Restoration Company

Standing liquids can cause catastrophic damage to a home and everything inside, which is why homeowners rely on a water restoration company to fix everything quickly and thoroughly. Among carpet and textile technicians, these professionals are perhaps the most knowledgeable and versatile. They must be able to assess and repair damage to carpets, upholstery, and other textiles. In addition, trained professionals must be able to identify structural damage to the home, fight microbial infestation, and eliminate the source of the problem. Handling all of these processes requires extensive training from a respected organization.

There are several oversight agencies in the industry, but the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, or IICRC, is likely the most revered. More than 50,000 registrants and firms are part of the IICRC, and the organization is recognized around the world. Any water restoration company that wants to improve its knowledge and standing in the field can do so through the IICRC.

The institute’s classes are taught through approved instructors that are spread throughout the country. This means a technician can easily find and attend nearby courses, and get their career going right away. Relevant courses in this field include mold remediation, structural drying, carpet cleaning, and carpet repair. However, the most important class will teach the technician how to identify excess moisture and remove it, how to assess the extent of liquid contamination, how to remove structural hazards, and how to repair any damage done by the liquid. Technicians in the industry are expected to work in many different environments, so students will also learn how to handle the unique threats caused by sewage backflows and major pipe leaks.

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