Why Flood Restoration Should Be Handled By A Technician
Technicians in the flood restoration industry have to combat a number of dangers while working on the job. These dangers come in many forms and without professional training they can be tough to overcome. While the average homeowner may be able to repair minor water damage to the home or do some basic cleaning, entering a waterlogged home without the proper precautions can be extremely dangerous. When water enters the home, whether from a burst pipe or rising water, it brings with it many potentially harmful substances and life forms. Also, when a structure is compromised, merely moving around in the building can result in an accident.
Perhaps the greatest threat that flood restoration technicians have to worry about is the building itself. Homes that have been damaged by water often behave similarly to those damaged by fire. What this means is that the structure may be compromised and parts of it can possibly fall down at any moment, often with little warning. For this reason, one of the first things a technician will do is assess the structural integrity of the building. If it appears the building has received catastrophic structural damage, it may have to be condemned outright. However, even if the building appears to be stable, the crew will have to be careful not to place too much stress on the home. Technicians have to pay close attention to any electrical hazards that may be present. Water is a ready conductor of electricity and can kill if there are any exposed wires in the home.
Technicians also have to worry about any wildlife that may have been carried into the home with the water. Wild animals may seek shelter in the building if the damage is not addressed right away. Snakes are a significant threat because they are drawn to water and can hide under debris or behind a waterlogged wall. The movement of humans, especially those engaged in active cleanup, may cause the snake the go into defense mode and strike.
The water itself is also a hazard to the flood restoration technician. Water that enters the home is sometimes the product of a drainage ditch or river overflowing. This water is contaminated and often contains a variety of pathogens and chemicals. Oil, fertilizers and pesticides are found on residential streets and in yards, and these are extremely toxic if ingested or improperly handled. Bacteria and fungi are also an immediate threat and could cause major illness if they enter the body.
Finally, various types of mold are an ever present concern and have to be dealt with immediately. While they aren’t usually a threat right away, after just a few days, they can form dangerously toxic colonies that can be inhaled if the technician is not wearing proper gear.
A homeowner attempting to enter and repair a home that’s water damaged takes a huge gamble. Without the proper equipment and knowhow, it is easy to get hurt or become ill. Technicians trained through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) are familiar with these dangers and are equipped to handle them. Protective gear, respirators and drying equipment allow technicians to move about the property without coming into contact with any toxic or dangerous materials or organisms. Also, their specialized training allows them to quickly spot structural problems and areas that are likely to foster mold growth. This allows a technician to quickly assess threats and overcome them.