Sudden and catastrophic release of large quantities of water in buildings can occur following unusual weather events or plumbing failure. Collection of that water promptly from the indoors is necessary to prevent structural damage and risk of bacterial and fungal growth. This is often done promptly, by untrained personnel, using easily available equipment such as squeegees and wet vacuums –job well done!
Unfortunately, much of the released water is not easily accessed for collection, as water will run in and through buildings to inaccessible locations. Porous building materials such as gypsum or concrete will retain massive quantities of water. Vulnerable materials in contact with these “sponges” will begin to support bacterial and fungal growth. Why is the building is starting to smell if all the water was cleaned up? Hidden in walls and in other interstitial spaces is widespread microbial growth.
Preventing these undesirable outcomes requires identifying and extracting all the moisture as close in time to the event as possible. Professional water restoration techniques manage the extraction of this “bound” water in building materials, using directed heat and dry air to transfer this water from deep within the saturated materials to released humidity in the air, and then removing it from the air using dehumidification technology. Many liters of water will be recaptured with this approach, moisture which otherwise would be supporting microbial growth.
VA Sciences manages this process for building owners, occupants, managers, and insurance companies, writing appropriate scopes of work and qualifying and overseeing trained contractors performing this work. We utilise moisture mapping and thermal imaging to assess the presence of moisture in building materials, and calculate the appropriate rate of removal so as not to damage wood or other materials.
We assess the correct type and quantity of equipment required to successfully close out the project, and can estimate required personnel to derive an engineers’ estimate of the ultimate costs. Our work is consistent with industry-standard procedures and processes, including:
- ANSI/IICRC S520-2015 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation
- ANSI/IICRC S520-2015 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration
VA Sciences assists insurance companies, property owners, and property managers in the appropriate management of large water-related claims in a variety of commercial, industrial, and institutional building types.