Should you panic if you have water damage? Not necessarily, but immediate action does need to be taken to mitigate further damage. Mold is secondary water damage, and is usually the result of not doing, what we call, an iPCT exam. iPCT stands for interview, Perimeter, Cavity and Trapped. What that means is:
Interview: Has there been a previous water damage in this area? Is there an ongoing leak? Are children or family members getting sick, losing their memory or feeling like they have no energy (all symptoms of overexposure to mold). We want to know the whole story.
Perimeter: We investigate to find the perimeter of the water, both horizontally and vertically. Water doesn’t always run downhill. Sometimes water wicks up drywall, travels through or on conduit, runs through a wall cavity undetected, or raises humidity and creates subsequent condensation in an unsuspected area like a wall cavity with a moisture barrier on the wrong side.
Cavity: Water can hide in many cavities, like wall voids, under stairwells, between floors, in air ducts, in conduit, behind built-in bookcases and cabinets and in cabinet risers and soffits. Many times the only way to investigate these areas is to remove sections of walls or cabinets.
Trapped: When multiple layers are used in construction or remodeling, water can be trapped between them, especially if they have a low water vapor. For example, sometimes a kitchen floor is installed over an existing kitchen floor. When a water damage occurs water will be trapped between the vinyl floor coverings and underlayment. Another example is when wall paper is installed over a wall covering which is getting wet, like in a bathroom next to a shower or on an outside wall with inadequate or improperly installed insulation. Water can also be trapped between multiple layers of construction materials, such as two or three 2 x 4’s around a door or window (called a King Stud), or two or three laminated 2 x 10’s in the floor joist system. One of the most common areas mold is found is between the baseboard and drywall where the drywall has been previously wet.
Many instruments are used to determine the extent of water or flood damage. Unsurprisingly, the most common testing instrument are your senses: do you see any dark stains or “furry” materials, do you smell mustiness (code for mold or water damage), does the area feel humid? However, more accurate, digital testing equipment can confirm your suspicions. Thermal Imaging Cameras are used to detect temperature differences many times caused by water or insulation anomalies. Moisture meters and hygrometers are used to confirm and document water damage.
Water damages come in three different categories, and you’ll never guess what they are called: Category 1, Category 2, and Category 3. Each category relates to the source of the water and the recommended procedures to do the water damage repair.
Category 1: Water comes from a clean water source like a busted pipe, frozen water line, a burst washing machine hose or ice maker line breaking. Most everything can be dried and restored if rapid restoration techniques are used. The carpet and pad extraction and drying requires emergency response.
Category 2: Water comes from a potentially dangerous source, like the washing machine, dishwasher or a toilet overflow. This source can be a potential problem and things like the carpet pad should be replaced after extraction, but it is not as dangerous as category 3.
Category 3: Water coming from an unsanitary source, like a broken sewage line, rising flood water, or an old category 1 or 2 water damage. In most cases, most everything needs to be replaced except structural items and those must be dried, cleaned, treated and tested to confirm they will not create any health threats.
Homeowners insurance usually covers water damage from broken pipes, whether they are supply or drain lines. Flood insurance is usually necessary to cover rising water, storm surge or rising water table. We are experts in working with insurance companies to make sure you get everything you deserve.
Make sure the company you choose will do a thorough iPCT investigation, treat your water damage properly depending on the category, get it done right and get you everything you deserve. We have a certified water damage specialist on every job. DryRite, by Tier Restoration, will document that your home or business is dry and with no mold problems by using a 3rd party inspector. Use a licensed water and mold cleaning specialist, call DryRite by Tier, at 615-371-5355. In most cases, a free inspection and estimate.