Water Damage Repair – Getting Started

A few months back we featured a series on identifying, isolating and drying water damage in the home. The series left off after an effective drying system is set-up, and your home is on its way back to a livable condition.
Over the next week or so, we will look at how to actually repair water damaged material. Here’s what we will cover:
* What materials can be salvaged and what needs to be discarded
* Personal protective equipment
* Safely removing contaminated or moldy materials
* Tips for making the repair easier on yourself or your contractors
Before getting too far into the series, here is a refresher on water remediation category terms. These terms will be used throughout the series:

Category I is clean, potable (drinkable) water. This is water coming from an overflowing sink or bathtub, or perhaps from a broken water supply line or a fixture shut-off valve. This is the preferred source should water damage occur. Category I water poses minimal risk of contamination or respiratory danger.
Category II water is sometimes called “gray” water. It is certainly not drinkable but not full of sewage, either. Examples of Category II water are dishwasher run-off or washing-machine run-off. These sources contain soap and/or food contaminants but not raw sewage.
Category III water, sometimes called “black” water, is highly contaminated. It contains bacteria or chemicals harmful to touch, consume or inhale. Category III water must be removed by a professional with proper immunizations and personal protective equipment. Examples of Category III water are any type of sewer back-up, water that has run across open ground before entering the structure, or anything related to a chemical spill.
Commit these definitions to memory should you need them in the future!
photo: JessicaFM

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