Responding to water damage quickly is critical. Empire Services West has the resources to act quickly and help minimize the damage to your business or commercial property. As soon as you discover a water intrusion, immediately, follow these three critical steps:
Call Empire Services West at 480.634.6446.
Determine where the water is coming from and eliminate the source (if safe to do so).
Contact your insurance company.
Because serious secondary damage can occur and restoration becomes more difficult as time goes on, it is critical to address a water intrusion right away. Mold tends to occur after a water loss when not addressed soon enough, drying processes were not thorough enough, or not monitored appropriately.
Upon receiving your call, we quickly dispatch a crew according to your needs – based on the amount of water in the loss location and the number of rooms and or floors that are
affected. When we arrive, we review the scope of the restoration work with you in detail.
First, we extract standing water from all floor coverings – carpet, wood flooring, tile and vinyl. Until water is removed, it can continue to damage the building’s structure and contents. Our technician determines if the pad and floor coverings can be dried out in place or if they must be removed.
Detect. We use moisture detection tools to monitor damaged materials including drywall/plaster, trim work and cabinets. When we determine how saturated materials are, we dry them in place using specialized equipment; remove the materials; or use a combination of both methods.
Next, we determine the amount and type of drying equipment needed. Typically, we install a combination of drying fans, dehumidifiers and negative air machines. We examine many factors to determine the best drying strategy and how much equipment to place, including: when the loss occurred, how wet the building materials are, and size of the affected areas.
Philosophies about how often drying equipment should be monitored vary throughout the industry, but accepted standard dictates that it should take place on a daily basis. With new remote monitoring technology, we can cut back on some on-site monitoring – but not all. Because some areas and materials are more difficult to dry than others, we customize our monitoring plan for each job – ensuring that all areas are dried thoroughly.
A clear understanding of the specific relationship between temperature, humidity and air flow (psychrometry) helps us dry materials quickly and completely. Our IICRC-certified, trained technicians use drying science to determine the type, method and capacity required for dehumidification – and to set an overall drying strategy for each restoration job.
We use state-of-the-art equipment to remove as much liquid water as possible, as quickly as possible; vaporize the remaining moisture as quickly as possible; and remove this water vapor as quickly as possible – including high-velocity fans to kick up moisture (vapor) into the air and dehumidifiers to remove it.
We constantly update our arsenal of drying equipment with the most effective, safest, and efficient tools in the business.
Air movers – fans designed and specifically engineered to deliver a high volume or airflow over and under surfaces, expediting the drying process
Refrigerant dehumidifiers – working on the same principle of a refrigerator to condense moisture from warm air onto coil fins, forming droplets that then re-evaporate
Desiccant dehumidifiers – create the lowest vapor pressure and use the principle of absorption to remove moisture from the air
Air filtration devices, negative air machines, and high-tech moisture monitoring instruments
Categories of Water Damage
Categorizing the level of contamination of the water in a damaged structure not only helps us perform a loss assessment, but it is also essential for establishing correct drying strategy and procedures. Water damage is divided into three general categories:
Category 1. Clean water originated from a source that does not pose substantial harm to humans. Examples include: broken water supply lines, melting ice or snow, falling rainwater, broken toilet tanks, and toilet bowls that do not contain contaminants or additives. Clean water may deteriorate as it dissolves or mixes with soils and other contaminants, and as time elapses.
Category 2. Gray water contains a significant level of contamination and has the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if consumed by or exposed to humans. Gray water may contain chemicals, bio-contaminants (fungal, bacterial, viral, algae) or other contaminants. Examples include: discharge from dishwashers or washing machines, overflows from washing machines, overflows from toilet bowls with some urine (no feces), sump pump failures, seepage due to hydrostatic pressure, broken aquariums, and punctured water beds. Gray water that remains untreated for longer than 48 hours may escalate to Category 3.
Category 3. Black water contains pathogenic agents and is grossly unsanitary. Anyone with compromised immune systems, respiratory problems or allergies, plus young children and the elderly must remain off the job-site until the building is judged safe for occupancy. Black water includes sewage and other contaminated water sources entering or affecting the indoor environment – including toilet back-flows and all forms of flooding from seawater, ground surface water, and rising river water. Category 3 water can contain contaminants such as pesticides, heavy metals, or toxic substances.
HEALTH CONCERNS ABOUT WATER DAMAGE
In today’s enlightened era of environmental health, proper water damage restoration is imperative. There is more to water restoration than using a “shop vac” to extract water from the carpet and pad. Controlling and terminating growth of bacteria, mold and mildew looms as the primary concern. Remember, in terms of the interior building temperature, mildew is at its most prolific when the atmosphere stays between 75deg F and 85degF. BACTERIA differs in its climatic preferences. Some survive below freezing, while others are active to temperatures above 150 deg F. Similar to mildew, bacteria’s preferred temperature for growth is 75deg F. Remember, the building WON’T dry “on its own.”
Trained technicians who understand proper procedures and anti-microbial applications must perform water damage restoration. Trained personnel can provide the necessary ad
adjustments to the environment by altering temperature and humidity levels to deter production of mold, mildew and bacteria.
The property manager must remain alert for the following signs of microbial growth:
Musty, stuffy odors.
Black/gray patches along the bottoms of the walls.
Deterioration of jute backing on carpeting and/or dust covers on the bottom of furniture.
Water damaged building interiors provide a “prime” environment for the growth of mold. One of the favorite foods for bacteria and mildew is the decaying organic jute backing of carpets. This, coupled with warm humid air, creates the ideal environment for reproduction. Mold and mildew may cause allergic reactions such as depression, arthritis, puffy eyes, chronic cough, rheumatism, asthma or headache.
Flooding of any kind usually leaves in its wake water damage to anything in its path. The damage runs the gamut from mild to severe depending on the area and the severity of the flooding. Water damage can come as a result of a sink or bath over -flow, a broken water main, putting out a fire or from weather conditions such as storms or hurricanes.
From industrial properties to executive suites, water damage is no respecter of places and can wreak its devastation at will. No one knows when this calamity will strike and even the most well -prepared have suffered the effects of severe flooding, leading to severe water damage. Whenever this happens it is an unfortunate occurrence, however, the one light on the horizon is the team of restoration experts waiting at the end of the phone line.
Water damage teams have the expertise and know- how of water extraction to bring restoration to the area. Time is of the essence to save valuables that can be destroyed by water. Therefore, once flooding occurs the first step is to find a professional water extraction company with the best response time, preferably within 24 hours of the incident.
Remember: Call Empire Services West as soon as you discover water damage; we will respond immediately! 480.634.6446