Insurance Article, The Insurance Times 2022, The Insurance Times May 2022

How restoring water damaged assets is determining business continuity

Water has always been considered to be an essential element sustaining life. But water in excess can prove to be a destructive force. Where on one hand it plays havoc with the lives of people, on the other hand, it can have a tolling effect on the business. The draining effect can cause water damage which can bring a business to a halt and in worst cases can even lead a business to shut down. The revenue loss incurred while staking the reputation of the business can discourage its potential customers who with time seek alternative service/ product providers in the segment which can forfeit the business forever.

Time is a determining factor in dealing with the water menace. The first 24 to 48 hours are very crucial. It is a paradoxical situation where time cannot be wasted in waiting but at the same time, one cannot even jump to make hasty decisions. A solid emergency disaster plan must be devised beforehand to tackle such unforeseen situations. Prior education on the basics of water damage is important to address the issue. In the majority of the cases, companies are more likely to resort to the insurance company for help who in turn recommend seeking advice and service from a professional restoration team to repair the damage. Highly trained professionals with proper knowledge of sophisticated technology and equipment to control the water damage are needed to manage the crisis and restore the business operations back to normal.

Here Water Damage Restoration is highly efficient in achieving the desired result to deal with the damage. It is an emergency service having a niche in drying and restoring water-damaged assets. It not just ensures the safety of the occupants but also promotes the preservation, protection, and security of the assets from further damage while restoring the material to its original functionality.

During the restoration process, regulating the humidity plays a very pivotal role as it amplifies the drying process of the damaged area. As wet and moist conditions harbor a disastrous combination it becomes even more imperative to maintain relative humidity within a very narrow range. Warm air has more capacity to hold moisture than cool air. A condition where high temperature is coupled with low relative humidity (RH) sets the stage for rapid evaporation of water. But when reversed it shows a negligible impact on the evaporation process. Things can even get worse if the relative humidity reaches its 100% capacity. It causes condensation formation on the surfaces which in turn can give rise to problems of mold, corrosion, decay, and other moisture-related deterioration. It is recommended to maintain the temperature at 72°F with RH between 50-55%. Lowering the RH further by less than 40% accelerates the evaporation process. But during the course of action, it is important to ensure that the temperature of the damaged area is not raised.

Hence, dehumidification offers a more viable and advanced solution to the problem. It is highly efficient in physically removing moisture from the air. Increasing the airflow has a huge impact on lowing the moisture content (dehumidification) which further speeds up the evaporation process. It reduces the risk of condensation, deterioration of furniture and building material, and eliminates the damp condition which can be a source of mold, mildew, cockroaches, or mites.

But before starting the Water Damage Restoration process, it is important to understand the basics and analyze the common factors which can lead to water damage, and understand the categories of water to find viable solutions for the problem. Look for any water line failures, leaks or freezing; any sprinkler system malfunction; construction defects or tub and sink overflows. Regularly monitor for any defective appliances and fixtures, sewer backflows, fire suspension discharge, vandalism, and rainwater intrusion or flooding.

In the next step, it is very crucial to categorize the water causing damage. Given to the inherent properties of the water, there are three types of water. Category 1, also known as Clean Water, Category 2 – Gray Water, and Category 3 – Black Water. By the name itself, clean water is less prone to trigger contamination. It poses substantially less health risks to humans. It can either come from broken water supply lines, contaminant-free tub or sink overflow, or rainwater. Inefficiency in handling the clean-up process within 24 to 48 hours can lead to water contamination and increase the risk of mold growth. As the water damage is not extensive it can be dried by the maintenance staff without any further assistance.

Gray water, on the other hand, contains a significant amount of chemical, biological and physical contaminants like fungal, bacterial, and viral algae, etc. which necessitates seeking professional help from qualified restoration companies as its exposure can cause discomfort or sickness to humans. The major potential sources of gray water can be dishwasher or washing machine discharge, toilet bowls overflow containing some urine, slump pump failures, hydrostatic pressure causing seepage, fire protection sprinkler water. They provide a conducive environment for microorganisms to thrive which can further be worsened with the presence of moisture and warm temperature which increases the risk of mold growth. Furthermore, if left untreated for more than 48 hours it can inherently get converted to black water with a higher risk on human health.

Black water gives rise to the worst type of water damage. It is grossly unsanitary and unhealthy containing pathogenic agents which can rise from sewage or floodwater. Given to the huge health and financial risks it commands, no time must be wasted and professional restoration services must be contacted with immediate effect.

In addition to the above three water categories, there can be presence of regulated or hazardous materials like arsenic, mercury, lead, asbestos polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), pesticides, fuels, solvents, caustic chemicals, and radiological residues which can only be managed by specialized experts.

Based on the category of water damage, a suitable restoration process can be employed depending on the extent of damage, degree of contamination, and replacement vs restoration costs. TDS offers end-to-end Water Damage Restoration solutions that heavily employ Desiccant Dehumidifier to eliminate moisture from affected material and makes use of high-velocity air blowers to accelerate the evaporation process ensuring quick drying. It plays an instrumental role in inhibiting the potential secondary and tertiary damaging effects caused due to standing water which can harbor fungus, mold, mildew, corrosion, etc.

By delving on vast industry knowledge, it has acquired expertise in providing effective professional solutions for water mitigation with the help of dehumidification system. TDS services are acutely beneficial for businesses as they reduce the interruption to production activities by substantially minimizing the degree of loss and saving on reconstruction costs and time. As a result, the damage compensation expenses incurred by the insurer are also decreased immensely.

The process involves water removal techniques that require Dehumidifier. It oversees all the intricate operations entailing evaporation and dehumidification. Coming with 200 man years years of technical experience, TDS is highly adept at drying and restoring water damaged assets like electromechanical equipment, generator, transformers, turbines, electronic equipment, computer & data storage devices, documents, furniture, structural components, etc.

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