An Overview of Water Damage Classifications and Categories

Water damage comes in a variety of forms that can be merely annoying or potentially dangerous, depending on the source of the flow. Today, we will go over the general categories of water leaks, the type of damage they can cause and the recommended steps to treat them. Water damage is split up into various categories and classifications according to standards set by the IICRC.

Category 1 (Clear Water)

This type of water damage occurs when a pipe or appliance springs a leak or overflows when left on unattended. Fortunately, in these types of situations, the water is usually clean and does not pose any real risk to you immediately. Clean water damage typically is an issue for the surrounding environment, such as carpets, books and other belongings which are not waterproof and may need restoration work done if the flooding happens over a long period of time. Additionally, water damage can potentially lead to more severe issues such as mold growth that will need the attention of a professional mold inspector and remediator.

Category 2 (Grey Water)

Gray water damage involves some degree of contamination, whether it’s physical, biological or chemical. In layman’s terms, gray water is dangerous but not hazardous and needs some form of remediation in order to ensure that the environment is properly restored for human inhabitation. The most common household gray water situations come from toilets, dishwashers and washing machine leaks, where detergents or food particles are mingled in with the water supply. Gray water, like clean water, may also cause mold damage in unattended situations and can also potentially lead to other structural issues depending on the type of contaminant in the water.

Category 3 (Black Water)

This is the most uncommon form of water damage as well as the most dangerous. Black water contains extremely unsanitary agents including bacteria and fungus, and contaminate all surfaces it touches. Black water damage is usually caused by natural disasters such as storms and floods, where debris is washed into the water, or from ruptured sewage lines or septic tanks. This type of water damage must be handled by a professional restoration firm and potentially the state environmental protection agency, as the consequences of leaving the situation untreated or improper treatment can be devastating to many others besides the property owner.

In addition to the types of water damage, there are also various classifications to specify the rate of evaporation for a water damage scenario. This information is subsequently utilized by the technicians to determine the proper method of dryout and an approximate timeline.

Class 1 (Slow Evaporation Rate)

This is the most benign level of water damage in which only a part of a room or area is affected, or the materials involved are relatively low permanence or porosity such as particle board, structural wood or plywood. In these situations, there is usually a minimal amount of moisture absorbed by materials and restoration time is typically fast.

Class 2 (Fast Evaporation Rate)

This class generally involves an entire room, or flood damage where water has wicked up to 24 inches on the wall. Moisture can be present in the structure as well. These scenarios are middle of the road as far as the work and time involved.

Class 3 (Fastest Evaporation Rate)

Class 3 situations commonly involves water that comes from above, either from an upstairs room or outside during heavy rain. In these scenarios, water has saturated more than 24 inches above the wall, posing severe structural risk and potential damage if not immediately addressed.

Class 4 (Specialty Drying Situations)

In this class, the surrounding structure and materials have very low permance/porosity, causing water to remain in saturated pockets throughout. Examples include hardwood, brick, concrete or other materials that do not have a high amount of absorption rate for moisture. These scenarios require very specific low humidity and ventilation solutions in order for water to be effectively removed.

While the class and categorization of a water emergency can usually be quickly inferred, be sure to double check with your water technician when they arrive on site to get the full scope of the situation after a professional inspection has been conducted. Your technician should be able to provide you with an approximate estimate of the timeframe, as well as details on the exact work that needs to be done to bring everything back up to speed. We will cover the various methods of water damage restoration in our next article so be sure to stay tuned!

Water Damage to the Home

Every year, millions of properties all over the world suffer from the risk and destruction associated with water damage to the home. There are several identifiable culprits including flooding, torrential rains, and broken water pipes, but the effect is almost always the same; poor response by homeowners to the calamity often leads to abandonment of the property because it is already beyond repair.

With water damage to the home, it is important to remember that the speed and quality of the response can mean all the difference starting from scratch or successfully restoring a property to pre-damage condition. Although there will be cases when the damage will be too much to repair, in situations where the damage is moderate the type of response means everything. In this regard, every homeowner should take it upon himself to learn as much as possible about water damage to the home and the steps that can be taken to reverse the damage.

Here is a short guide on water damage repair that may come in handy when a rainy day come along.

· Begin by assessing the type of damage that your property has suffered during the calamity. A good rule of thumb is to identify specific places where damaged is observed, the type of material that is exposed to the water, and the duration of the exposure. Remember; even concrete, when immersed in water for a prolonged period, can weaken leading to irreparable damage.

· If there is significant water accumulation in the property, evacuating the standing water is the most important step towards repair. In cases of moderate flooding, a pump is required to suck out the water fast enough to prevent lasting damage. If the risk of water damage to home is very high because of the flood-prone location of the property, having a pump on standby is absolutely a must.

· Once the water has been evacuated, the next step to reverse water damage to home is to completely dry the wet portions of the property. This is where many homeowners make a big blunder; most think that you can simply dry a wet property without having to do anything. If you are dealing with wood, and other wood-based materials, you need to have blowers and heaters that can dry the material faster. Wood is highly sensitive to water exposure so time is a precious commodity for making sure the damage is not permanent.

· Some materials are better thrown out than dried after exposure to water. Examples include foam, insulation, and fireboard which can harbor mold and mildew with just minimal exposure to water. Don’t attempt to dry out these materials, especially if you are not trained to do so. Avoiding sickness which may happen because of mold infestation is more important than rescuing certain portions of your property.

· When in doubt, consult the opinion of water damage restorers who are properly trained and equipped to handle varying degrees of water damage to the home. Think about the cost implications associated with employing a professional, but know that a job-well-done can save you thousands more than if you were to lose your property altogether.

Water damage to the home is not something to scoff at but there are ways for it to be managed properly. Be conscious of these ways so the next time you find your property under risk of water damage, you know exactly what to do to save and repair your prized and valuable possession.

If you would like to learn more about water damage to the home and what actions that must be taken to salvage it, be sure and browse the many well-done article on our website concerning the subject.

Contests to Become Better Programmer

Every night my sleep is spoiled by my room-mate working late nights before the comp keying in at terrific speeds, sighing and grumping. Later I came to know that he is a hardcore-coder, working on his way to the top of the TopCoder’s list. So, the next question arises, ‘What is this TopCoder thing?’

For the amateurs’ sake, there are a number of online programming contests administered by several firms. If you have had the chance to watch the movie ‘Social Network’, the next thing that would have popped up in your mind is the ‘Hackathon’ shown in the feature. Well, this is not anything of the sort ‘Hackathon’ cos Hackathon is conducted by IT firms among their programmers not for the public. If you take Hackathon and change the entry requirement part to ‘any geek’ then you get online programming contests!

There are a lot of these dynamic contests hosted around by many IT firms including Google(code jam), Microsoft (Code4Bill), Sun(Java 4K), Facebook(Hacker Cup) and by firms that are dedicated to host online programming contests such as TopCoder, CodeChef and HTML5. The main focus of these contests is to bring the best coders out there to limelight.

Winning in any of these contests (hosted in a different span) puts you on the spotlight and there is a great chance of hearing a knock on your door by leading IT firms offering you a high profile job. So that’s what the fuzz about these contests is rather than the prize money offered on winning such a thing.

The top 20 coders who top the rest in the Code4Bill contest earn an internship Microsoft Research Center and later offered a job at Microsoft India upon completion of the internship. Moreover, a top lucky winner of the contest will get to work with Bill Gates Technical Assistants team and that’s called glamour. Facebook too, has something similar called ‘Puzzle Master’ where puzzles are posted in regular intervals and solving of which can get you hired by Facebook directly!!

Though there is a connotation that firms in the big league get their work done for much cheaper money through the coders who compete in these contests, the number of aspirants who participate in these contests have never gone down and stays increasing. More than the money involved, the fame and later the future chance of getting a high profile job matters to the coders in most cases.

Besides these contests hosted by firms there are several other coding contests hosted by premiere institutes and universities alike that bring you the fame and put on the wanted-list of recruiters. If you are game, then there are a thousand ways to get in the big league of firms.