Water Damage Mitigation.

Water Damage Mitigation

Water damage is one of the most common and potentially destructive causes of damage to a building and its contents. If not actioned in a prompt manner, excess water in a building can cause expensive and long-term damage to the structure and can even create a hazardous environment due to the potential for the growth of mould.

Water Damage Causes

DMA encounters water damage due to a variety of causes which includes the following;

  • A significant storm event
  • Roof cladding and roof plumbing leaks
  • Appliance and fixture leaks and bursts
  • Bursts, leaking or backed up water supply, stormwater and sewer pipes
  • Façade or foundation movement cracks
  • Moisture and condensation trapped in wall and ceiling cavities
  • Firefighting efforts and fire suppression systems
Water Damage Mitigation

Whilst a buildings structure and contents being briefly exposed to clean water often causes no immediate concerns, standing and long term water exposure can causes irreversible damage and create health concerns caused by the growth of mould. However, even clean water tracking through contaminated areas or left for extended periods can result in water becoming contaminated.

Contamination Categories

Whilst environmental conditions can impact the severity of water contamination, water escape is often described as the following;

  • Category 1 (or clean water) is often the result of a leaking or burst water supply pipe. This water is the cleanest and contains the fewest health risks. Basic PPE and general cleaning practices is appropriate in these instances.
  • Category 2 (or grey water) is often wastewater from overflowing wash basins, tubs or the like, Kitchen appliances etc. Best practice is to consider all escape of water events as Category 2 until confirmed otherwise. More appropriate PPE is recommended to prevent exposure to contaminants such as bacteria, viruses and parasites. A more targeted cleaning regime is implemented in these instances.
  • Category 3 (or black water) is most often the result of an escape of sewage via plumbing fixture pipes or floor drains. Large flooding events often lead to Category 3 water contamination. The most dangerous to health, Category 3 water requires the use of specialist PPE combined with specialist cleaning practices as it not only contains the same contaminants as Category 2 water, but can also lead to respiratory and other serious health concerns.

Water Damage Mitigation

Trained Specialist

Water damage events can create unhealthy and generally unsafe environments within a building. Water can not only heavily stain and deform building fabric, but moisture can then lead to the growth of mould, thus resulting in even more damage to building fabric.

Therefore, DMA strive to provide prompt advice to mitigate further damage caused to a building following a water event which will include;

  • Ongoing water damage mitigation
  • Water extraction techniques
  • Structural drying techniques
  • Odour control methods
  • Specific building fabric cleaning

Water damage mitigation process

As the cause and type of water damage can vary, DMA will provide specific damage mitigation advice to address the immediate concerns caused by the water. The mitigation assessment process will often include the following key steps;

Step 1.

Coordinating with the responsible emergency authorities and key personnel

Step 2.

Inspecting and assessing the water damage which includes identifying the type of water, surveying the extent of the water damage and advise on the protection or relocation of any building contents. Sourcing and providing advice on how to stop the water ingress may also be provided.

Step 3.

Advice on the recommended water removal and extraction process which will often include practices for packing and moving contents out, bulk water removal and detailed ongoing and post water removal assessment.

Step 4.

Advice on the drying and dehumidification process which includes extensive drying strategies and the appropriate level of ongoing recording and monitoring.

Step 5.

Advice on the recommended cleaning and sanitising practices which will include building fabric cleaning, odour removal and deodorisation, sanitising treatments and disposal where necessary.

Step 6.

Advice on any immediate restoration requirements which can include emergency building services and minor building repairs.