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CARPET & RESTORATION
has water damage?
There is no simple
answer to this question.
Every water damage that
occurs is different and has
a different outcome. As a
building manager, facility
manager or commercial
cleaner, this will affect
you different ways depending on these
The cause of the water damage
was the water damage caused by a bath
overflowing, a toilet backflow, a burst pipe,
a water intrusion from the room, or water
intrusion from outside the building flowing in
The cause of the water damage will have
an impact of the extent of the contamination
that the water causes to both building
materials and contents that the water comes
into contact with.
If a bath tub overflows, the hygiene and
contamination of the water is very different to
water that has come in from the street, which
could have come into contact with pesticides,
animal faeces or other nasty contaminants.
Depending on the cause of the water
damage this will impact on what building
materials and contents can be restored and
which will have to be disposed.
The extent of the water damage
the amount of water that has come into the
property will obviously have an impact on
the size of the job. What can appear to be a
small job with a small amount of water can
quite easily become more complex if water
travels through walls, building materials and
possibly building levels. On the same note,
what appears to be a lot of what can turn into
a relatively straight forward job.
The building and contents
that have been effected by
the water damage – depending
on the types of building materials,
construction methods and contents in
the property can really determine how
complex the water damage is. Once
again, this is something that needs to be
thoroughly assessed. Different building
materials respond to moisture in different
ways. If there was poor construction to
start with, this will also impact on how the
water will affect the property.
The impact of the water
damage on the property
tenants – whether it is a domestic
property or commercial property will
impact on how the water damage needs
to be dealt with. It is common in domestic
properties that tenants need to be relocated
to alternative accommodation if the water
damage will impact on their ability to live in
the property. It is also important to establish
whether there are people with compromised
immune systems in the property who could be
affected with the water damage itself and the
In a commercial property, it is important to
establish the impact of business interruption
on the tenants. Some companies will happily
pay a premium rate to have their water
damage dealt with quickly, quietly and
properly to ensure the loss of income is as
small as possible. Other businesses will simply
relocate elsewhere and not be concerned with
the same impacts.
How do you know how bad the
water damage is?
The only way to know how badly damaged
a property is, is to conduct a thorough
assessment. This involves using specialised
equipment to measure moisture levels of
different building materials.
You have a few options:
Build a relationship with a company who
specialises in water damage – work with
them when you come across this situation.
Gain the skills to assess water damage
situations and then work with a company
who can dry the property to the
Gain the skills to assess water damage
situations and also gain the skills to fully dry
You cannot tell if a building material is dry
by touching it – this is not a scientific method
of testing the moisture level of a building
material. You require specialised knowledge
and moisture meters to know whether a
building material is dry.
Establish who the customer is – the
customer is the person who has given you
the go ahead with the work. You need to
ensure you have a written work authorisation.
Getting paid for water damage work can
become complex as insurance companies,
building strata and tenants get involved.
Jenny Boymal is managing director of
Jena Dyco Inter national.
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