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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Mitigation terms and definitions

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

Education is always a plus when you are not in that industry or have questions.  Giving you terms and definitions will help you to understand a little of what your mitigation company SERVPRO is talking about when they are scoping the job for the techs to perform the work.  Just like watching subtitled moves to learn another language, just a little easier.

Condensation – The process of changing water from a vapor to a liquid.

Contracts – Water damage services should not begin until an adequately contract is signed by the property owner. Contracts should specify the party responsible for payment. 

Conventional refrigerant dehumidifier – This kind of dehumidifier loses efficiency as the air dries below 55 grains per pound. It removes water vapor from the air using a process called condensation.

Dehumidifier/dehumidification – If electric cords become frayed, the device should be removed from service and the cord repaired properly. Mechanical dehumidification should be used when the outdoor humidity ratio is higher than the humidity ratio indoors. Dehumidification is the process of removing water vapor from the air.

Desiccant dehumidifier – This kind of dehumidifier creates the lowest humidity ratio, which means that it also creates the lowest vapor pressure. 

Dew point temperature – The temperature at which the air becomes saturated, 100% relative humidity. Air that contains the maximum water vapor at a given temperature is saturated.

Drying goals – Drying is not complete until all affected materials have been returned to their pre-determined drying goals. 

Drywall (Gypsum board) – Ceilings that are saturated and sagging should be drained, removed quickly, and discarded. Drywall becomes more fragile when wet and more stable as it dries.

EPA registered products – When using these products, you must follow label directions. The use of antimicrobials on water projects may or may not be advisable. Technicians should obtain the customer’s informed consent before applying antimicrobials on a water project. 

Evaporation – The process of changing water from a liquid to a vapor. As water evaporates from a material the temperature of the surface of the material gets cooler; this is known as evaporative cooling.

Hardwood flooring – Technicians should dry hardwood flooring until it reaches within 2-4 percentage points of normal EMC. After the floor has been dried to acceptable moisture content, appropriate acclimation time should be allowed before refinishing. If drying wood floors is feasible, it is recommended that you attempt to achieve a target humidity ratio of less than 40 grains per pound as quickly as possible. When moisture causes the wood flooring to swell across the width of each plank, with the edges higher than the center, the planks are cupped.

High-risk persons – People who are very young, very old, have suppressed or compromised immune systems, have allergies, or have respiratory problems. If high-risk persons are present on a water project, restorers should recommend third-party evaluation by an Indoor Environmental Professional (IEP). High-risk persons who are present on a Category 3 water loss should remain off the work site until the building is safe to re-occupy. 

Humidity ratio – The amount of water vapor that a volume of air contains by weight. Humidity ratio is directly related to vapor pressure.

Hygroscopic materials – Hygroscopic materials continue to absorb water until they reach equilibrium. They can have secondary damage from high humidity. The potential for damage to hygroscopic materials is greatest when the relative humidity is above 60%.

Low-grain refrigerant dehumidifier – This kind of dehumidifier removes water vapor from the air using a process called condensation. LGR dehumidifiers continue to remove a significant amount of water vapor below 40 grains per pound.

Moisture content – The measurement of the amount of moisture contained in a material, expressed as a percentage of the weight of the oven-dry material. If a restorer is measuring materials with an instrument that is calibrated for that material, then it is recommended that the term moisture content be used.

Moisture level – The measurement of the amount of moisture contained in a material on a relative scale. If a restorer is measuring materials with an instrument that is not calibrated for that material, then it is recommended that the term moisture level be used.

Mold – Use appropriate protective measures when mold growth is discovered.

Monitoring – Water projects should be monitored at least once every day. Daily readings should include all applicable air, equipment, and HVAC output readings. 

Open drying system – This method uses outside air to reduce the indoor humidity. When deciding if an open drying system is appropriate, restorers should consider the humidity ratio of the indoor air as compared to the humidity ratio of the outdoor air and occupant comfort.

Permeance – Permeance is the ability of water vapor to pass through a material.

Refrigerant dehumidifier – This kind of dehumidifier is the most energy-efficient type of dehumidifier. It continues to perform efficiently down to 70°F. It is usually the most efficient dehumidifier to use in warm, wet environments. Dehumidifier capacity is reported in pints per day (ppd); this reported amount of water removal is based on an AHAM test at 80°F and 60% RH for 24 hours.

Relative humidity – The ratio of moisture suspended in the air expressed as a percentage of the total moisture-holding capacity of the air.

Safety issues – One of the technician’s first responsibilities on a water project is to identify and communicate safety hazards. The most common safety issue on water projects is slippery floors.

Sanitizer – A product designed to significantly reduce, but not eliminate, microorganisms of public health importance.

Sterilizer – An antimicrobial designed to kill all forms of viruses, bacteria, and fungi, including their spores.

Sublimation – The process of changing water from a solid to a vapor without going through the liquid phase.

Vapor pressure – Vapor pressure is the force exerted by a gas on its surrounding environment.

Waste water disposal – The best place to dispose of all waste water is back into the sanitary sewer system. When a sanitary sewer system is not available, waste water should be disposed of at an approved municipal waste water disposal site.

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