Just as each case involving water damage is different, no two water mitigation companies are the same. Public entities in need of drying services should consider the companies that have already dealt with their particular type of building. Moreover, public entities should take into account the insurance status and responsiveness of a restoration company.
Categories & Classes of Water Loss
The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) developed a standard comprised of 3 categories and 4 classes of water loss. This standard helps restoration companies determine both the amount and the type of equipment needed on the cleanup site.
Categories are based on the cleanliness of the water that has damaged the property:
- Category 1: Clean water loss – this water derives from sources that are non-threatening with regards to public health (e.g. water supply line leaks, melting ice).
- Category 2: Grey water loss – contains a level of contamination that may cause discomfort or sickness (e.g. overflow from dishwashers, seepage due to sump pump failure).
- Category 3: Black water loss – water that is highly unsanitary (e.g. sewage backup, flooding due to rising rivers or streams).
Classes are based on the amount of water that has damaged the property:
- Class 1: Less than 5% of property affected by water loss. Requires the least amount of equipment.
- Class 2: 5%-40% of property affected by water loss. Moisture may be absorbed by structure materials, such as plywood.
- Class 3: The greatest amount of water that commercial or residential property can take (over 40% of property is affected). Often the result of intense overhead leakage and requires a large amount of equipment, including a dehumidifier, for cleanup.
- Class 4: Restricted to industrial plants and huge warehouses. Drying is an intensive process and requires specialty equipment.
A typical restoration process begins with a group’s broker, who goes directly to the insurance carrier or the third party administrator handling the loss. The insurance carrier or TPA then sends their own carrier adjuster, if available, or an independent adjuster to determine the damage caused by the water loss. Public entities or property owners also have the option to hire a public adjuster to assess the damage, although there may be a larger fee for the public adjuster’s services.