The "Rainy Season" and Sewage
The "Rainy Season" and Sewage
There is a language particular to a trade or profession that can be confusing to the average person when taken out of context. In regards to the Professional Water Damage Restorer, this lingo becomes part of their lifestyle. With a few simple words, our Professional Water Technicians understand immediately the severity of the damage and can quickly prepare to handle the job. Water Damages are classified by Water Class and Water Category.
Class 1: Only part of a room or area is wet or larger areas containing materials that have absorbed minimal moisture. Little or no wet carpet and/or pad is present.
Class 2: An entire room or more is affected. Carpet and pad may be wet. Water has wicked up the walls less than 24 inches. There is significant moisture remaining in structural materials.
Class 3: Fully involved. Water may have come from overhead. Ceiling, walls, insulation, carpet, pad and sub-floor in virtually the entire area are saturated.
Class 4: Specialty drying situations - Wet materials with very low permanence/porosity (hardwood, concrete, brick). Typically, there are deep pockets of saturation, which require very low specific humidity.
Clean: Water that does not pose substantial harm to humans. (Examples: Broken water supply lines, water heaters, toilet tanks, tub and sink overflows, rain, snow)
Gray: Examples include discharge from dishwashers, washing machines, Fish tanks, toilet bowls without solid waste, and any water that contains chemicals, fungus or algae. If left untreated for 48 hours, this can turn into a Category 3 (Black Water)
Black: Examples include sewage and toilet backflows, river, stream and seawater flooding and sources with toxic pesticides or heavy metals. Typically, Category 3 is extracted, then the carpet and materials are removed and disposed.
A Black Water Damage is one of the worst situations for homeowners and business owners. Not only is the smell unpleasant, but can also be costly. Sewage back-ups in particular require having the area extracted, sanitized and demolished. Unfortunately, there are only so many preventative measure you can take to safeguard against a back-up.
Causes of Sewage Back-ups:
- Floods: As ground water rises, the pressure can cause sewage from sanitary sewer lines to reverse and back up into houses through drain pipes.
- Blockages: Flushing foreign objects or non-flushable sanitary products into the Sanitary Main; Sometimes a blockage is also the result of a combination of city and private trees where the roots penetrate the pipes. Usually if the sanitary main is affected the back flow happens slowly, giving the owner time to call a licensed plumber to assess the damage.
- Water in Basement: In many cases, soil settles adjacent to the building and, if not corrected, leads to rainwater flowing towards the building and down the outside of the foundation wall. This frequently happens when the ground is saturated after repeated or heavy rain storms. Drainage can be improved by making sure that water drains away from the building. Homeowners can also prevent flooding by water-sealing the basement. If water is entering your basement at a rapid rate, call the city public works office and report the problem immediately so that a city operator can investigate.
- Homeowners and business insurance do not cover flood damage or sewage back-ups. Most homeowner and business insurance policies do not cover sewer backup unless specific sewer backup coverage is added to the policy. Most homeowners and business owners may not realize that they are responsible for the maintenance and repair of their house or sewer lateral – the pipeline between the city sanitary sewer main, usually located under the street, and the building. The sewer lateral is owned and maintained by the property owner including any part that may extend into the street or public right of way. A cracked or deteriorated lateral or one filled with tree roots can allow groundwater to seep into the system, contributing to the possible sewer backup problems.
Information courtesy of Western National Insurance