Site Assessment: Moisture Mapping

What is 3rd Party Event Assessment? (Known Also as Moisture Mapping)

  • When you, the owner, or the insurance company hire another company to assess the extent and details of a loss and the progression of restoration

Aspects of a Good 3rd Party Event Assessment:

  • Qualified, Experienced, Insured, & Unbiased Investigator
  • Moisture Assessment (via IR cameras and non-penetrating & penetrating moisture meters)
  • Field marking of wet materials (Generally with painters tape)
  • Moisture mapping (Diagram of wet building material locations & key observations)
  • Identification & documentation of pre-existing conditions (digital photos)
  • Compliance sampling for asbestos (3 hour turn around time available)
  • Determination of Category of Water (I, II, or III)
  • Identification of drying trouble spots
  • Verification of dryness at projects end (closure)
  • Available 24/7
  • Day1 and subsequent days as needed

Finding the Water

Typical Unaided View of Wet Building Materials

Typical Infrared View of Wet Building Materials

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The Invisible Made Visible (Ceiling)

No signs of moisture

IR denotes suspect area & moisture meter confirms the ceiling is wet.

IR image is put in report, location is mapped for the restoration contractor and the owner.

Wet areas are marked to visualize the area needing attention for the restoration firm and the owner

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The Invisible Made Visible (Floor)

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What's Wet in this Bathroom?

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  • The IR image on the right shows an area of cooler wall surface temperatures.
  • The non-penetrating moisture meter beeps when placed on the cool spot.
  • The penetrating moisture meter beeps when placed on the cool spot.
  • A monkey can be trained to put a moisture meter on a wall or to operate and IR camera.
  • A professional knows the limitations of the tools, understands building materials, has working knowledge of applicable rules and regulations, & understands the pros and cons of available corrective options.

Document Conditions Encountered

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Document Convoluting Conditions

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Wet Building Materials Field-marked With Red Painters Tape

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Diagram of Key Observations

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"See" the Progress Day 1(hour 0) & Day 2 (hour 35.5)2nd Floor

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"See" the Progress Day 1(hour 0) & Day 2 (hour 35.5)1st Floor

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Verify We Are Dry Day 1 & Day 6

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Three Categories of Water

  1. Clean water: does not pose substantial harm to humans Can be dried in place
  2. Gray water: containing a significant degree of chemical, biological, and/or physical contamination Can be judged on a case by case basis (padding MUST be removed)
  3. Black water: grossly unsanitary water, containing pathogenic agents &/or chemicals of concern Remove affected porous contents and structure

What is Category 3 Water?

  • Water from beyond the trap (sewage)
  • Water that came in contact with soil
  • Category 3 water can sewage can contain a wide variety of chemical contaminants and/or pathogenic organisms including
  • Pathogenic organisms associated with sewage include:
  • Bacteria such as Salmonellaa, Shigella and Clostiduium difficile
  • Unicellular parasites such as Giardia and Cyptosporidium
  • Multi-cellular parasites such as tape worms and liver flukes
  • Viruses such as HIV, polio and the viruses that causes hepatitis.
  • Testing impossible/impractical
  • Must presume the presence of the full spectrum of both viable and non-viable pathogenic organisms (virus, bacteria, fungi) and chemicals of concern in all category III water
  • Disinfection alone is not enough
  • Many disinfectants are not effective in "killing" the entire array of potential pathogens
  • Many of the organisms fund in sewage water are toxic even when those organisms are killed (i.e. bacterial endotoxins)
  • Disinfection is ineffective against chemical contaminants
  • Use special handling and training

Sewage (Anything from beyond the trap is Category 3)

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  • Not all sewage looks unclean
  • Sewage can contain biological and chemical contaminants
  • Sewage can contain body fluids
  • Body fluids should be considered and handled as contaminated with blood borne pathogens
  • Bloodborne pathogens require special handling and training

Flood Waters (Any water that comes in contact with soil is Category 3)

Soil can contain biological and chemical contaminants

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Category 1 and 2 Water Degrades to Category 3 Water

Factors influencing the degradation of clean water to category 3

  • What the water contacts
  • Temperature
  • Passage of Time (7 days, IICRC S500)

Handling Emergency Responses to Cat 3 Floods

  • Cross Contamination
  • Walking from the loss area into clean areas
  • Yes you carry germs on your shoes too
  • Moving contents from unclean areas to clean areas
  • Moving unclean tools to clean areas
  • Keep bad stuff outside your body
  • Beware hand to mouth transfer
  • Don't bring it home to your family

Avoid getting harmful germs inside your body

  • Practice good personal hygiene
  • Keep your hands out of your:
  • Nose
  • Eyes
  • Mouth
  • Sores (cuts, pimples, rashes)
  • Wash your hands often and well
  • Restroom
  • Before Meals/Snacks/Smoking
  • After Skin Contact
  • Before & After Wound Care
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Protect Yourself

  • Train and protect your team
  • Vaccinate your team (HEP A-B, Tetanus, Etc.)
  • Presume Category 3 water until otherwise proven
  • Document the water source (personally or via a qualified expert such as a plumber and get a copy of their opinion in writing)
  • Document pre-existing conditions
  • Presume asbestos until proven otherwise

Why use a 3rd Party?

If you don't use a 3rd party Consultant...

  • The proverbial "Fox" is watching the "Henhouse"
  • Smacks of conflict of interest
  • Weakens your position in litigation

If you don't use a 3rd party Laboratory

  • Your particular contaminant may not be their specialty
  • They may not hold consensus accreditation for your contaminant