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

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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