Water Damage Utah Inventories New 'Legal Arsenal' of Safe Products

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Water damage often comes from a dirty source with bacteria and microbes that can cause lingering health issues if not taken care of properly. Water Damage Utah now has a "legal arsenal" of safe products for this purpose.

Remember when Salt Lake City’s State Street became a river in 1983 and a temporary pedestrian footbridge had to be built over it? Photos show a raging body of water thundering down State Street; sewers overflowed and the Herculean clean-up effort took months.

“Water damage from an outside source like flood or ground water,” states Greg Patrick, CEO of Water Damage Utah, “is treated differently than a flood resulting from something like a frozen water pipe or overflowing toilet. It’s important to understand that water coming from a dirty source — like floodwaters or ground water — is considered a Category 3 source. We treat that kind of water damage the same as we would raw sewage. The amount of bacteria and microbes in that source of water is astronomical, and there are numerous and lingering health issues if the water removal and restoration isn’t taken care of properly. We’re proud of the fact that we’re accredited by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, which dictates how to perform water damage cleanup, water removal and water repair in Category 3 situations.”

After Hurricane Katrina, industry standards for water damage cleanup and water damage restoration changed dramatically. Post Katrina, it was discovered that the greatest threat after a Category 3 flooding was not mold, but bacteria. “That’s why the hurricane left all those ‘sick houses’ in its wake after the water extraction,” reports Patrick. “It wasn’t because of the mold; it was the bacteria. I could write an entire book on the kinds of bacteria involved when ‘dirty’ water from the outside is introduced into the foundation and home.”

After performing water extraction and removal, the next step is drying the structure. Water Damage Utah has state-of-the-art equipment for drying, and all technicians are certified in Water Restoration Training as well as Applied Structural Drying. The drying equipment produces intense heat, which makes water molecules move faster, which then creates moisture vapor that is extracted quickly from the air.

Contaminated water can settle into carpets, baseboards, drywall, 2x4s, and literally wick into the walls. Even after the water is removed, the danger of lingering bacteria threatens the health of everyone. So the next step in the process is to apply products only available to professionals, including antibacterial Sporicidin and other products like enzymes combined with hydrogen peroxide. Some of these products are used as fogging agents that can be shot into wall cavities, behind obstacles and into hard-to-access areas and cracks; it also acts as a deodorizer. “Many of these products used for water damage cleanup were developed by the military to disinfect areas post bio-warfare,” says Patrick. “But remarkably, after these agents are applied, they’re safe and stable. Within hours of applying the products, you can literally touch surfaces and then lick your fingers without worry — they’re that safe. These products are only available to professionals — home owners should never rely on something like bleach, which isn’t effective and leaves a chemical residue.”

The first step for homeowners faced with water damage? “Call us. Let me repeat: Ground water coming up through the foundation is absolutely contaminated,” states Patrick. “We’ll assess the water damage cleanup process and be honest about your best choices. We’re here to help. These emergencies can be overwhelming, and we’ll do whatever it takes to reduce your stress and professionally perform the water damage cleanup so you don’t have to worry about lingering mold and bacteria. It’s our job, and we do it well.”

Water Damage Utah has a new website, http://www.water-damage-utah.com, and can be reached 24/7 at 888.430.7080.

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Brent Walker
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