Building Management Hawaii - June/July 2012 - (Page 22)
Water Leaks—from Bad to Worse
What every building manager should know.
By Charlie Ogden
ne of the most dreaded situations for a building manager is a water leak. It can be very disruptive and damaging, but not the end of the world if the proper restorative steps are taken. The first step, of course, is to have the water extracted. Water leaks have no time schedule. They can happen at 2 o’clock in the afternoon or 2 o’clock in the morning, so the extraction/ remediation company the manager chooses should be reliable, 24/7. After proper authorization—by individual owners, the owner’s insurance company, property manager or AOAO insurance agent—the next step is to map out the path that the water has taken through the building. A thermal imaging inspection by an infrared camera fills the bill. When walls, ceilings, carpets, etc., get wet, they create a temperature signature that the camera identifies on its screen. The type of water loss will determine the next course of action. There are three categories of water loss:
• Category I is water from a clean or sanitary source. These can include water from water supply lines, clean water from a toilet tank or bowl, faucets and bottled water. Although it may be from a clean source originally, Category I water can quickly degrade into Category II or III, depending on such factors as time and contact with contaminates. • Category II is water with some level of contamination that could cause discomfort or illness if ingested. Sources for Category II water could include washing machine overflow, toilet overflow with some urine (but no feces) and dishwasher overflow. As with Category I, Category II can degrade to Category III with time and/or contact with contaminates. • Category III water is grossly unsanitary and could cause severe illness or even death if ingested. Sources for Category III water include, but are not limited to, sewage, flooding from rivers or
streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, and standing water that has begun to support microbial growth. For Category I and most Category II water loss situations, once the affected wet areas on the walls and ceilings are identified, the structural drying process can begin. Drying requires a combination of airflow and dehumidification. The affected areas usually need to be penetrated in order to introduce airflow. This can be accomplished with several types of air-moving devices. Once this equipment is installed, daily monitoring is suggested to ensure proper drying progress and assure that the equipment is functioning properly. The inconvenience for the affected homeowner or tenant should not be understated. The noise and heat generated by the drying equipment can be very uncomfortable and disruptive, and should be fully explained before beginning the process. It is sometimes suggested that the affected people find alternative living arrangements until the drying process is completed, which usually takes three to five days. After drying is confirmed by moisturemeasuring meters, the equipment is removed, and the walls and ceilings are repaired to their pre-loss condition. For Category III situations, the remediation company should partner with an environmental specialist to make an evaluation of
Airflow must be introduced into the walls and under the carpet to promote drying.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Building Management Hawaii - June/July 2012
When the Winds Blow
Why Waterproof? Keep your building watertight & upright.
Get Watertight Water is the greatest solvent in the world ... keep your building dry.
What Drains Your Building?
Asbestos Exposed How to safely recover from mold and flood damage.
Water Leaks—from Bad to Worse
The Power of Paint
Life of Paint
It’s Best to Test A paint test can detect lead, and be the trick in finding a paint that will stick.
Movers & Shakers
Resource Guide: Waterproofing & Painting
Building Management Hawaii - June/July 2012