Water Breeds Life
Water breeds life. In fact, without it’s presence, we would not be here. When looking for life on other planets, water is included in that search, as a sign of life. Although, even ways we use water that may not seem necessary, our lives would just not be the same without it.
Water has been a source of wonder and entertainment as we grew up. Watching it make it’s way through the ground in my backyard during a heavy rain, waves at the beach, or just the local pool. All are ways water fascinates me. Oh yeah, and the awesome force of a waterfall! Whether you are travelling abroad or just to work, water flows somewhere nearby. Most of the time, this makes you safe. Water is always good and you are always happy to see it. Right? Unfortunately, this last statement is not truthful- this amazing Yin, does indeed, have a Yang. Water can be just as powerful when it is working against you as it is working with you. It feeds all forms of life- even the microscopic. Some things have no use for water and are left damaged when exposed, even for only a brief amount of time. Water can cost you big money- and I’m not just talking about the bottled stuff!
My job is to prevent water damage in Chicago. I travel across the country, following the water falling from the sky, and help anyone who needs water cleanup. It fits well for me on several different counts. The science behind it all interests me greatly. From how science is used to dry a property, to the effect it has on the world on a microbial level. It is important to know your enemy. I have studied him well- and have become quite familiar with his work. In recognition that a little bit of water created the Grand Canyon, I have learned to work fast. From something as simple as leaving an upstairs sink on, our crews have seen entire first floor ceilings collapsing. As I mentioned earlier, some things have no tolerance for water. Most of them are in your home. Leaving things saturated can destroy them, leaving you in need of replacement. Even things not directly contacted by the water are in danger. Flooding raises the relative humidity in your home’s inside air- at these levels the wall and ceiling start absorbing moisture. So, a timely extraction of flood water goes a long way.
Attitude is also a big part of life. I prefer to carry a great one, as it takes me far, in business and personal life. My attitude on the job is important because often times I’m there doing work that, plain and simple, no one wants to do. Over half my jobs exist solely because the property owner tried and said “No way, there must be some guy for this.”. So, when I am lugging that wet carpet upstairs (because everybody seems to keep their basement downstairs) I am also pushing and believing. It really does work, because in the end, I can look back and see how mush help was needed, and that makes all the difference. It really helps our customers see us enjoy our job as well. Their attitude about flooding is as important as ours, and we like to see a customer with a smile in a time they did not think they would be smiling. When asked what they should be doing, one of the guys may say to make a drink, sometimes they already have! While inspecting a home for water damage, we will often come across bad news. Being able to convey this knowledgeably and with a proper attitude, can mean the world. Quite often, our customers are glad they met us. Even though they never want to see our faces again, because that would mean they have another flood!
There are times people call us after some time has passed. Water acts quickly. Most flooring only has a matter of hours before irreversible damage takes place. Bound moisture and standing water change categories of contamination every 24 hours- only having to max out at category 3 (the dirtiest of waters). Water is a food and life source on a microbial level as well. An entire tiny universe that can wreak havoc on you and your home. Effecting air quality, building materials, and possibly overall health. Water can already be carrying harmful bacteria, depending on it’s source. It can also breed bacterium if not dried out of your property correctly. Water travelling in your home from outside carries everything it ran through on the ground, including that dog poop you stepped in earlier. I am relieved to know how to safely sanitize a home. Now, for some more cool science. Mold spores are everywhere. The spores are what molds uses to spread itself around. For optimal conditions, one hopes to have a mold count lower or similar to the count outside. When water enters a home it finds these spores in waiting. Often, finishing the list for what that mold needed to thrive: Ph, temperature, food, light, oxygen, and water. The food being any organic material it is on (the paper covering on drywall). All these things at the right levels, mean certain contamination. Visual growth can begin as quickly as 24-72 hours. These spores have two reactions to water- it can use it to grow, but also to spread. Even though it benefits from water, it also spits out more spores in protective action, leaving other areas vulnerable to contamination. Mold remediation must be done correctly to avoid future growth.
Appropriate water cleanup means you never even have to worry about all that. I get to use recording instruments and thermal imaging to find all moisture and then make sure it is all gone. To correctly dry a property- dehumidification is key. In comes more great equipment I get to use. There is a science to knowing the drying equipment, as well. Proper placement and quantity is key in advanced structural drying. All of which, I am getting better and better at and enjoy leaving a property dry and sanitized. These are a lot of the things I enjoy about my job, from the people, to the adventure it provides. Hope to tell some tales from the road on our storm travels soon. Thanks for reading and Have a Great Day!