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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Hospital Water Damage Recovery

By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff

A water incident should be reported immediately to the facilities management. The sooner an incident is reported and response is initiated, the better the chances of quick recovery. In cases of internal water emergencies, the water source must be stopped right away. However, after the water source has been resolved, what is left is water damage which will only get worse every minute response is delayed.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends responding within 24 to 48 hours, a period during which proper drying of wet materials will prevent mold development. This is when having a pre-incident service agreement with a reliable contractor will help tremendously.

It is critical to take immediate action and seek the help of contractors trained in professional water restoration methods to prevent or restrict mold growth. Prompt response will also save most water-damaged finishes and building contents.

Do note, however, that even with the best efforts and current technology there are some absorbent materials that once they've become wet will not dry completely (i.e., ceiling tiles, fiberglass insulations) and, therefore, must be discarded. Employ a reliable contractor that is trained in methods of drying water-damaged structures.

If a hospital unit was affected by contaminated water, the contractor should do the following: enclose the area; turn off and seal the ventilation system; use filtered exhaust ventilators to apply negative pressure to the area; properly dispose of all contaminated materials which must be sealed in a plastic bag; and disinfect and dry the area as quickly as possible.

The contractor should provide complete documentation to the hospital after completion of their restoration services showing that their processes are successful and that the affected area is in a dry and sanitized condition. Any restoration or remediation work in a hospital should be conducted under the supervision of the infection control personnel.

Recommended Reading
Consequences of Water Damage in Hospitals
Hospital Water Damage Preparedness and Education

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