Flooded Basement Cleanup

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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Glossary of Common Restoration Terms - B

Back Pressure
Back pressure is a result of improper use of air drying equipment during water damage restoration projects. It happens when air drying fans are positioned improperly under wet carpets and to wall cavities. Back pressure is caused by the restriction of air velocity while trapping humidity in surfaces such as walls or cabinets.

Background and Post Clearance Sampling
Usually performed by industrial hygienists, background and post clearance sampling is a method of collecting historical and current baseline data information for a post clearance testing. After an extensive fire or water damage, most of the historical and baseline data is destroyed due to changes in a structure's micro flora. In these cases new baseline data must be established for the structure and its occupants after restoration is complete.

Background Concentration
Background concentration is a term used to describe the level and concentration of air, organisms, and chemicals that are part of natural processes. Background concentrations are gathered outside and are usually the starting point for determining acceptable levels of outside gases, particles and microorganism compared to inside gases, particles and microorganism levels.

Background Measurements
Background measurements are basic readings of a given atmosphere, used as comparative measurements, measuring against questionable atmospheres. Background measurements will include temperature, humidity and moisture readings.

Baseline Data
Baseline data is the environmental information, gathered to determine the accumulations of biological, chemical, toxins and other physical properties of a structure.

Backwashing is the process of removing sewage effluents from contaminated buildings. Flooding contaminated areas with fresh water and detergents makes contaminates flush out of their settled sources.

Base Flood Elevation (BFE)
The computed elevation to which floodwater is anticipated to rise during the base flood. Base flood elevations are shown on Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and on the flood profiles. The BFE is the regulatory requirement for the elevation or flood-proofing of structures. The relationship between the BFE and a structure's elevation determines the flood insurance premium.

Biological Contaminants
Agents derived from, or that are, living organisms such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, etc. that can be inhaled and can cause many types of health effects including allergic reactions, respiratory disorders, illness and disease in persons who are exposed or susceptible. Also referred to as biological pollutants, bio-pollutants, microbiologicals, and microbials.

The term biohazard is used to describe any type of biological waste. Often, this biological waste is pathogenic in nature or contaminated in some way. Biohazard also includes infectious agents that present a risk or potential health risk. Biohazard can be found in water damaged buildings where bacteria is present because of a sewage backflow or where fungi is allowed to grow and the condition eventually affects the health of the building's occupants.

Biohazards must be eliminated by professionals because, if improperly handled, both sewage bacteria and wet building material fungi are known to cause serious health effects. In addition, if improperly handled, the contamination is most likely still present in the building, causing a higher risk of exposure to the occupants.

Bioremediation is a cleanup and decontamination process using naturally occurring or specially cultivated microorganisms to digest contaminants naturally and break them down into non-hazardous components.


This glossary is another free service, provided by RestorationSOS® as a part of our comprehensive service pledge. We believe that knowledge is a key element in a smooth and successful restoration project.

The terms in this glossary are commonly used during fire and water damage restoration projects. These terms are likely to be included in the estimate and contract, and are usually translated into the final cost. Please feel free to contact us with any question or concern.

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