Water Damage & Flooded Basement Restoration Services

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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Glossary of Common Restoration Terms - P

During restoration work, a pack-out refers to the moving of contents out of a damaged structure to access work areas and perform restoration work in-plant.

A pad is a concrete slab. The terminology is also used to refer to the underlay or padding of carpets.

Paint is a liquid or liquefiable material or mastic composition that when applied to a surface or substrate will be converted to a thin layer of solid opaque film after drying. Paints are used to protect, preserve, decorate or add functionality to an object or surface. Basic types of paints are latex or water-based paints and enamel or the solvent-based paints.

Paper Towel Dispensers
These dispensers are a standard restroom, kitchen or washroom fixture or accessory and are used to hold and dispense paper towels or tissue paper. They can come in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on preference and specifications.

Paper Towels
Also called tissue papers, paper towels are used in kitchens or restrooms for utility and cleaning purposes. These are placed inside paper towel dispensers with the same size specifications.

A parapet is a part of a wall that extends past the roofline.

Parapet Wall
A parapet wall is a low wall or railing that is built along the edge of a roof, balcony, bridge or terrace for protection purposes against the rain, artificial flooding and the sun's rays.

Partition Doors
Partition doors refer to small entry doors to enclosures or toilet stalls in restrooms.

Particles of Incomplete Combustion (PIC)
PICs are generated wastes that are produced after a fire and come from ignited materials.

Pathogens are any disease-producing microorganisms. This includes viruses, bacteria or fungi, including molds and mildew. Pathogens can be parasites that cling to hosts and feed upon them and makes them sick. Disinfectants and fungicides are used to kill these microorganisms, particularly in contact points with floods or sewage during water damage restoration.

Per Capita Water Use
Normally expressed in gallons per capita per day, per capita water use refers to the water produced by the system of a water supplier at a particular area divided by the total residential users within that area.

Percolation refers to the downward movement of water through the soil.

Perennial Streams
Streams that naturally flow continuously are called perennial streams.

Periodic Cleaning
Periodic cleaning refers to the cleaning activities that are needed to be performed and to be completed on a regular timetable. Some structural components may require daily, weekly or monthly periodic cleaning.

Permeability refers to the capability of the soil, geological or structural formations to transmit water. Structural materials that have high permeability are not good for basement walls as they allow moisture to seep through the basement interiors and cause water damage.

Permeance Factor
Permeance factor refers to the measurement of the water flow through a material with a specific thickness. Materials can be classified according to permeance factor as porous, semi-porous or non-porous.

Permeate refers to the passing or seepage of a liquid substance through a material until it is saturated.

Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)
Also called Personnel Protective Equipment, PPEs are safety equipment worn by technicians, tradesmen and restoration personnel. PPEs are designed to protect personnel from exposure to pathogens, chemicals and hazardous substances. These include hard hats, rubber gloves, rubber boots, goggles, face masks, and respirators. All restoration personnel are required to wear PPEs at all times during cleaning and disinfection work.

pH is the measure of acidity or alkalinity of a substance. This is measured against a scale of 0 to 14 where 7 is the neutral point. Acids have a pH less than 7 while alkaline have pH greater than 7. pH measures the concentration of hydrogen ions in a solution. Acids have high hydrogen ion contents while a solution with low concentrations are called alkaline or base.

A phosphate is an ester of phosphoric acid that is used in detergents as a softener.

A plaster is mixture of limewater and sand and is applied over wood, plasterboard, blue or brown board as a veneer to achieve an interior finish to a wall or ceiling.

A plenum is a part of an HVAC system that refers to the main air duct supply for the return air. This is usually installed above a ceiling or below a floor.

A plinth is a piece of wood located at the base of a door casing for decorative purposes. It also refers to the block or slab used to support a column.

Point Source (PS)
A point source refers to a stationary or confined conveyance where pollutants may be discharged. These are clearly identifiable sources that includes pipes, ditches, channels, tunnels, etc.

A pollutant is a substance or material that contaminates air, soil or water. Pollutants can cause a change in the physical, chemical or biological properties of water and air that makes them unfit for use.

Pollution refers to the alteration of the physical, chemical or biological properties of air, soil and water. This is caused by the introduction of a pollutant into the material that adversely affects their beneficial use.

A polymer is a large molecule composed of two or more smaller or simpler molecules. Examples are nylon, cellulose, etc.

Polymerization is a chemical reaction wherein two or more smaller molecules called monomers are combined to form a larger molecule called polymers. Although polymerization is a standard process, some hazardous polymerization can occur when during the chemical reaction an uncontrolled release of energy occurs.

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
PVC is a synthetic resin that is produced through polymerization. PVC is used extensively in construction as part of structural elements. It is also used in consumer industries to manufacture a wide variety of products. The decomposition of PVC produces hydrogen chloride gases. This gas can turn into hydrochloric acid when it is mixed with water.

A material is said to be porous when it has several minute holes and is permeable to liquids.

Post-conditions are resulting conditions after a previous event that has affected structural components and contents. Example is smoke, soot, gases, and heat stress occurring after a fire or smoke damage. Another post-condition is mold, fungi, mildew, or water absorption after water damage.

Potable refers to water that is safe or suitable for drinking.

Pre-existing Conditions
Pre-existing conditions refer to the scratches, dents, normal wear and tear of a structural or building component or its contents that existed before an occurrence of water, fire and other related damages.

Prefabricated Building
A prefabricated building, or prefab as they are more commonly known, is a structure constructed or assembled on-site using pre-engineered components.

The preparation stage is the important first step when beginning any cleaning or restoration task in a structure. This includes the gathering of proper supplies and making certain that the structure is unoccupied before entering and performing restoration work.

Preparedness refers to the condition or degree of readiness to which a household or occupants of a building cope with a potential emergency situation like a fire or flooding.

Pressure Power Washing
Pressure power washing is a restoration process that utilizes a pressure-washing machine to remove and clean affected surfaces from dirt, smoke, soot and other remnants.

Pressurized Smoke
Pressurized smoke occurs when smoke and other gases from a fire have increased in size due to increased heat. The heat is causing the moving particles to penetrate confined areas.

Prevention activities are directed at reducing the incidence of fire, smoke, sewage and water damage in a home or commercial establishment through education and enforcement of preventive maintenance measures.

Probability of Exceedence
The probability of exceedence refers to the probability that a random flood will exceed a specified magnitude in a specified period of time.

Professional Inspection
A professional inspection is performed by a specially trained and certified home inspector to the check the conditions and structural integrity of a home or building structure. A comprehensive home inspection report is made which points out possible defects or problems seen during the inspection.

Protein Fire
A protein fire occurs when the decomposition of animal fats from beef, poultry, fish among others produces a fine clear mist which has a very obnoxious odor that is capable of penetrating even the smallest of areas.

Puff Back
Puff back occurs when a clogged or malfunctioning furnace discharges deposited soot throughout the house and cause smoke and soot damage to the structure and its contents.


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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