A non-combustible, inorganic fibre which was once used extensively for insulation and as binder in composite building materials. Airborne asbestos has been found to be highly injurious in relatively small quantities
Asbestos Containing Material
Invisible gaseous substance which has the capacity to carry moisture in varying, measurable quantities
A substance that brings on an allergic reaction in human beings, such as pollen, fungus spores (mould, mildew), etc
A substance, mechanism, or condition that inhibits the growth or existence of an organism. (e.g., fungi, bacteria, viruses and other organisms)
A work of art, piece of furniture, or decorative object made at an earlier period and according to various customs laws at least 100 years ago
Predisposition toward developing certain allergic hypersensitivity. A person with atopy typically presents with one or more of the following: eczema (atopic dermatitis), allergic rhinitis (hayfever), allergic conjunctivitis, or allergic asthma. Patients with atopy also have a tendency to have food allergies.
The cleaning of life or health threatening materials, risks or dangers
The removal of materials, hazards or risks that are a threat to peoples life or health, this can include hypodermic-syringes, medical and bio waste, animal remains, etc
Black mould health problems
Black Mould is a term commonly used to describe a slimy, greenish-black substance which can result in serious health risks. This mould is also known as Strachybotrys chartarum and more often as Strachybotrys Atra. It is widely believed to be a contributing factor to illnesses such as asthma and bronchitis.
Black mould treatment
The cleaning or treatment process used to eradicate the presence of a slimy, greenish-black substance which can result in serious health risks. This mold is also known as Strachybotrys chartarum and more often as Strachybotrys atra.
Blood spilt on a carpet is obviously more difficult to remove than blood on a tiled floor – but both require the correct bio-hazard handling
Blast cleaning services
Blast Cleaning is the operation of forcibly propelling a stream of abrasive material against a surface under high pressure to smooth a rough surface, roughen a smooth surface, shape a surface, or remove surface contaminants. A pressurised fluid, typically air, or a centrifugal wheel is used to propel the media.
There are several variants of the process, such as Dry Ice, Grit and Sodablasting, the substrate to be blasted or cleaned, the environmental considerations, the cost and speed of application will determine which option should be utilised.
Main structure of a building plus its permanent fixtures and fittings, such as baths and fitted kitchens.
Note that Buildings insurance policies usually include outbuildings, but cover is policy specific and may be referred to in the event of a claim.
Building Pathology is the identification, investigation and diagnosis of defects in existing buildings and structures.
Burst pipe insurance
Burst pipe insurance is an insurance policy which protects the policyholder against burst pipes in a property, often caused by, but not limited to freezing water in the pipe work.
Carpet, rug and upholstery cleaning
The cleaning of carpets, rugs and upholstery materials to remove dirt, dust, stains and other contaminants.
An exterior wall, usually of masonry, consisting of an outer and inner skin.
A chemical material that has the potential to be of risk to life or health.
Chemical biohazard cleaning
The cleaning and eradication of chemicals that has the potential to be of risk to life or health.
The process of locating, identifying, containing, removing and properly disposing of unwanted substances, odour and staining from an environment or material to reduce damage or harm to human health, animals, wildlife or valuable materials
The pre-determined target cleanliness level based on suspected contamination, presence of odour, staining and measurement of actual levels of pollutants by an established method
Clean up after fire
The removal of all contaminants, debris, soiled materials and contents and the reinstatement of all goods following a fire, back to their pre-incident condition.
Clean up after fire damage
The removal of all contaminants including soot and smoke residue, debris, soiled materials and contents and the reinstatement of all goods following a fire, back to their pre-incident condition.
Clean up after flood
The removal of all contaminants including standing water, sanitising of the affected areas and contents and the reinstatement of all goods and materials following a flood, back to their pre-incident condition.
Co2 blast cleaning
CO2 Blast Cleaning is the operation of forcibly propelling a stream of dry ice material against a surface under high pressure to smooth a rough surface, roughen a smooth surface, shape a surface, or remove surface contaminants and coatings. A pressurised fluid, typically air is used to propel the dry ice.
A substance which may cause harm to humans, animals, wildlife and the environment or valuable materials.
This can include mould, mildew, fungi, bacteria, viruses, asbestos, lead, arsenic, oil, sewage and effluent.
Items contained within a building that are not construction components or fixtures and fittings. Examples include free standing appliances, artwork, clothing, curtains, electronic equipment, furniture, rugs and personal possessions. Contents insurance is usually policy specific and may be referred to in the event of a claim.
The deterioration of metal, concrete or other material by chemical or electrochemical reaction; acid-induced oxidation resulting in a loss of surface or structural integrity.
Council housing issues
A subject of discussion or concern that impacts on the lives and living conditions of tenants living in Local Authority accommodation.
The spread of contaminants from an affected area or person to an unaffected area or person
Damp proof membrane
A damp proof membrane is a high density polyethylene which is impermeable to water ingress and the any contaminants associated with this problem
The removal of surface or air borne particles which may be harmful to humans, animals, wildlife and the environment
Equipment which removes water vapour from the air
A sum of money paid to use a machine that will remove moist air from a building or structure
A substance that has a high affinity for water and is used as a drying agent, such as calcium oxide or silica gel.
Dry ice blast cleaning
Dry Ice blast cleaning is the operation of forcibly propelling a stream of dry ice material against a surface under high pressure to smooth a rough surface, roughen a smooth surface, shape a surface, or remove surface contaminants and coatings. A pressurised fluid, typically air is used to propel the dry ice.
The process to remove absorbed moisture from wet materials. The method chosen should only be done by appropriately trained technicians/personnel.
Environmental moisture control
The process of controlling moisture in both affected and unaffected areas of a building to control or reduce the likelihood of secondary damage
The target moisture level based on either a dry standard or known equilibrium moisture content (EMC) or equilibrium relative humidity (ERH) or other accepted method of measuring moisture
Escape of water
Water that escapes from plumbing installations, plumbing appliances or from its associated pipework (eg burst pipe following a freeze or washing machine leak)
Escape of water claims
A claim to an insurance company for the reimbursement of costs for damage incurred following a water leak from plumbing installations, plumbing appliances or from its associated pipe work (eg burst pipe following a freeze or washing machine leak)
Equilibrium Moisture Content
The condition in which the moisture content of a structural material has stabilized in relation to the relative humidity and temperature of surrounding air i.e. no more moisture absorption can occur at that temperature and humidity.
Equilibrium Relative Humidity (ERH %)
Relative humidity of the air when it is in equilibrium with the built environment. For example, the air is neither gaining moisture from, nor losing it to the material; or the point at which a hygroscopic material is neither gaining nor losing moisture.
The temperature should also be taken at the same time to allow the calculation of the Humidity Ratio in g/kg.
The initial removal of standing or excess water from buildings and contents, examples include vacuuming and pumping.
The process by which water changes from a liquid to a gas or vapour
Find a leak in a roof
A process to identify where a water leak on the roof of a structure is originating, in order to repair the area that is damaged as opposed to replacing the entire roof covering.
Fire damage cleaning
The removal of all contaminants including soot and smoke residue, odour, debris, soiled materials and contents and the reinstatement of all goods damaged by fire, back to their pre-incident condition.
Fire damage repair
The removal of all contaminants including soot and smoke residue, odour, debris, soiled materials, contents and building materials and the repair of all such goods and materials following a fire, back to their pre-incident condition (where contents are beyond economical repair, replacement goods may be supplied depending upon the terms of any individual insurance policy).
Fire damage restoration service
A service that provides the removal of all contaminants including soot and smoke residue, odour, debris, soiled materials, contents and building materials and the reinstatement of all such goods and materials following a fire, back to their pre-incident condition.
Solid or viscous combustion products transported as a component of smoke, which fall out or adhere to surfaces in its path
Returning building materials and contents back to their original condition following damage caused by fire.
Flood damage repair
Returning building materials and contents back to their original condition following damage caused by flood water.
Flood damage restoration
The return of damaged building materials and contents back to their original condition following damage caused by flood water.
Flood silt removal
The removal of silt from a property following a flood.
Flood sludge removal
The removal of sludge from a property following a flood.
Flood water extraction
The removal of standing water in a property that has been affected by flood water.
Fogger or fogging
A fogger uses a fine spray to apply a chemical solution, often used for pest control, restricting the growth of mould or for odour control
Frozen pipe damage
Frozen pipe damage is the damage caused to a property and its contents when pipe work from plumbing installations bursts, due to freezing conditions which causes the pipe to expand, then burst as the frozen water thaws.
Frozen water pipes
Frozen water in pipes can occur when temperatures drop below zero within a property, especially when the pipes are not protected by insulation or lagging.
Get rid of mould smell
A service provided to eliminate the odour when damp and condensation within a property results in mould. The bacteria from the living mould releases odours which can be controlled, but care should be taken to eradicate the underlying cause of the mould (ie the damp and condensation) or the mould and its associated odour will return.
Graffiti removal is the elimination of words or drawings scribbled or sprayed onto a building substrate.
Graffiti removal equipment
Graffiti removal equipment is the mechanical items required to remove words or drawings from a building substrate.
Graffiti removal services
A service provided to remove words or drawings scribbled or sprayed from a building substrate.
Grit blast cleaning
Grit Blast Cleaning is the operation of forcibly propelling a stream of grit (very fine stone particles) against a surface under high pressure to smooth a rough surface, roughen a smooth surface, shape a surface, or remove surface contaminants. A pressurised fluid, typically air, or a centrifugal wheel is used to propel the media.
Information used to explain the objective or interpretation of a required process
Health of workforce
Health of Workforce refers to the wellbeing of the people employed within a particular company or building.
HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air and a HEPA filter removes at least 99.97% of particles from the air down to at least 0.3 microns in size
House wall cleaning
House Wall Cleaning is the removal of dirt, grease, grime, dust, soot and smoke particles and other contaminants from external or internal walls of a property or building.
How to control fungus on walls
The methods and processes that eliminate the growth of fungus and mould inside building structures, particularly on walls. Care should also be taken to ensure the root cause of the fungal growth is also eradicated (eg damp, condensation or poor building maintenance) as the growth will return without the cause being addressed.
How to control mould on walls
Mould can be controlled on any substrate within a property with simple cleaning and sanitising processes. Care should also be taken to ensure the root cause of the mould growth is also eradicated (eg damp, condensation and poor building maintenance) as the growth will return without the cause being addressed.
How to cure mould
Mould is easy to remove with simple cleaning and sanitising processes but more difficult to cure. The causes of the mould must be identified and removed from a property to prevent the mould from returning. The most common cause of mould is damp and condensation, which in turn can be caused by poor ventilation or poor building maintenance, so any cure for mould infestation must include a thorough diagnosis of the root cause. This should be followed by sustainable remedial action to ensure that the microscopic spores, released by the mould, cannot germinate in the moist, damp conditions created by poor ventilation and poor building maintenance, which will result in the mould returning.
How to find a leak in a cavity
Cavities are the void spaces between different building materials that can often hide a multitude of structural problems. The most common example of a void is between the outer layer (usually brick) and inner layer (usually block) of a wall. Service pipes and electric cables are often buried within such cavities to maintain the aesthetics of the internal aspect of a property. When these service pipes, especially water supply or central heating pipes leak, the ability to access them and repair the leak is critical. Often large parts of a wall have to be cut out in order to access and inspect inside the cavity, however less intrusive methods are available to identify and analyse the source of the leak in these hidden areas. Endoscopes and Borescopes with attached inspection cameras can be used, which allows a detailed internal visual inspection in hard to access areas, without major disruption or damage to the building and its contents/décor. The instrument can be inserted in a cavity with the drilling of a small access hole and then the cavity can be thoroughly examined to determine the exact location of any leak. Thermal imaging cameras can also be used to detect the exact location of a leak, as it will show differences in surface temperature that to the trained eye can provide the precise location of a leak.
How to find a leak in a heating system
A leak in a heating system can often be difficult to identify. Often, pipework supplying water and other utilities can be buried deep in concrete floor slabs or within cavities, which can be problematic when trying to trace the exact source of a water, gas or other type of leak. Thermal Imaging cameras, Tracer Gas and Acoustic Testing can be utilised depending on each individual circumstance.
How to find a leak under a floor
Beneath wooden floors there are void spaces that can often hide a multitude of service pipes and other service installations. Similarly, concrete screed floor substrates can also house many such installations. When these service pipes, especially water supply or central heating pipes leak, the ability to access them and repair the leak is critical. Often large parts of a floor is lifted in order to access and inspect the service pipes, however less intrusive methods are available to identify and analyse the source of the leak in these hidden areas. Endoscopes and Borescopes, with attached Inspection cameras are a very effective tool for identifying problems in hard to reach areas. These allow a detailed visual inspection, without major disruption or damage to the floor and the covering, as the instrument can be inserted into a floorboard with the drilling of a small access hole. Thermal imaging cameras can also be used to detect the exact location of a leak and is particularly appropriate on a solid concrete floor slab, as it will show differences in surface temperature that to the trained eye can provide the precise location of a leak.
Identifying the exact location of a leak allows the repair contractor to avoid major excavation and only access the small area from where the leak has originated.
How to fix a water leak in the ceiling
Water leaking from a ceiling within a building structure usually indicates a leak from a higher source, such as a water tank or water pipes in the loft. The most important thing to do in the event of such a water leak is to turn off the water supply into the property through the main stop tap. This will reduce the amount of water that can leak into a property quite considerably. Leaks from ceilings are potentially the most serious types of leaks as the cascading water will affect every storey in the property. The source of the leak should be identified promptly, and the burst or leaking pipe, leaking appliance should be repaired by a qualified tradesman, and the drying of the building, the damage caused to the property and its contents should be carried out by a qualified restoration technician.
How to fix a water leak underground
Water leaking from an underground source within a building structure requires prompt action to stop the leak causing severe damage. The most important thing to do in the event of such a water leak is to turn off the water supply into the property through the main stop tap. This will reduce the amount of water that can leak into a property quite considerably. It is difficult to identify the exact location of a leak from below ground as the pipes are often buried deep within, or below concrete floors, beneath floorboards, or sometimes below the buildings foundations. The leak can be identified through sophisticated diagnostic equipment such as thermal imaging cameras, which will to detect the exact location of a leak, by identifying differences in surface temperature that to the trained eye can provide the precise location of a leak. The source of the leak should be identified promptly, and the burst or leaking pipe should be repaired by a qualified tradesman. The drying of the building, the damage caused to the property and its contents should be carried out by a qualified restoration technician.
How to get rid of flood silt
Flood silt is often found in the aftermath of a flood, with river water, sewage and other contaminants being present in a property after such an incident. This contamination is often a bio-hazard and should be sanitised by a professional Flood Restoration operative with the required level of training and qualifications.
How to reduce bathroom mould allergy symptoms
Mould is particularly prevalent in damp, moist conditions and condensation from bathroom fittings and appliances which are an ideal environment for mould spores to germinate. The presence of such mould and its associated spores can cause allergy’s such as asthma and other respiratory diseases. In order to control the mould and its associated allergic reactions, the cause must be identified and eradicated. The reduction of condensation and moisture is the most effective way to control the growth of mould, by ensuring good ventilation practices and correct building maintenance in areas liable to mould infestation.
How to reduce fungus in bathroom
Mould and fungal growth is particularly prevalent in damp, moist environments and condensation from bathroom fittings are an ideal environment for mould spores to germinate. In order to control the growth of fungus and mould, the root cause must be identified and eradicated. The reduction of condensation and moisture is the most effective way to control the growth of mould, by ensuring good ventilation practices and good building maintenance in areas liable to be at risk.
How to reduce mould in bathroom
Mould is particularly prevalent in damp, moist environments and condensation from bathroom fittings are an ideal environment for mould spores to germinate. In order to control the growth of mould, the cause must be identified and eradicated. The reduction of condensation and moisture is the most effective way to control the growth of mould, by ensuring good ventilation practices and building maintenance in areas liable to mould attack.
How to remove smoke smell from furniture
Smoke odour will penetrate the fabric of upholstery following a fire and specialist cleaning services should be used to eradicate the smell. A variety of cleaning methods and materials are suitable for removing smoke odour, including fogging, air sterilisation systems, Ultrasonics Cleaning and Ozone treatment.
The measure of moisture in the atmosphere
The actual weight of water vapour in a specific amount of air expressed as either kilogram per kilogram (kg/kg), grams per kilogram (g/kg) or grains per pound (gpp), this is also referred to as specific humidity.
Material that readily retains moisture or water vapour from air
Ice blast cleaning
Ice Blast Cleaning is the operation of forcibly propelling a stream of dry ice against a surface under high pressure to smooth a rough surface, roughen a smooth surface, shape a surface, or remove surface contaminants and coatings. Where Dry Ice is used in the process, dry ice pellets formed by taking liquid carbon dioxide from a pressurised storage tank and expanding it to produce snow, which is then compressed with a die to make hard pellets.
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
Air quality within and around buildings and structures. This is particularly relevant to the health and comfort of the building occupants. The indoor air quality can be affected by gases, particulates, microbial contaminants or any mass or energy stressor that can induce adverse health conditions.
Collection of data to determine the degree of loss to the physical structure and contents of the affected building and contents
A complete list of items such as property, goods in stock, or the contents of a building
A substance that causes slight inflammation or other discomfort to the body
A product made by bonding together two or more layers of material
Damage not yet apparent but which may occur at a subsequent time
Leak detection equipment
This is the equipment that is used by professional trades’ people to identify the exact source of a water leak, often when the leak originated from a hidden area within a building structure, such as in cavities or concrete floor slabs. Thermal Imaging Cameras, Tracer Gas and Acoustic Testing are utilised depending on each individual circumstance and the building structure.
Leak detection services
Leak Detection is service that identifies the exact location of a water leak. Often, pipework supplying water and other utilities can be buried deep in concrete floor slabs or within cavities, which can be problematic when trying to trace the exact source of a water, gas or other types of leak.
A written procedure outlining steps and procedures to perform a desired task
Gradual movement of moisture as it is absorbed by materials
The act of limiting current and future loss or damage to building and contents
The percentage or weight of moisture in materials, as compared to the weight of that material when completely dry
A documented visual guide accompanied by field test results taken at incremental points indicating the extent of water damage
Damage caused to a property, its contents or the health of its occupants, due to the presence of mould in the property.
The removal of mould from a property and/or its fittings, contents and decor.
Mould spore lawsuits
A process of litigation emanating from a person or persons whose health has been adversely affected by the presence of mould in a rented property.
A property that has a high degree of mould contained within, that is usually caused by poor building maintenance or lack of adequate ventilation, which allows mould spores to germinate.
Material Safety Data Sheet
A condition of lower air pressure than the surrounding areas, causing air to flow towards the area of negative pressure. Usually induced to limit the spread of dust or contaminants
A micro-organism such as a bacterium or virus that causes disease in humans, animals or plants.
The degree or factor to which a material transmits water in its liquid or gaseous form
A pre-agreed amount of money that a customer should pay to their insurance provider in the event of a claim
The amount of small spaces or voids in a material. Porous materials are permeable by water or air and can absorb fluids and gases.
Water from a clean source and suitable for consumption
Personal Protective Equipment. Specialised clothing or equipment used for protection against hazards
Positive pressure is a pressure within a system that is greater than the environment that surrounds that system
A liquid that is suitable for human consumption
Condition of the building and contents at the time before the incident
Damage sustained as a result of direct contact with water or contaminants. Examples include staining, swelling, dissolving, cupping and buckling of hard wood, delamination of furnishings and fixtures, migration of dyes, weakening of adhesives, rusting and corrosion, microbial contamination.
A proximate cause is an event which is closest to, or immediately responsible for causing, some observed result
The study of the relationship between atmospheric air mixtures (air, humidity and temperature). Psychrometry deals with measuring and understanding the thermodynamic properties of air and water vapour mixtures, to enable restorers to properly analyse and manage conditions during drying.
Steps or mechanisms put in place, in a controlled way, to restore the affected area to its pre-incident condition
Visits or monitoring of a property with appropriate frequency to ensure control and performance of the drying methodology is as predicted
The extent to which air is saturated with moisture at a given temperature. This is reported as a percentage measure of the amount of water vapour actually held compared to the maximum which could be held in that particular weight of air, at a given temperature.
The act of reversing or stopping secondary damage
The process of repairing or renovating a building so as to restore it to its original condition
Damage restoration contractor or firm that is responsible for the restoration of damaged structures
Repair burst pipe
The repair or replacement of a water fed pipe which services plumbing and heating installations within a property, usually following a burst or leak.
Repair flood damage
The repair of a property and its contents back to pre-incident condition following a flood.
The process of identifying what hazards currently exist or may appear which could cause harm to home owners, employees or visitors
Area in which a level of risk has been identified
Damaged goods which the policyholder has been indemnified for by their insurance company. Once the claim has been paid the insurance company takes ownership of the item
Sand Blasting is the operation of forcibly propelling a stream of sand against a surface under high pressure to smooth a rough surface, roughen a smooth surface, shape a surface, or remove surface contaminants and coatings. A pressurised fluid, typically air is used to propel the material.
Sand Blasting should always be performed under controlled conditions as it releases silicates which can be harmful to health, and is generally only used in a blast chamber where the environment and the blast operatives would be protected. Where it is not possible to confine the process inside a chamber, other blast media should be used such as Dry Ice or Soda.
Signed statements that work has been completed to the customers satisfaction
Saturation is the process or state when something is filled completely so no more can be added. The point at which air or materials can absorb no more moisture
Schedule of Works
Complete, detailed listing of required tasks, to return the building and contents to a pre-loss condition
Damage to materials sustained from indirect or prolonged exposure to contaminants or migrating or absorbed moisture or humidity and mildew growth
Address or location at which work is carried out on a water damage restoration
Sick building syndrome
Sick Building Syndrome is a term associated with the effects of poor air quality within a commercial, or industrial building, and the consequences this can have on the health of people working inside the property.
Smoke damage repair
Smoke damage repair refers to the repair of a property following damage caused by smoke, usually following a fire, back to its pre-incident condition.
Soda blast cleaning
Soda Blast Cleaning is the operation of forcibly propelling a stream of bi carbonate of soda against a surface under high pressure to smooth a rough surface, roughen a smooth surface, shape a surface, or remove surface contaminants. A pressurized fluid, typically air, or a centrifugal wheel is used to propel the material.
Specialist cleaning trauma
The cleaning of areas or properties that have been the subject of a traumatic event, such as a road traffic accident, personal injury or accident (eg in the home or workplace) or following a disaster.
Specialist commercial cleaning
Specialist Commercial Cleaning is the expert cleaning processes employed to remove dirt, grime, dust, pathogens and debris form a commercial environment.
Actual weight of water vapour in a specific amount of air expressed as either kilogram per kilogram (kg/kg), grams per kilogram (g/kg) or grains per pound (gpp): Also referred to as Humidity Ratio
Technically competent person
A person who has demonstrated a level of skill, knowledge, attitude, training and experience to reasonably perform a desired task
Trace and access cover
Trace And Access Cover is cover provided through an insurance company that provides provision for tracing and accessing the exact source of a leak, often in addition to providing remedial action to repair the leak and the damage it has caused.
Trace and access leak
Trace And Access Leak – is the process that traces and accesses the exact source of a leak, which can often originate from a different location to where water from the leak can be seen.
Force exerted by humidity on the surrounding environment. NOTE Vapour pressure is directly related to specific humidity.
The collection, processing, and recycling or deposition of the waste materials
The impairment of the habitation and function of buildings and contents by the unwanted intrusion of water and high humidity
Water damage restoration
Water Damage Restoration is the process of returning a property and its contents back to its pre-incident condition following water damage caused by a flood or an escape of water from plumbing installations and pipe work.
Water leak detection
Water Leak Detection is the process that detects the exact location of a water leak, which can often originate from a different area to where leak has surfaced.
Water leak detection equipment
The mechanical and analytical equipment used to detect the exact location of a water leak, which can often originate from a different area to where leak has surfaced.
What does escape of water mean
Escape of Water is a term used by the insurance industry to describe an incident where water has leaked from a pipe or from plumbing installations. This may result in damage to a property and its contents leading to an escape of water claim through an insurance company.
White Glove (or White Towel Test)
Rubbing of a clean white cotton glove, or white cotton towel, against a surface of a material that has been previously cleaned. An absence of any residue transfer would indicate the cleaning goal has been achieved.
Wood Moisture Equivalent (WME%)
Unit for measuring the moisture level of a non conductive material by relating it to its wood moisture equivalent
The likelihood of individuals being unusually severely affected by a substance either as a result of susceptibility to the effects of these substances or as a result of a greater than average exposure following a water damage incident. Source: WHO Europe; see https://ec.europa.eu/health/scientific_committees/opinions_layman/en/indoor-air-pollution/index.htm