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Waterlogged: 4 Signs That Your Flood Restoration Service Failed You  


You got your family out to safety during the flood, and you hired a flood restoration services company to mitigate the damage to your home. However, if the company cuts corners, does a shoddy job, or has little integrity, how will you know? Marathon Building Services in the Washington, D.C., and Mid-Atlantic region follows the highest principles in the industry, and less than scrupulous services can cause future damage by not following any of the industry standards.

Standards of care

Although no government agency in the United States regulates flood restoration procedures, the industry has two certifying associations that promote standards of care to protect your family, the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, or IICRC, and the Restoration Industry Association, or RIA.


The company should not only be familiar with the standards, it should also be able to explain these specific procedures to you and the basis behind the practices. These standards come from established restoration principles, practical experience and research from such groups as the scientific community, equipment manufacturers, chemical manufacturers and verified trade experts.

IICRC certification and the Cleantrust Program

The IICRC offers flood restoration services companies the opportunity to receive certification from its Cleantrust Program to ensure that they follow the best practices put forth in the S-500 Water Damage Guide, which is published by the IICRC.

Loss assessment and evaluation

The flood restoration service company should document all materials that sustained damage from the flood and use the industry standard pricing guidebook to estimate the proper value of those affected materials.

Prevailing standards of care

You should expect the flood restoration services company to inspect all impacted areas with water-sensing equipment, such as infrared tools or probes, to ascertain the extent of the potential damage. In addition, the company should dry the areas thoroughly, sanitize them, and deodorize all impacted materials. Once the initial labor is complete, you should expect the company to leave much of the equipment in place, such as air scrubbers, air movers, dehumidifiers, subfloor drying equipment, and wood floor drying systems. After three to four days, the company will return to re-evaluate the extent of the drying process. If no further action is required, workers will remove the equipment, or they will perform additional drying and sanitizing functions if necessary.


In addition, the company should be fluent in the IICRC’s S-500 categories of damage, which are determined by the level of contamination that is present, or assumed present, in the water source.

  • Category 1 represents water from a sanitary source, which can be clean water lines, faucets, clean water from a toilet bowl or bottled water.

  • Category 2 represents water with some level of contamination that could result in illness or discomfort if ingested. This may come from the overflow of a washing machine or dishwasher or the overflow of a toilet with some urine only.

  • Category 3 water is considered to be grossly unsanitary, which could result in severe illness and possible death if ingested. Sources include sewage, flooding streams and rivers, dirty toilet water and standing water with microbial growth.


In the unhappy event that you need a flood restoration services company, knowing the above will ensure that you hire a company that utilizes industry best practices.

You got your family out to safety during the flood, and you hired a flood restoration services company to mitigate the damage to your home. However, if the company cuts corners, does a shoddy job, or has little integrity, how will you know? Marathon Building Services in the Washington, D.C., and Mid-Atlantic region follows the highest principles in the industry, and less than scrupulous services can cause future damage by not following any of the industry standards.

Standards of care

Although no government agency in the United States regulates flood restoration procedures, the industry has two certifying associations that promote standards of care to protect your family, the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, or IICRC, and the Restoration Industry Association, or RIA.


The company should not only be familiar with the standards, it should also be able to explain these specific procedures to you and the basis behind the practices. These standards come from established restoration principles, practical experience and research from such groups as the scientific community, equipment manufacturers, chemical manufacturers and verified trade experts.

IICRC certification and the Cleantrust Program

The IICRC offers flood restoration services companies the opportunity to receive certification from its Cleantrust Program to ensure that they follow the best practices put forth in the S-500 Water Damage Guide, which is published by the IICRC.

Loss assessment and evaluation

The flood restoration service company should document all materials that sustained damage from the flood and use the industry standard pricing guidebook to estimate the proper value of those affected materials.

Prevailing standards of care

You should expect the flood restoration services company to inspect all impacted areas with water-sensing equipment, such as infrared tools or probes, to ascertain the extent of the potential damage. In addition, the company should dry the areas thoroughly, sanitize them, and deodorize all impacted materials. Once the initial labor is complete, you should expect the company to leave much of the equipment in place, such as air scrubbers, air movers, dehumidifiers, subfloor drying equipment, and wood floor drying systems. After three to four days, the company will return to re-evaluate the extent of the drying process. If no further action is required, workers will remove the equipment, or they will perform additional drying and sanitizing functions if necessary.


In addition, the company should be fluent in the IICRC’s S-500 categories of damage, which are determined by the level of contamination that is present, or assumed present, in the water source.

  • Category 1 represents water from a sanitary source, which can be clean water lines, faucets, clean water from a toilet bowl or bottled water.

  • Category 2 represents water with some level of contamination that could result in illness or discomfort if ingested. This may come from the overflow of a washing machine or dishwasher or the overflow of a toilet with some urine only.

  • Category 3 water is considered to be grossly unsanitary, which could result in severe illness and possible death if ingested. Sources include sewage, flooding streams and rivers, dirty toilet water and standing water with microbial growth.


In the unhappy event that you need a flood restoration services company, knowing the above will ensure that you hire a company that utilizes industry best practices.