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  • David Watts

The most wonderful time of year.

Updated: Jan 7, 2022


As we enter the end of year stretch it is the time of year, we need to focus on many things simultaneously.


Collections: as the year winds down most, companies are trying to pay out what they owe. Many businesses have found that they can minimize taxes year-to-year by considering carefully when to make payments to increase expenses and tax deductions. This is the time we want to remind our customers of the outstanding invoices we have. They have not been paid to date so let’s make a push it may be in their benefit to close it out by the end of the year.


Billing: As always at the end of the month comes our billing push. To get meet our numbers, to meet our goals. This is no different than end of month for the project manager team, but keep in mind it is only Cynthia back there as the rest of her team is on vacation.


We cannot let these lapse we all have people to answer to and it the right thing.


Service delays: Our customers never want the services we provide, but they are needed. Come this time of year this is escalated. They do not want removal of materials, they don’t want the equipment, they don’t want us checking up on equipment if they do allow it. They want to delay the mitigation services until after the new year. This is when stabilization and communication is key.


Building managers, tenants, property and building managers, adjusters, and consultants need to know what is happening and why or why not it is happening. Communicate on phone and follow up in emails in email. This added level of complication on a project MUST be communicated. Do we take the project, or do we walk away due to the complexities?


Come time to perform the work and bill the project it will make getting paid easier. A tip I would recommend is bill for the stabilization time, when it is an extended period of time.


Ken Larsen, CR puts it best, "The priority for restorers is to complete remediation activities before restorative drying. However, the restorer should control the humidity in contaminated buildings to minimize moisture migration, potential secondary damage, and microbial amplification. Restorers should maintain negative pressure in relation to uncontaminated areas. Maintaining negative pressure in an affected area can increase the dehumidification capacity needed to maintain desired psychometric conditions. This may be implemented before, during, or after decontamination. Restorers should limit the velocity of airflow across surfaces to limit aerosolization of contaminants. Restorers should complete the drying process after the remediation has been completed.” https://candrmagazine.com/stabilization-in-water-damage-claims/”The priority for restorers is to complete remediation activities before restorative drying. However, the restorer should control the humidity in contaminated buildings to minimize moisture migration, potential secondary damage, and microbial amplification. Restorers should maintain negative pressure in relation to uncontaminated areas. Maintaining negative pressure in an affected area can increase the dehumidification capacity needed to maintain desired psychrometric conditions. This may be implemented before, during, or after decontamination. Restorers should limit the velocity of airflow across surfaces to limit aerosolization of contaminants. Restorers should complete the drying process after the remediation has been completed.” https://candrmagazine.com/stabilization-in-water-damage-claims/”The priority for restorers is to complete remediation activities before restorative drying. However, the restorer should control the humidity in contaminated buildings to minimize moisture migration, potential secondary damage, and microbial amplification. Restorers should maintain negative pressure in relation to uncontaminated areas. Maintaining negative pressure in an affected area can increase the dehumidification capacity needed to maintain desired psychrometric conditions. This may be implemented before, during, or after decontamination. Restorers should limit the velocity of airflow across surfaces to limit aerosolization of contaminants. Restorers should complete the drying process after the remediation has been completed.” https://candrmagazine.com/stabilization-in-water-damage-claims/


Stabilization Does / Doesn’t:

The subject of Stabilization is poorly understood by non-restorers (e.g.: claims representatives). Since drying cannot be initiated until after the structure is verified to be sanitary / Category 1,

  • Stabilization strategies are not engineered to dry materials effectively.

  • Air movers are usually not a part of a stabilization strategy.

  • Stabilization strategies should be employed if the chambers are unlikely to remain lower than safe stabilization thresholds of 65F to 80F @ 45% to 60% RH with the objective of preventing secondary damage in unaffected materials. Stabilization does NOT have the objective of preventing further damage in materials affected by the liquid water (primary damaged materials). Pro Tip: Use equipment outfitted with thermostats and humidistats.

  • Stabilization strategies are engineered to prevent microbial growth in UNAFFECTED materials, NOT the wet materials. The wet materials are likely to go “biological” in short order unless addressed quickly – so it is very important to prove the biological condition was caused by delays of others – not the contractors. (Document delay details DAILY! Some prudent restorers even collect a few atmospheric mold samples on day 1 to prove there were no mold issues on the first day of the water intrusion. Causation of the mold… matters!)

  • Since stabilization is not a part of a drying strategy, the criteria for drying documentation are not applicable during this phase. (However, this doesn’t mean the stabilization phase is exempt from supportive documentation. Compelling documentation includes periodic tests to show what happens to the atmosphere when the equipment is paused for a period of time.)


Keep the communication going, let the account managers know what is going so they are informed. Keeping the account managers informed reduces their stress levels and when they talk to their client, they can have an educated conversation as opposed to responding, “I’ll find out for you”.


Keep focus and thank you for all the hard work this past.

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