Disaster Advice
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Disaster Advice
Disaster recovery and restoration can be veiled in mystery to the many who have not undertaken specific training. This glossary explains technical terms to assist both report writing and the understanding of those technical terms so often misunderstood.


The Disaster Advice Glossary and its contents are the protected copyright of Disaster Advice

EO Errors and Omission Insurance

EO is the professional insurance which must be carried by individuals and companies having and providing expert knowledge and opinions. EO insurance is important for architects and engineers including realtors and inspectors. As a form of professional insurance EO must carried by an individual or company who makes professional opinions or provides certain professional services.


E. coli

The genus name Escherichia a type of bacteria whose normal habitat is the colon of humans and other animals. E. coli is the cause for life threatening diseases when persons eat contaminated food products and in some situations direct hand to mouth contact. See Enteric Organisms


EAC Electronic Air Cleaner

Also called an Electronic Precipitator. EACs use a high voltage between two conductors to remove airborne particles pollens fungi dust dander skin cells etc. from the air flowing through it.


Earth Movement

The movement of earth including but not limited to Landslides or mudflow all weather combined with water or not. Collapse settling cracking shrinking bulging subsidence erosion sinking rising shifting expanding or contracting of earth all weather combined with water or not. c Volcanic eruption including explosion lava flow and volcanic action.



Any shaking or trembling of the earth whether caused by volcanic activity tectonic process or any other cause.



A manufacturer of quality dehumidifiers. EBAC Corporation makes commercial size refrigerant dehumidifiers that can remove large amounts of airborne moisture from a humidified atmosphere per day. See Dri-Eaz Dehumidifiers Phoenix Dehumidifiers Restorative Drying


Ecological Density

The number of organisms per unit area or volume in a given space. The volume usually refers to organisms in the bed of a lake field community or environment.


Ecological Evaluation

A process of organizing information about a loss and analyzing data information assumptions and uncertainties to evaluate the likelihood that adverse effects to relevant ecological receptors or habitats may occur or are occurring as a result of exposure from a flood fire chemical or explosion.


Ecological Indicator

Assessing a species or assemblage of organisms that serves as a gauge indicator to the condition of those organisms in a community or environment.


Ecological Niche

Activities and their relationship with each other and other organisms within the community or environment.



The study of organisms and their relationship within their living environments.



In HVAC economizer is a system that uses the maximum outside air for ventilation and free cooling as long as dehumidification is not necessary.



Those environments where organisms harbour and live.



Defined as levels of organism organization within the living and decaying world. The biodiversity existing in a building indoor environment. See Behavioral Effect Biodiversity


Eddy Currents

The constant movement of air and debris in a random or irregular manner. Mitigation Note In water damage mitigation it is turbulent air trapped in corners and cabinets of flooded rooms and buildings during the use of airmovers improperly. Eddy air currents create an opposing force inside a flooded corner wall or cabinet having squared-off or irregular shapes. Eddy currents often cause forcing-in trapped moisture and debris deeper into building materials instead of releasing them. See Cyclone Effect Dynamic Pressure Static Pressure Turbidity Air Currents


Edge Effect

The observation of an increase in the number of different species of organisms along the margins of two separate organism communities. Education Note The observation an increase in the number of species and organisms can be identified in catastrophic flooded building and in sewage damaged buildings.


Effective Area

In HVAC the effective area is the calculated area of an outlet based on the averaged measured velocity between the fins. In water damaged buildings the area which flooding water came in contact with.


Effective Concentration Dose

The amount of organisms after exposure or absorption and metabolism which causes an accelerated decay or decomposition of building materials. Usually moulds cannot be seen but in concentration dose they become visible.


Effective Indoor Temperatures

As it relates to building occupants effective indoor temperature is the arbitrary index that combines into a singe value the effects of temperature humidity and air movement on the sensation of warmth and cold on the human body. The degree of warmth or cold perceived varies with different combinations of temperature humidity and air movement. The uniform temperature of a radiantly black enclosure at 50%u0025 relative humidity in which an occupant would experience the same comfort physiological strain and heat exchange as in the actual environment with the same air motion.



The ability of concrete brick and mortar to exude inherent silicate salts minerals. Education Note Efflorescence is usually an indicator that high moisture vapor is pushing out from one side of a concrete brick and mortar material through another. The mineral alkaline salt residues found on the top of soil under a building after surface water has dissipated.



Sewage sludge and dissolved organic waste that flow into and under buildings usually after mainline sewer backups and pipe breaks.


EH %u0026 S Environmental Health and Safety

A person or department who administers the environmental health and safety policy of the agency municipality city or business. Education Note EH%u0026S managers are environmental health and safety persons who have college and/or certification training in environmental and industrial health and safety. Don%u0027t confuse risk management with EH%u0026S. The EH%u0026S person has been given the specific role to increase the awareness of day-to-day business operations and effect the bottom line in controlling costs related to health and safety issues. EH%u0026S came out of the total quality management TQM and ISO standards to which many U.S. and worldwide companies subscribe to today. In the very near future it will not be unusual for insurance adjusters and emergency contractors to start interfacing with EH%u0026S managers when a disaster claim affects a business having EH%u0026S departments.


EHS Extremely Hazardous Substances

One of about 400 chemicals listed by the USEPA under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act of 1986. Chemicals are based on there acute toxicity. Microbiological agents even though they can be as extremely hazardous are not regulated under this act.


EIFS Exterior Insulated Finish System

An outside building material system typically having an acrylic or stucco finish outside and made of a fabric membrane with polystyrene insulating component.


Electric Power Brushing

The use of any electrical appliance for the purpose of cleaning and removing surface debris. A system used to power brush and clean ventilation systems also referred to as drilled powered rotary brushing or air driven power brush cleaning.


Electrocution Hazards

The physical contact or potential contact with an electrical AC or DC energized source or field. The energized source is any conductive wire substance or environment that may cause or result in an electrical hazard. Health and Safety Note Electrocution hazards can occur in water damaged buildings from energized electrical sources in contact with water and an employee being conductive through their wet shoes and shoes that are electrical conductors. 29 CFR 1910.137 ANSI Z9.4-1968. See Lock-Out/Tag-Out


Electronic Flow Controls

In commercial buildings electronic flow controls are the regulated controls of the building for temperature humidity air flow and sometimes monitoring carbon dioxide. Engineering Control Note In water damaged commercial buildings the engineering staff may be able to assist through by-passing the electronic flow controls and bring into the wet humidified areas 100%u0025 fresh air while exhausting out wet air as well as increasing the air exchanges per hour.


Electronic Stud Finder

An electronic instrument that detects the presence and location of wood or metal studs in walls and ceilings. Most electronic stud finders are based on detecting changes in capacity the same principle used in elevator call systems. The electronic devises incorporate a capacitance plate basically a piece of metal with an electrical charge on it that creates an electrical field. The electrical field is modified by nearby objects and a built-in circuit detects those changes. When the electronic devise is placed against a hollow wall it will have a certain capacitance but when it is moved to a location where there is a stud behind the wall the capacitance will change and it will emit a signal. Some newer stud finders have small built-in radar systems to find studs.


Element Costs

Direct costs associated with the basic of building material items such as door hinges trim or a half-hour labour.



FEMA states elevation is the raising of a structure to a place it is above anticipated flood levels. It is also the structural placement of a building where its elevation is higher than anticipated flood levels. Elevation in general refers to the position of one object to another.


EMC Equilibrium Moisture Content

The point where a building and its materials have been returned back to their pre-loss moisture content. See Moisture Content



An abbreviation for the author environmental mitigation and assessment company Environmental Management %u0026 Engineering Inc. 5242 Bolsa Avenue Suite %u00231 Huntington Beach California 92649. 714/379-1096 www.emeiaq.com e-mail pmoffett@emeiaq.com.



The immediate services necessary to stop or reduce further damage.


Emergency Removal of Property

In insurance terms the emergency removal of property means the care and control of property that must be removed from the premises endangered by a loss as covered under losses insured. Typically the emergency removal of property is for a period not more than 30 days from the date of removal.


Emergency Repairs

In insurance terms emergency repairs are all costs the policy holder incurred for the necessary repairs made solely to protect covered property from further damage if a loss covered under the Property Section of the policy causes the damage. Typically the emergency repairs coverage does not increase the limit of the insurance applying to the property being repaired.


Emergency Responder

An employee who has adequate training knowledge and certification along with the proper equipment who can coordinate and manage a known or potentially dangerous or hazardous scene or environment. Health and Safety Note A minimum of two emergency responders who will work as a team they have the knowledge equipment and capabilities of controlling a hazard. 29 CFR 1910.120 et seq 29 CFR 1910.021b2. See Buddy System


Emergency Response

Corresponding to the level of emergency actions taken by emergency responders having the right training supplies and equipment which are necessary to complete a specific task during an emergency. Education Note Emergency response in water and fire damage services include reducing property damage that can be affected by not providing emergency services such as water removal containment of damage and reducing secondary and consequential losses. Emergency services by emergency water clean-up technicians provides a buffer between the public and contaminate exposures such as water and sewage.


Emergency Response Call

The first initial contact by a customer insurance company adjuster or insured fire department or police that request an emergency response call. The emergency response call is placed into a log book containing all the pertinent information about the emergency. Only after all of the information about the emergency is collected then described to the emergency response technicians should the technicians respond to the emergency.


Emergency Response Employees and Hazards

Employees whose job calls them to provide emergency response to a building that is suspect of containing a hazard. Hazards include unknown hazards suspect and known hazards unsafe buildings confined space or environments which are potentially hazardous carcinogenic pathogenic or toxic. Contractor Safety Health and Liability Note In water and fire damage mitigation the employer responding to an emergency along with their technicians shall comply with all parts of 29 CFR 1910.120 et seq 29 CFR 1910.021b2 when such known or potential hazards exist. See Employee Protection and Training Employee Right to Know OSHA Serious Violation


Emergency Response or Respondin to Emergencies

Hazardous Materials Management Note In hazardous materials management of regulated materials or a fire where hazardous materials may be an issue emergency response is a response effort by employees from outside the immediate release area or by other designated responders i.e. mutual aid groups local fire departments etc. to an occurrence which results or is likely to result in an uncontrolled release which may cause high levels of exposure to toxic substances or which poses danger to employees requiring immediate attention. Responses to incidental releases of hazardous substances where the substance can be absorbed neutralized or otherwise controlled at the time of release by employees in the immediate release area or by maintenance personnel are not considered to be emergency responses within the scope of state and federal standards. Responses to releases of hazardous substances where there is no immediate safety or health hazard i.e. fire explosion or chemical exposure are not considered to be emergency responses. NOTE The immediate release area can be the entire geographic boundary of the employees assigned work area.


Emergency Services

The immediate response services necessary to stop reduce or control an exposure to human health or damage to a material content or property.



Pollutant gases particles vapours liquids and toxins that are released into an atmosphere. See Fugitive Building Emissions


Employee Decontamination

The contaminates generated through some type of work activity which an employee is exposed resulting in the safe removal of those contaminates before breaks and leaving the work site.


Employee Protection and Training

The mandated training by OSHA of employees to train employees in the performance of their job in a such a manner as to be safe and healthy at all times while in the performance of their work. Health and Safety Note The federal and state regulations governing employee protection and training which is the responsibility of the contractor. All employees must be afforded a clean and safe work environment. c Employees are to be trained in their job including the use of equipment and chemicals. d In known and potentially hazardous work environments employees are to be provided their right to know about hazardous environments. e Employees are to be trained in the handling and mitigation of a hazardous work environment by completing a non-hazardous simulation exercise. f Employees are to be retrained a minimum of once a year.


Employee Right to Know

Each employee at the time of their hire or reclassification is to be advised of any potential hazards associated with each task. Employees are to be successfully trained before attempting a hazardous work task. Contractor Note Employer shall provide for employees a safe workplace. When first hired employer shall train employees in all phases of their work prior to allowing them to complete the work. c Employer shall insure there are necessary safeguards at the work site. d Employer shall permit only trained qualified or experienced workers to operate equipment and machinery. In emergency response to potential biohazardous waste environments. e Employer shall insure all employees are trained by their supervisor in a controlled environment before being allowed to enter unsafe or health hazard environments. f HAZCOM Standards 29 CFR part 1200 29 CFR 1910.120 29 CFR 1904.002 29 CFR 1926.059e1 52 CFR 163 52 CFR 31852-31886.



A chemical suspension between two chemicals which causes the dispersion of particles of one liquid to become part of another liquid through a charge of electrons.



A chemical or agent used to cover or bind with a contaminate either for a short period or a long period of time. No encapsulate in the water damage or fire damage industry is a permanent fix to a problem.



A method using a material or a chemical to seal and close off a contaminate with a barrier or another material to prevent their escape.



An enclosed area or room that is either being sealed off from another room or from itself. A barrier or partition that separates one area from another. c A plastic material usually 6 mm or greater that is used in asbestos lead-base paint and mould abatement.



Bacteria-type microorganism cell walls that breakdown at the time of their death and where the organism releases bacteria toxins in the air as they die. Not unlike exotoxins endotoxins are from various Gram negative organisms such as sewage having similar pathogenic effects. See Enterotoxins


Enginerring Controls

In hazardous or contaminated environments it is the administrative and mechanical controls responsible for the removal or reduction of an exposure contaminate or hazard. In building management it is the methods implemented in controlling occupant exposures by modifying the source or reducing the quantity of contaminates released throughout the building.


Enteric Organisms

Microorganisms whose normal habitat is the gastrointestinal tract of humans and other animals. The term enteric organisms is used to describe harmful Gram-negative bacteria such as E. coli from feces. See E. coli Enteropathogenic Organisms


Enteropathogenic Organisms

Any number of pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria capable of causing disease. Disease disorders range from mild stomach upsets to severe diarrhea and dysentery. Sickness and illness can be acute or chronic.



Enteropathogenic Gram negative bacteria which secrete harmful pathogenic toxins in the intestines. Staphylococcal bacteria results in food poisoning and based on symptoms food poisoning is often the main suspect. See Endotoxins Neurotoxins



To warm in and to heat. A measurement of the energy content of a system per unit mass. The quantity of heat in a substance or physical system or its heat content. See Entropy



1. The ability of a foreign substance liquid or gas to be captured in a media or a building material after enter a media or material. 2. The capture of part of the surrounding air by the airstream discharged from an outlet sometimes called secondary air motion. Mitigation Note Pertaining to water damages and building flooding the intrusion of water soil silt sludge and sewage effluents and their toxins to become part of building materials and contents from an outside source. The ability of vapour fumes gas mists microorganisms and solid particles to adsorb in a building material from an outside source. c The ability of a contaminate to enter into a space and be absorbed or consumed. See Infiltration


Entrainment Velocity

The ability of water gas vapour mist and solid particles to absorb and impact into other materials. The gas flow velocity in air which tends to keep particles suspended and cause deposited particles to become airborne. Mitigation Note Typically this applies to airflow in ducts carrying airborne particles and other contaminates. Entrainment velocity effects is a concern for water damage mitigation contractors who use 1000 CFM or greater air movers which transport large amounts of wet-humidified air throughout a building. See Acceleration Velocity Air Movement Dynamic Pressure Turbidity Air Currents



The ratio of the heat added to a substance to the absolute temperature at which it is added. As it relates to heat as temperature entropy is a measurement of disorder. Education Note The higher the heat the in a building for example the higher the entropy. Entropy in this example effects occupant comfort levels humidity atmospheric changes and volatile organic compounds. In a buildings envelope where there is a closed system of heating and air conditioning entropy is a result of increased and decreased energy flow. It follows that the entropy of a building using a closed HVAC system is increasing throughout the day if fresh air and conditioned air are not properly mixed and supplied. The increase rate of energy from a closed HVAC system rates of reaction are proportionately increased with the rate of indoor temperature. This is one way of stating the second law of thermodynamics.


Entry Permit

OSHA 29 CFR 1910.146 is the written or printed document that is provided by the employer to allow and control entry into a permit required confined space. The entry permit contains all necessary information as contained in the Confined Space Standard. Health and Safety Note Water damage remediation contractors who are trained to recognize a building or environment is unsafe or it has a hazard including a water damage slip trip and fall a fire a microbiological hazard from sewage or fungi or chemicals and toxins must post appropriate warning signs both for the public and employees. More specifically this is for contractors who have been contracted to provide mitigation/remediation-type services who must post a written notice of Do Not Enter and the Entry Permit. See Confined Space Do Not Enter Permit-Required Confined Space Entry


Entry Supervisor Duties

In confined space entry the duties of the supervisor are not unlike the attendant located outside the confined space. The entry supervisor include the role in determining if the conditions in the confined space are acceptable for employee entry overseeing entry operations and terminating entry when required or necessary verify the test results for the chemicals vapours flammable or toxins present verify the need for rescue services and the means for summoning help remove all unauthorized persons and employees from the permit work space fill out date and sign all logs. An entry supervisor may also serve as an attendant or an authorized entrant if they are properly trained and equipped for each role. See Attendant Confined Space Rescue Procedures


Environmental Assessment

A preliminary first stage assessment to physically study and assess concerns to the environment or building.


Environmental Audit

1 An internal audit of building compliance that are based on a set of standards or science. 2 Study of land and buildings prior to real estate sale or transfer. The audit in part determines whether persons animals or the environment itself has been impacted because of a discharge or exposure of some type.


Environmental Ethics

A code of ethics or value system that judges human actions on the environment. Environmental ethics is established by a governing body of professionals accepted and practiced by industrial hygienists microbiologists chemists and other environmental professionals.


Environmental Impact

The impact of a contaminate on an building or a material. The impact of a contaminate on the environment and building occupancy. The environmental impact may be short lived or long lasting. In either case the environmental impact must be measured and monitored. Mitigation Note In water damage mitigation it is the impact of the water damage event effecting directly the building and its occupants. 1 Saturated asbestos and lead-base paint is a direct environmental impact on the building. 2 Not addressing all the issues of water water vapour drying the building immediately and resulting increase of fungi may have a direct environmental and health impact on the building and its occupants.


Environmental Impairment Liability Policy EIL policy

An insurance policy offering bodily injury and property damage coverage for gradual releases of pollutants for any claims made during the policy period no matter when the release occurred. The EIL policy fills the gap left by policy exclusions called pollution exclusions.


Environmentally Adaptive Bacteria

Any number of bacteria that are common outdoors usually in found in soil and fecal matter. Education Note Soil bacteria include Bacillus species that is tracked indoors from animals and humans and become adaptive to their indoor environment. Gram-positive cocci such as Staphylococcus Micrococcus and Streptococcus are generally brought into buildings from shed human skin and mucous membranes they should typically represent about 85/90%u0025 of the bacteria isolates indoors. Health Note Gram-negative cocci such as Pseudomonas Escherichia Enterobacter Klebsiella Citrobacter Aeromonas and other species are pathogens and they are prevalent in sewage and gray water.


Environmentally Adaptive Fungi

Any number of fungi that are common to outdoors and are not common growth elements in healthy buildings. Air samples will indicate many of the fungi that are common outdoors are brought into a building from building occupants air currents and ventilation. Education Note Environmentally adaptive fungi are those outdoor fungi which under the right growth conditions temperature and humidity take hold and grow indoors on nutrient rich building materials. Cladosporium and Alternaria are fungi which grow mainly on above ground on dead organic material. They are adaptable indoors when the indoor nutrient requirements are ideal. Other environmentally adaptive fungi are Aspergillus and Penicillium which are prevalent in the tracked in soil and airborne dusts. Both Aspergillus and Penicillium contain species that will grow well on indoor building materials and contents when ideal temperatures and humidity exist. See Environmentally Adaptive Bacteria


EPA Environmental Protection Agency

A federal government agency established 1970 to provide for the formulation regulation and enforcement of environmental regulations. The agency governs the release of pollutants and activities that may cause or adversely affect the public health and environment. Many states have their own EPA such as California EPA which must prescribe and follow the federal mandates but are allowed to tighten federal regulations and standards in their state. See OSHA



The science which studies environments buildings and persons before during and after a pollution chemical gas vapour or microbiological exposure.



A period involving a time of extreme or abnormally high pollutant concentrations which may last hours days weeks or longer.


Episodic Erosion

Ground erosion caused or induced by a single storm event. An episodic erosion in a coastal environment for example considers the vertical component of two factors 1 the general beach profile lowering and 2 localized conical scour around building foundation supports. In general episodic erosion is relevant to the foundations embedment depth and potential undermining of the foundations ground.


Equal Friction Method

A method of duct sizing wherein the selected duct friction loss value is used constantly throughout the design of a low pressure duct system.


Equipment Decontamination Charges

Costs attributable directly to the job where the equipment used or exposed to the requires their cleaning and sanitizing before the equipment is allowed to leave the job.


Equipment Rental

In water fire and catastrophic disasters equipment rental refers to the equipment necessary on the job to control or eliminate a particular hazard or damage or the equipment necessary to complete a particular job. Contractor Note Equipment rental includes but is not limited to Airmovers and dehumidifiers electrical power generators ventilation portable lights and temporary power supplies scaffolding negative air and air scrubbers confined space entry monitoring equipment respiratory protection extraction equipment and vacuum trucks storage containment bins and debris dumpsters jack-hammers to heavy equipment portable toilets and health and safety requirements communication devises and management trailers. Equipment rental includes the necessary to complete a particular portion of a job are direct billable costs of the job. The contractors contract terms and conditions must allow and provide for reimbursement of all equipment rental clean-up and sanitization repair and maintenance as well as overheads and profit.


ERT Environmental Response Team

A group of highly trained individuals with scientific equipment who can determine the effects on the environment buildings and humans.


ERV Energy Recovery Ventilation

A means by which a mechanical heating and air conditioning unit is capable of assisting in the introduction of fresh air into a building and removing old air while keeping the temperature consistent inside with a minimum expenditure of energy. ERV is also referred to as heat recovery ventilation or HRV. Both mechanical processes have a core unit heat exchanger that causes the thermal energy heat to flow between two air streams. Some manufacturers incorporate an enthalpic exchanger so that moisture can be exchanged as well keeping buildings comfortable in summer winter and during humid months.


EST Estimate Emergency Service Construction or Repair Time

EST is an abbreviation for estimate. An estimate in insurance work an estimate is the anticipated cost of materials labor equipment licenses overhead profit insurance or any combination of these necessary to perform a specific job or task.


Estimate Based On SY SF LF CY CF

The anticipated estimate for a job is predicated on a known cost factor such as total square yards square feet linear feet cubic yards cubic feet that are used to cost out a job. For example if a floor area is 200 square feet in size the estimated costs are 200 times X. X includes all labor material overhead and profit costs of the job per square foot which sometimes requires a plus %u0025 factor for cuts and overage of a rough or finished material. 200 times X times %u0025 %u003D estimate.



Pertaining to the cause of a disease or abnormal condition.



The study and knowledge of the causes of disease.



Dying from a lack of oxygen. A process through which a body of water becomes richer in nutrients and lower in dissolved oxygen. This process reduces lakes and streams ability to support fish and other marine life. Part of the environmental concern is the discharge of phosphate detergents. In many parts of the nation it is illegal to discharge detergent waste into storm drains or onto city and community streets. Mitigation Note 1 In water damage remediation eutrophication occurs in stagnant water such as that found in elevator shafts sumps and under buildings. 2 Eutrophication also occurs in soil under buildings that have been flooded with water and sewage. See Detergents Soil-Gas



A molecule change of state phase from solid liquids to mist-like vapours then to a gas. Some molecules such as water have enough energy to escape from the liquid to the vapor and/or gas phase in small to large quantities which will increase or decrease depending on wind and temperature. See Condensation


Evaporation Rate

The ratio of the time required to evaporate a measured volume of a liquid to the time required to evaporate the same volume of a reference liquid ie. ethyl ether under ideal test conditions. The higher the ratio the slower the evaporation rate.


Evaporative Cooling

The adiabatic exchange of heat between air and a water spray or a wetted surface. In an HVAC unit the water approaches the wet-bulb temperature of the air which remains constant during its traverse at the exchanger.



In an HVAC heat exchanger in which the medium being cooled usually air or water gives up heat to the refrigerant through the exchanger transfer surface. The liquid refrigerant boils into a gas in the process of the heat absorption.


Evapo-transpiration also known as Vapiro-transpiration

The combined action of evaporation vapourization and transpiration transfer. Vapourization is the physical process of converting water to vapor or gas and transpiration is the mechanical means allowing this action to occur. Restorative Drying Note In water damage buildings it is the movement of water as a liquid vapourized in air moisture vapor and transferred from porous materials and surfaces. For this action to occur it is important to allow for vapor transfer of moisture through mechanical means by using air movers and dehumidifiers. See Air Movement Dehumidification Evaporation Moisture Vapour


Evidence Collection

Contractors and other persons who hold a state contractors license or persons who are trained as specialists and who gather evidence information pictures and other forms of documentation on behalf of their client. Contractor Note Evidence collection may include documenting the cause of damage such as a broken pipe or fixture by first taking pictures of the pipe or fixture and the surrounding flood damage. Then completing a written report as to the conditions which the pipe or fixture were found. Evidence collection may include forensic analysis of the causation which may require the removal of both sections or parts of the broken pipe or fixture labeling and numbering each part as they were found then photographing the labeling have a ruler in the picture showing dimensions. Create a chain of custody from the time you gained control and removed the pipe section or fixture to the location where you archived the broken parts then the final transfer and release of the parts to your client. Recently some contractors have had to demonstrate that the water emergency they are cleaning up requiring disinfection in other words it actually contained sewage microflora and pathogens. Evidence collection in this case includes swab collection of the sewage contaminates from a specific wall or floor area and follow-up independent microbiological laboratory analysis. c Evidence collection may include clearance sampling and/or monitoring stating that the building is dehumidified and is dry back to its pre-loss condition and/or that the clean-up of the sewage and bacteria after sanitizing have been completed successfully and there are no longer sewage bacteria concerns on exposed building surfaces and on the previously effected contents. See Chain of Custody Clearance Sampling Forensic Investigation Sewage Sampling Swab Sampling



The passage or movement of air out of a building or substructure through building cracks around windows and doors ventilation and the means of wind humidity or temperature differences that effect the building. See Infiltration


Exhaust Air

The contaminated indoor air that is removed from a building space naturally or mechanically and is not intended to be reused indoors.


Exhaust Filtration

One of several engineering control methods acceptable resulting in the scrubbing and filtering of exhausted gases and airborne contaminates to an outside air space.


Exhaust Ventilation

The mechanical removal of air using positive or negative air pressure to push-out and exhaust contaminates from a building atmosphere or building space.


Exothermic Reaction

A reaction in which heat is given off as in a fire or in the combination of water and a chemical such as lithium bromide.



A protein molecule produced and released by bacteria that causes certain diseases in humans when allowed to enter the skin through rashes skin breaks or when inhaled. For example botulism and tetanus. Health Note Protein molecules are extremely toxic in cuts and abrasions in micro-gram quantities. Improper handling of sewage bacteria during sewage remediation may result in exotoxin exposure. See Endotoxins Neurotoxins


Expansion Gap

The perimeter space of wood and other flooring materials that allows for normal expansion and contraction of the flooring materials during temperature and humidity changes. See Equilibrium Moisture Content



The contact of harmful agents between humans animals and their environments. The contact with a chemical biological or physical hazard. Health Note Exposure in water damage remediation is the contact with a foreign substance that causes injury and illness. Nails wood and metal splinters tack strips cuts abrasions puncture wounds injection inhalation and absorption are all exposure related injuries.


Exposure Assessment

The determination or estimation qualitative or quantitative of the magnitude frequency duration and route of exposure between a source and a receptor. The receptor may be a human building or an environment.


Exposure Pathway

The manner in which a chemical or contaminate takes from the source areas to a person a building an atmosphere or ecological habitat. An exposure pathway describes the mechanism by which an exposure occurred originating from the site. Each exposure pathway includes a source release knowledge about the source and its chemical or contaminate and the point of origin.


Exposure Route

The manner in which a chemical toxin or biological agent comes in contact with a human for example inhalation ingestion adsorption or other form of dermal contact.


Exposure Scenarion

The description of the circumstances surrounding an exposure or claim loss including the site property chemical or exposure properties and the potential risks and exposures what are or may be present at the site.


Exterior Cleaning

The removal and cleanup of the physical of dirt and debris. The removal and cleanup of non-regulated contaminates. c The removal of debris brought out of a building after demolition. d The removal of water marks or fire smoke from a building after a flood or a fire.



Any one of a number of acceptable methods used to contain and permanently remove water vapour gas or a solid from a surface or an atmosphere. Contractor Note In water damage mitigation in removing surface water extraction is the suctioning of surface water and sometimes solids off a surface. The water is then transported through a suction hose to a containment devise such as a truck mount containment tank or a portable extraction machine. Restorative Drying Note In the removal of humidified ambient air in a wet building extraction is the action necessary to remove the humidified air from ambient air with dryer air. Extracting moisture-humidified air requires the effect of using air exchanges in the building with dryer air. The successful extraction of wet air with dryer air or dehumidified air requires the use of scientific principles and monitoring. See Dehumidification Restorative Drying



The prediction outcome in a particular circumstance. This is based on known circumstances experience and experimental observations but are founded on existing empirical data. Contractor Note For example a contractor having years of knowledge in water damage remediation where extrapolation allows a professional judgement to extrapolate the outcome of issues effecting a particular flooded building. See Best Professional Judgement Hypothesis Theory


Extrinsic Allergic Alveolitis

A swelling from of pneumonia that is caused by an immune reaction in an allergic patient. The reaction may be brought about by a variety of inhaled organic dusts often those containing fungal spores. A wide variety of symptoms may occur including difficulty breathing fever chills malaise and muscle aches. The symptoms usually develop 4 to 6 hours after exposure. Kinds of extrinsic allergic alveolitis include bagassosis farmer lung humidifier or air conditioner lung mushroom worker lung suberosis. The health condition may be diagnosed as hypersensitivity pneumonitis.


Eye and Face Protection

The appropriate goggles safety glasses and face shields necessary and required for protecting the eye and face from exposure to a foreign substance including splashing of liquids and contact with projectiles. 29 CFR 1910.133-135 ANSI Z87.1 Z358.1-1990. See PPE


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