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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

IICRC The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification

Phone 360/693-5675 or 800/344-6172. The primary organization for water damage and mold remediation professionals throughout the U.S. Canada and Europe. IICRC publishes the Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration called the S500-94 and the more recent Revised Second Edition called S500-99.


Immediate Danger to Life and Health IDLH

The maximum air concentration of a chemical substance from which a healthy person could escape within a 30-minute exposure without irreversible adverse health effects or experiencing impaired health conditions. An atmospheric concentration of any toxic corrosive or asphyxiant substance that poses an immediate threat to life or would cause irreversible or delayed adverse health effects or would interfere with an individual ability to escape from a dangerous atmosphere. Health and Safety Note Any other atmospheric condition that is immediately dangerous to live or health is an immediate hazard that must be avoided. IDLH means any condition that is an immediate or delayed threat to life or that would cause permanent negative health effects or that would interfere with a worker ability to escape or leave a work area without help.


Immune-Compromised Persons

Individuals whose natural immune system is impaired for a number of reasons including sickness and disease and may be possibly induced by their environment.


Immune-System Toxin

Any toxin including fungal toxins which are allowed to enter the body through inhalation ingestion or absorption and has effected the immune system or has the ability to damage components of the immune system.


Impact Loads

Forces imposed on a structure by solid objects or masses carried by water or wind.



A characteristic of some building materials to hold off and retard moisture and vapour absorption and adsorption. Impermeable building materials are designed to limit the passage of water gases vapours and other fluids. See Moisture Impermeable Building Materials Permeability Permeability Factor



A highly contagious skin infection most often found on small children. Impetigo infection is caused by bacteria entering the skin through a sore cut rash wound or an area affected by eczema. Health and Safety Note Sewage remediation technicians must recognize doctors have identified impetigo source transmission in several instances as associated with sewage contaminated carpet that was not properly cleaned and sanitized. See Fomites Infection


Improper Dehumidification

In water damage mitigation Improper dehumidification is any attempt by a professional to warrant a building atmosphere and wet wall cavities to be dry for which in fact they are not. Improper dehumidification is the undersized utilization and application of dehumidification equipment or engineering controls. c Improper dehumidification can result in mold and fungi growth which were not there prior to the flooding event.


Improper Drainage

Any cause or condition which water is allowed to collect stand set pool backflow bubble remain brackish and bound or other conditions which do not allow for the movement of water away from a property or building in a relatively short period of time before damage occurs. Improper drainage in water restoration services in wet buildings are those conditions which allow water and humidity to remain trapped or held back.


Improper Sewage Clean-up

From sewage backflows into and under buildings after the clean-up and removal of sewage water and effluents improper sewage clean-up is the continued presence of any coliform bacteria.


Improper Slope and Grade

Improper slope and grade of a property is that slope and grade which is pitched towards the building. Improper slope and grade results in rain water standing water and sprinkler water to migrate or flow back towards a structure.


Improper Water Damage Clean-up

In water damage mitigation after the water from a flood event has been removed and the building appears dry. Improper water damage cleanup is any condition which allows a structure or contents to remain wet or damp resulting in further building and contents damage mold growth or wet environments that result in occupant illness. See Consequential Damage Secondary Damage Sick Buildings



The power of a body to successfully fight-off and resist infection and the effects of toxins. Immunity and resistance results from the possession of sufficient antibodies to ward and defend the body during infection.


in situ

Meaning in place. Such as certain environmental tests that are gathered in place or in situ. Mitigation Note Sewage sampling or clearance swab testing are acquired in situ or at the place where the contamination is suspected.


In vitro

Experiments and laboratory analysis conducted in petri dishes test tubes etc. An artificial growing environment that is not inside an organism.


In vivo

Testing and laboratory analysis inside an organism or cell.


Inches of Water In. W.G.

A unit of pressure equal to the pressure exerted by a column of liquid water 1 inch high at a temperature of 39.2%u00B0F.


Inches of Water Column

A measurement unit used in measuring pressure. One inch of water column equals a pressure of 0.25 kPa 0.036 lb per sq in..


Incidental Release

An incidental release is one that does not cause a health or safety hazard to employees and does not need to be cleaned up immediately to prevent death or serious injury to employees.


Incremental Carcinogen or Pathogen Risk Levels

The potential for incremental human carcinogenic and pathogenic effects over background cancer occurrence disease and illness levels due to exposure to the chemicals toxins or pathogens of concern.


Incremental Increase

The allowable increase of ambient air concentrations of certain pollutants over their baseline levels established for a building. See Baseline


Independent Adjuster

A trained individual in insurance loss appraisal who is often licensed by the state they work in. Independent adjusters unlike company staff adjusters must often carry errors and omissions insurance. Independent adjusters are either self-employed or they work for an independent adjusting company who are retained by one or more insurance companies on a contract or loss-by-loss basis. See Company Adjuster


Indicator Organism

The presence of a particular microorganism having a certain quantity which can indicate a level of contamination by an indicator microorganism. The presence of certain microorganisms whose existence in an area is indicative of specific environmental conditions.


Indigenous Organisms

Resident microorganisms which are commonly found in the building in controlled amounts. Indigenous resident organisms will not cause harm to persons in well maintained and clean buildings. See Resident Organisms


Indirect Exposure Pathways

An exposure pathway with at least one intermediate release to any media or and intermediate biological transfer step between the source and the pointss of exposure. For example airborne toxins and biological contaminates carried from the source to other areas of the building where an exposure occurred.


Indoor Air Pollution

Those microorganisms vapours gasses and airborne pollutants which have increased indoor air contaminates to unacceptable levels.


Indoor Air Quality Mission Statement

A written statement that particularly speaks about the cleanliness and thermal comfort levels in the building throughout the year. The mission statement must available to building employees along with references to other documents such as the Voluntary Protection Program VPP and a Total Quality Management Program TQMP.


Indoor Air Quality Profile Survey

An IAQ profile survey is a description of the features of the building structure function and occupancy that impact indoor air quality. It is best recommended that commercial building owners managers and engineers have completed the EPA recommendations for an indoor air quality profile survey or audit before there become an IAQ problem or complaint. See Phase-1


Indoor Environmental Quality IEQ

The relationship between fresh indoor air makeup and contaminates as pollutants. The key concerns of maintaining good IEQ start at the design engineering construction/installation first-use general occupancy loads and the continuous maintenance of a building and its systems.



The relationship between fresh indoor air makeup and contaminates as pollutants. The key concerns of maintaining good IEQ start at the design engineering construction/installation first-use general occupancy loads and the continuous maintenance of a building and its systems.


Industrial Hygienist

A person who possesses knowledge in engineering chemistry physics biology medicine or related physical and biological sciences and who by virtue of special studies and training has acquired competence in industrial hygiene. See CIH Certified Industrial Hygienist


Industrial Sewage

Waste that is generated by industry. In all instances the dumping of waste other than human waste in toilets is forbidden. Yet there are permits that industrial users pay for which allow them to dump certain types of non-recyclable waste into a treatable sewer system. Mitigation Note Not usually considered industrial and medical waste also travels through the same sewer pipes as household domestic waste. Depending on the agency and their interpretation industrial and commercial sewage are the same and this sewage may or may not require regulation in certain districts. See Commercial Sewage Discharge Domestic Sewage Medical Waste



Building materials as substances which do not normally react chemically or are effected by microscopic growth as long as they are used within manufacturer standards.


Inevitable Occurrence

Based on the situation inevitable occurrence is the unavoidable and predictable development of an action circumstance or disaster that will have and result in a known conclusion. Contractor Note A water damaged building having high humidity will result in mold growth if the building is allowed to stay wet and humid.



Entrance into the body by any means which viruses bacteria fungi and yeasts are allowed to enter the body as a host causing damage to skin cell organs immune system and the body as a whole.



Virus bacteria fungus or protozoa than cause a person or building material to produce or result in a disease.


Infectious Liquid

Infectious liquids to remediation contractors usually includes human blood and other body fluids sewage and other liquid waste that are known to be able to produce disease.


Infectious Waste

Medical waste and other regulated waste including bloodborne pathogens. Health and Safety Note Sewage itself is not an infectious regulated waste except when it enters fresh and salt water streams and open bodies of water. Sewage effluents effecting buildings is a direct health concern since sewage contamination is known to result in infections and disease.



Invasion of the body surfaces by parasite-like mites ticks fleas to ringworms. See Rickettsia



The wind along with outdoor air pollution pollens dusts dirt and gases that enter a building. Entrainment of water into buildings from wind driven rains hillside erosion and floods. c Sewer system backups into and under buildings. See Exfiltration



In energy surveys of a building infiltration includes air leakage inward from outside sources that result in leakage through cracks and interstitial spaces such as ceilings floors and walls of a building.


Inflatable Blatters

A term used in the ventilation cleaning business for thick balloon-like air blatters. The inflatable blatters once filled block off up stream air and particulates making the cleaning of ducts easier. The thick blatters are usually covered with two-layers of puncture-resistant outer cloth layers. They are reusable and come with an air valve and quick deflate cap. Contact Indoor Environmental Solutions for more information. 800/288-382



The taking of a substance by mouth. Hand and mouth contact with each other.


Initial Site Assessment

The initial assessment is an site-inspection plan devised solely for the purpose of gaining factual information both historical and current information about a previous or on-going event based on the initial understanding of the site. Education Note The initial site assessment may include other elements such as identifying potential exposure issues of the pathways and exposure evaluation. Information collected during the initial site assessment may identify incomplete exposure pathways that may eliminate the need for any further evaluation of one or more exposure pathways at the site.



The causation or trigger of an environmental problem or exposure to a building and/or its occupants.



A trapped moisture ventilating system. A Trademarked machine that introduces forced air into wall cavities for the purpose of drying wet wall cavities within an acceptable drying period. The difference between the Injectidry and its competitors the manufacturer states the forced air and negative air drying system is more reliable and heavy duty and the Injectidry provides better performance in drying not just wet wall cavities but behind valuable built-in cabinets tile wall paper and the drying of hardwood floors. See TurboVent Wallintruder



Direct damage or harm to the body from a blunt or piercing blow infection or any other violent act that produces damage to the body.


Inland Marine Insurance Policy

Also known as an equipment floater. An insurance policy which contractors have that provides equipment content coverage while you are away and in transit from your office or primary base of operation. There are generally two types of valuation methods for claims settlement with an inland marine policy. Replacement Cost RC and Actual Cash Value ACV. Replacement cost is the cost to replace %u0027old%u0027 tools with %u0027new%u0027 tools at their current replacement price without deducting for depreciation. Actual cash value is arrived at by taking the replacement cost and deducting the depreciation brought about by any physical wear and obsolescence when applicable. Replacement cost coverage is generally more expensive than actual cash value.


In-Plant Cleaning and Restoration

Items and materials that are removed to a plant environment for the purpose of cleaning decontamination and restoration under a controlled and supervised surrounding. See On-Site



Any material or agent capable of killing insects and other living organisms. Insecticides usually has stable compounds to last for a long time. Insecticides must be used properly because they can be improperly used resulting in damage to the balance of nature and are harmful to humans and animals. Biocides and fungicides are types of insecticides.


Inspection and Maintenance I%u0026M

Building maintenance programs that are designed to help buildings to be more energy efficient and stay healthy. Usually the I%u0026M is conducted by the building engineering staff who keep permanent records on all I %u0026 M inspections and service


Institutional Controls

A legal or administrative restriction on the use of or access to a site facility or area to eliminate or minimize potential exposures to a particular contaminate of concern.



1 Building insulation is typically fiberglass cellulosic materials and sometimes rigid or blown-in urethane foam having an average thermal rating of R-11 R-13 R-19 or R-30. Construction Note Building insulation is found in exterior walls and attics and sometimes under the floor joists of sub-floors. Wall insulation is found in the UBC Codes and meets different ASTM Standards. 2 Building insulation is any other property that provides moisture and thermal protection for a building. Safety and Construction Note Wind driven rains to fog will not enter the building based on its design and engineering. This design and engineering of protecting the building atmosphere cannot take into account indoor water damages. Indoor water damages are considered sealed in a tight buildings insulated envelope having no reasonable method of escape either for the water vapour humidity and condensation. Once building insulation become wet they must be investigated immediately and determined the best method for drying and dehumidification before mould and secondary building damage occur. Refer to the Moisture Control Handbook by Joseph Lstiburek and Restorative Drying by Claude Blackburn See Condensation Dehumidification Drywall Wall Cavities Water Damage



The act or policy of insuring. A policy made by an agent or broker and the person who is now called the policy holder and insured. The insured has insurance to protect them against certain or specific perils.


Insurance Agent

An insurance agent of a company or an independent agent of several insurance companies who acts as the salesperson for the carrier.


Insurance Broker

An insurance broker who ordinarily sells and negotiates insurance coverage between a potential insured and many insurance companies. See Insurance Agent


Insurance Coverage

That portion of an insurance policy which allows for insurance to be provided as defined by the insurance policy and endorsements. See Insurance Policy Agreement


Insurance Definitions

The specific terms and descriptions of terms used in the declarations of an insurance policy. Education Note In the insurance policy the words you and your mean the named insured and spouse if a resident of the same household. The words we us and our mean the Insurance Carrier of the policy that provides insurance coverage. Refer to the Appendix Section at the end of this dictionary.


Insurance Policy Agreement

Means the legal contract agreement between the insurance company and the insured as provided for in the declarations of the policy during the enforcement period to which the insurance carrier has agreed to pay for damage and repair as described in the policy. In return the insured has agreed to pay the premiums and comply with all policy conditions


Insurance to Value

The relationship of the amount of insurance as compared to replacement cost on the covered policy



A land owner named individual family member under the age of 21 organization or corporation that is covered under the terms of an insurance policy.


Insured Location

The residences or businesss address as so named on an insurance policy.


Insured Duties After Loss

The responsibility of an insured as outlined in the policy which typically includes 1 Making any emergency repairs needed to protect the property from further damage and keep all records and repair costs. 2 Give a phone call or written notice to the insurer or the agent without unnecessary delay. 3 Make a list of all damage or destroyed personal property showing in detail the quantity description actual cash value and amount of loss. Attach bills receipts and related records that support a claim.


Insurer Options in Claims Settlement

An insurance policy term meaning the insurance company reserves their right to repair or replace the damaged property with equivalent property. The insurance company reserves their right to take all or part of the damaged property at the agreed or appraised value. The insurance company will give the insured written notice of their intentions withing 30 days after receipt of the insured signed sworn statement of loss occurs.



A patented duct cleaning devise by Indoor Environmental Solutions 800/288-3828 that has forward and reverse air blasting action and an ultra small black and white video camera mounted in the nozzle to view the areas to be cleaned or were just cleaned. The Intellinozzle doubles as an inspection device that can inspect inside building cavities. See Video Inspection


Intentional Acts

In insurance claims settlement intentional acts are wilful unlawful acts by an insured or by another person acting with the knowledge of an insured who directly causes or arranges for a loss to covered property in order to obtain insurance benefits. Intentional acts automatically voids the policy and voids all rights of benefits to a loss.


Interim Remedial Action

The course of action taken to reduce migration of a chemical toxin or biological agent in its solid airborne vapour dissolved or liquid phase or an action reducing the concentration of the contaminate or agent at a source area.



Use of blotting paper or paper towels freezer paper etc. to prevent pages sticking or dye running.


Intoxiation Source

Source A description of where toxins are allowed to enter a human and cause damage to the body cells. For example E. coli botulism hepatitis and tetanus intoxication source are through skin or by mouth while Aspergillosis and Legionella intoxication sources are inhalation.


Introduction Letter

The introduction letter is an opening statement by the emergency contractor mitigation contractor investigator or adjuster that gives the history potential cause and result of a claim as the facts are known based on current information at the time the introduction letter was written. Contractor Administrative Note The introduction letter is an opening statement about the claim and your participation with the claim that is attached to the beginning of your estimate or billing.


Invasive Inspections

Building material investigations where cabinets carpet drywall and other building materials require detachment or penetration.



A listing and grouping of articles and furniture located in a building. Education Note The listing of articles often accompanies an individual item-by-item along with their condition. The grouping of articles and furniture are list per-type such as all the pictures located on the walls or a group such as all the contents found in one room. The easiest method of documenting an inventory is video-documentation. Video-inventory is a 3-dimension real-time inventory of each item or group where the owner or video person can talk over the video while speaking about each piece or group and their condition. See Video-Documentation



A disinfecting iodine solution that is widely used but it leaves a residual red-stain.



An electrically charged atom. An atom that has lost one or more of its electrons is left with a positive electrical charge. Those that have gained one or more extra electrons are left with a negative charge. Building materials during a fire are affected by ionization. Cleaning agents are affected by ions. And Some deodorization processes use ionization as a neutralizer.



The process whereby one or more electrons is removed from a neutral atom by the action of radiation. Specific ionization is the number of ion pairs per unit distance in matter usually air. The ionization process can separate convert or bond together molecules.



Any agent or substance which produces a sensation to the human body. Any agent or substance which causes a reaction including inflammation to the eyes skin sensory or respiratory system. c Any agent or substance whether real or perceived which can cause an adverse human response.



The loss of the blood supply to a particular part of the body.



An area room or environment which has been separated partitioned and sealed off from other areas rooms and environments. Typically isolation means Do Not Enter or a Restricted Environment. Isolation may be interpreted as a Permit Required Confined Space Entry. See Caution Confined Space Do Not Enter Permit Required Confined Space



An adjective used to indicate a change taking place at constant or average temperature. Having or indicating equal temperatures.


Isothermic Curve

In restorative drying a line or curve connecting two points on a psychometric chart or graph measuring changes of the pressure and/or humidity with the temperature at a constant.


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