6 Terms Everyone in the Damage Restoration Industry Should Know

Are you looking for information about restoration services in general or just trying to educate yourself a little bit more about what to expect when working with a restoration service company? If you’re searching for help and aren’t sure where to turn, you’ve come to the right place. Below, we’ve put together a list of six of the most common terms that people working in the damage restoration industry should always know. And if you’re someone who’s looking for restoration assistance yourself, these are terms you’re likely to come into contact with. Brush up on your restoration lingo below and you’ll be better prepared to speak to (and listen to) your service techs in no time.

1. Pathogens

If you’re dealing with water damage in your home, then you might end up having to worry about pathogens. Pathogens are a type of microorganism that can cause diseases. This category includes mold, bacteria, mildew, viruses, fungi, and parasitic microorganisms as well. Unfortunately, water often contains pathogens, and if your home floods, there’s a good chance your surfaces and items are going to be exposed to these dangerous organisms. Part of the cleanup process includes disinfecting any surfaces that have come into contact with water that could be contaminated with pathogens, such as sewage water. Your restoration service will be able to help you take care of this important step in the cleanup process and ensure that you and your family do not have to come into contact with pathogens in the water.

Note: Pathogens are one of the many reasons why you should not attempt to clean up water damage in your home on your own without the assistance of a trained team of restoration professionals.

2. Antimicrobial

Going hand-in-hand with the previous term, antimicrobial is a word that refers to any substance that can be used to kill microorganisms—such as the pathogens we just discussed. Antimicrobial cleaners are used by your restoration service technicians to take care of pathogens and get your home safe for you and your family to live in once again. There are many different types of antimicrobials, however, depending on the pathogens that need to be handled. An antifungal, for example, would be used to treat fungi, while an antibiotic would be used to treat bacteria. While antibiotics can be a cause for concern in some situations, antimicrobials are often plant-based and are not harmful, so they do not pose the same risks as some other types of antibiotics might. Different issues pose different needs, but your restoration team will know exactly what to use to treat any contamination issues in your home following water damage.

3. Permeance Factor

This is a term you might hear your restoration technicians using if you’re dealing with water removal issues in your home. Permeance factor is a way to measure how much water can get through certain materials. These materials are classified in different categories based on how high their permeance factors are. The categories include non-porous, semi-porous, and porous materials. The items and surfaces in your home will be classified into these categories to help restoration service technicians better determine how much damage has taken place. Permeance factor can be used to figure out what types of repairs will be needed for specific materials in your home.

Note: This is not the same thing as permeability, which is used to discuss a home’s structure instead. For example, if you have a dirt basement under your home, it may have a higher permeability than a concrete basement would. Both “permeance factor” and “permeability” come from the work “permeate,” however, which refers to liquid moving through any given material.

4. Stabilizing

Stabilizing, or structure stabilization, is a term used to describe the process of making your home or property safe for fire restoration to begin. This is one of the early steps in the process, and it ensures that the techs who enter your home will not be at risk for injury or any type of physical damage while doing their jobs. The stabilization process first requires the fire to be put out entirely. From there, the structure will most likely be boarded up, and it may also be covered with a tarp or surrounded by a fence. Some restoration companies will even require a security guard to be present in order to ensure that no one enters the property without permission until it’s safe to do so.

5. Pack-Out

Pack-out is the term used by techs in either fire or water clean up services to describe removing objects from your home temporarily. If your home’s structure is not sound, salvageable items will be removed by the techs and brought to the main restoration facility for cleanup and, in some cases, light repairs. The restoration facility will also hold onto these items until the property is safe enough to return them. However, if you would like to be able to access these items sooner, most companies will allow you to do so after they’ve been cleaned and processed. The opposite of a pack-out is a pack-back, when the items are returned to your property after restoration has been completed.

6. Containment

Containment can occur whether you are dealing with fire cleanup, smoke damage, water damage, or mold removal. This term refers to the practice of sectioning off part or all of a room that has been damaged more severely than the rest of the structure. This is usually completed by hanging thick plastic sheeting to contain the area—hence the term. This process is usually done to keep any potential smells, smoke damage, or mold issues from spreading further. However, it may also be done to help salvage a part of the home or room that has not been damaged yet. In this instance, the thick plastic would close off the undamaged portion of the home, leaving the rest of the property open for techs to begin their work.


When you’re looking for damage restoration assistance for your home in or around the Aurora, IL area, call Restoration Techs. We’re here to help and offer 24/7 emergency services and estimates to assist you in getting your home back to normal as soon as possible. You can reach us at 800-600-3594, or fill out the form below and one of us will get back to you as soon as possible.

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2018-11-07T18:19:30+00:00