Case Study – Flood Restoration for Warrandyte High School

07 January 2020     Jack Byrne

Facilities Maintenance:

Science of Drying after Flood Damage

During December/January 2020  in our role as Emergency Response for State Schools across Victoria we responded to a flooding issue at Warrandyte High School.

Our inspection of the site indicated the reasoning for the flooding of the buildings was due primarily to the severity of the storm.

Flooding was caused by:

  • huge volume of water
  • gutter capacity
  • leaf litter & blockages
  • hail damage –
    • roofing, gutter guards, skylights, roof ventilation systems, etc.
  • penetration points

The symptoms listed above created multiple high and low water egress points resulting in flooding of a number of areas.

After a quick site inspection the Symmetry Commercial team moved in and immediately enacted a Flood Restoration program. The restoration method used is a direct result of our extensive training in Water Damage Restoration. (See Flood Remediation Process below)

Symmetry’s roof plumbers quickly cleared debris from the roof and gutters and restored the integrity of the roof sheeting. Parcels of work included  sealing up penetration points with silicone, installation of a temporary and brand new skylight above the toilets and making the site safe from further water egress. The external work was of primary concern to prevent any further inundation.

Along with the external patching, internal ceiling restoration was required. Works included cleaning and replacement of ceiling tiles, reinstating and restoring plasterboards, reinstating light fittings and painting.

With the immediately necessary building works in hand other team members were able to focus on the internal cleanup – specifically the flooring restoration. Outlined below is our proven process for restoring a client’s assets as quickly as possible:

Flood remediation process

Step 1: Wet vacuum all areas

Step 2: Specifically position Air Movers to lift moisture from floor coverings

Step 3: De-humidifiers remove the humidity from the air

Step 4: Steam clean carpet to prevent any mould spores forming

Pleasingly we used our training to great effect. In line with our sustainability ethos by applying this 4 step method we salvage flooring every time*.

By coordinating the flood remediation process in a timely fashion Symmetry Commercial completed the drying and clean up process inside 7 days. Some of the reinstatement works are still to be approved, however the School is able to be back safely teaching in a short period of time

As the final image shows the flood restoration works went well.  Our team was successful in bringing the moisture content down to the acceptable 6-9% range. This is crucial to prevent any future unhealthy work spaces for our children and their teachers.

Thus Symmetry Commercial quickly and efficiently returned badly flooded areas to safe and healthy teaching spaces to allow the school to be ready, once again, to get on with the job of educating!

*Special Note: Mould

One should never try to salvage mouldy floor coverings. When mould is present it indicates an underlying issue which needs to be fixed. Mould cannot be completely cleaned from a porous material and floors are often porous: eg. carpet, concrete, tiles, stone, wood, etc.

Symmetry Commercial have been trained in how to deal with mould with staff certified as Applied Microbial Remediation Technicians by IICRC