RIA Water Loss Specialist


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A Water Loss SpecialistSM is an individual who investigates, assesses, corrects and restores commercial, residential, or historical property after all manner of water damage within the indoor environment. The person can identify the class and type of water damage and design a mitigation protocol. A Water Loss Specialist can safely clean, treat and remediate contents and structure damage by water according to industry regulations and standards. The person will use those standards to contain the damage to affected areas and take samples to document the health and safety of the building and its occupants.

A Water Loss Specialist must demonstrate at least three years of actual field experience conducting investigations in one or more of the following settings: offices and commercial buildings, government facilities, industrial structures, schools or public buildings, healthcare facilities, residential sites and historical venues. The person must provide documentation of three different water restoration projects he or she was personally involved in, and pass a certification examination with a score of 80% or better. The person must also author a comprehensive formal report and research paper on a specific industry issue in publishable form. A Water Loss Specialist must also adhere to the code of ethics.

The Water Loss Specialist Credential is run by the Restoration Industry Association (RIA). RIA launched the program in 1999 and made major improvements in 2007. These improvements allow other organizations to deliver the prerequisite course training under RIA’s oversight. Typically, NCHH is concerned about programs that require testing that is closely tied to a specific training program. However, the RIA’s change in 2007 provides enough separation. In addition, RIA plans to further separate the training and the certification to avoid conflict. On balance, the program has sufficient strength and credibility to offset these concerns. 

RIA also manages the Certified Restorer.  A Certified Restorer is prepared to handle a wide variety of loss restoration including water damage, but has not necessarily demonstrated the level of specific experience on water damage restoration. 

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Hazard Control

Credential programs related to healthy homes but not assessment or hazard control.

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