Did you know that water damage is classified into three different categories? Read on to learn more.
Water damage is among the most prevalent household issues across the US. In 2018 alone, ‘water damage and freezing’ accounted for 23.8% of homeowners insurance losses. Since unaddressed water damage leads to more serious complications such as mold growth, it’s crucial to respond to the scenario as soon as you detect the problem.
How you choose to act will depend on the category of water damage you’re dealing with. As you’ll find out, certain types of water damage are more dangerous than others and will require a different approach for remediation.
To help you out, we’ve compiled the different categories of water damage below:
Category 1: Clean Water Damage
As the least severe category based on IICRC, clean water damage arises from broken water supply lines or pipes, overflowing bathtubs or sinks, and household appliance failures. The reason why this type of water damage is regarded harmless is that it contains clean water, which is free from toxins and sewage. Any item affected by clean water is normally easy to dry and can be restored without any issues.
Given that you respond to this type of water damage within 72 hours, the health risks associated with it are considerably low. However, when it remains unaddressed for more than 72 hours, it can get exposed to various contaminants that will turn it into category 2 or greywater.
Category 2: Greywater Damage
The second type of water damage involves greywater. Sources of greywater include groundwater, toilet traps, sump pump backups, washing machines, and other malfunctioned appliances. While exposure to or consumption of greywater may not harm a person, it contains chemicals and waste that settle on surfaces and prove dangerous down the line. Therefore, it’s critical to clean, dry, and disinfect the affected items thoroughly. Depending on how long the remediation process is delayed, grey water damage may pose mild to severe contamination risks as well as a result in microbial growth.
Category 3: Blackwater Damage
Blackwater damage is the most severe type of water damage that involves highly contaminated floodwater, river and seawater, and sewage. What makes this category of water hazardous is the presence of toxic allergens, including contagious viruses and bacteria that put families at risk. Alarmingly, direct or indirect exposure to black water makes you 90% vulnerable to an illness of infection. As a result, it’s important to exercise caution when faced with black water damage.
Hence, you should never even think of handling sewage backups and severe flooding on your own. Taking black water clean up in your own hands greatly undermines your safety and health. Professional water damage experts come with proper safety gear and equipment are trained on the most effective safety standards, so it’s best to leave the job to them.
Blackwater damage may also leave certain affected items unsalvageable. Belongings that can be saved will need to be removed from your property for drying and sanitization.
If your home or commercial property has suffered water damage, determine the type of water damage you’re faced with and seek professional water damage restoration services.