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Understanding Water Damage Classification

Published by Allegra on September 30, 2021 in category: Uncategorized

categories of water damageWhen it comes to water damage, there’s more than one way for it to wreak havoc in your house and damage the surrounding property. The problem with water is that it can cause damage both as a liquid and as a gas.

In liquid form, it creates an electrical hazard, destroys materials susceptible to water damage such as wood and insulation, and provides a source of nutrition to mold and bacteria.

In gas form, it spreads to just about every corner of your house and forms a thin coating of condensation that liquidizes on surfaces and causes further damage. The smell of ‘rotten eggs’ caused by the bacteria can make life difficult for occupants. The list just goes on.

Experts agree that time is of the essence when it comes to water damage in Sacramento. It’s also just as important to consider the category of damage water you’re dealing. According to the  IICRC S500, the term ‘categories of water’ refers to the amount of contamination in water, considering both its quality and source.

In general, there are about three categories of water damage: clear, grey, and black. These terms help us assess the cleanliness level of the water damage. It also dictates which cleaning methodology should be utilized by the remediation specialist.

Water Damage Classification

Category 1 – Clean Water (sanitary)

This type of water originates from a clean source that does not pose a risk to residents. Examples include rainwater, toilet tanks without contaminants, and melting snow. Remediation services in Sacramento for category 1 water are simple and could be cleaned up as part of an elaborate DIY project.

In some cases, the carpet, padding, flooring, and drywall can be salvaged, provided the water remediation company got there in time. You could get away with a mop and a bucket.

Category 2 Water – Grey Water (Contamination)

Category 2 water damage describes the all-too-common situation when the water has significant contamination that can cause discomfort and sickness if it comes into contact with humans. Examples of this type of water include:

  • Toilet and dishwasher discharge
  • Seepage from the waste line
  • Broken aquariums

Category 3 water damage requires the services of a trained water remediation specialist in Sacramento. Cleanup will require the disinfection of materials such as carpeting, padding, drywall, and others. In some cases, these materials may not be salvageable due to the extended amount of contamination. Expect the water damage restoration team to use HEPA vacuums and anti-microbial sprays when doing their work.

Category 3 Water – Black Water (Gross and Extreme Contamination)

This type of water is extremely dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. Depending on the source, it may contain harmful agents such as toxins, pathogens, various types of bacteria, and more. Humans with weak immune systems should keep their distance to avoid a significant adverse reaction. If any person has come in contact with this water, they should be rushed to a medical doctor for a detailed checkup.

It is not advised to carry out water remediation without using personal protective gear due to the presence of airborne pathogens. Expect your water damage restoration team in Sacramento to wear protective clothing such as gloves, face masks, eyewear, and others. They may decide to wear hazmat suits if the situation warrants it.

Category 3 water damage includes the following examples:

  • Seawater, river water, flood water
  • Sewage water
  • Toilet water backflows
  • Rising water from streams
  • Rain from tropical storms and hurricanes

Your restoration contractor in Sacramento will remove all affected material such as drywall, carpet, flooring, cushions, carpet padding, and insulation because these items may not be salvageable once the water has affected them.

It may be possible to restore these items by disinfecting them with an anti-microbial spray – but time is of the essence.

Note: Category 1 Can Deteriorate to Category 2 and So On

As mentioned earlier, water damage can get worse if not taken care of right away. This means that Category 1 can deteriorate to Category 2 and 3 water after coming into contact with external sources of water and various pathogens.

Experts agree that you have about 24 to clean up the water before it mixes in with other pathogens to become more toxic.

Always Prioritize the Health of Occupants

When faced with water damage, your key goal should be to consider the health and safety of your family and friends. Regardless of the type of water damage you are dealing with. You should move your family away from the site temporarily.

Next, you should find out the source of the water damage and put a stop to it. For example, if the source is a leak or a broken pipe, you should buy some waterproof tape from your nearest hardware store to contain the damage until help arrives.

Next, contact a water damage restoration company in Sacramento to inspect the damage and carry out remediation services.

Wrapping Up

Finally, relocate all your belongings such as electronics, bed, furniture, and clothing to a dry area – or at the very least, consider elevating them a few feet off the ground to keep the water at bay.

Dealing with water damage can be a complicated task. Try to take action within the first 24 to keep the growth of mold under check. Get in touch with your local 911 Restoration team to get your house back in pre-damaged condition.

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