The 3 Categories of Water
It’s never good news when water leaks, floods, overflows or seeps into places it doesn’t belong. But some types of water can pose more problems than others. If you are facing a soggy cleanup, it’s important to understand the three categories of water damage as defined by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC).
Category 1 Damage: Clean Water
This is the type of water you would drink out of your faucet. Water damage in this category comes primarily from broken water pipes. It’s the least serious type of damage because it’s considered “clean water,” meaning it is free of sewage or toxins.
If dried out quickly and thoroughly, clean water damage is least likely to cause additional problems. However, “a big concern with Category 1 damage is mold prevention,” said Dave Harley, owner of AdvantaClean of Badgerland. “The longer things are allowed to stay damp, the bigger the risk of developing mold.”
Category 2 Damage: Grey Water
This is water that has been used for activities such as cleaning, dishwashing, laundry and bathing. Think leaky aquariums, sump pump backups or broken drainpipes under your kitchen sink. Grey water could contain anything you’ve put down your drain, such as food waste and cleaning solutions, and will have some level of chemical, biological or physical contaminants. For that reason, caution is advised when coming into contact with it.
When you have grey water damage, it’s critical to tackle it quickly and take disinfecting steps. “It’s important to know that the problem isn’t solved just by drying things out,” said Dave. “Unhealthy contaminants could still be left behind after carpeting or drywall has dried out, for instance.” Prompt action is also important; if left untended more than 48 hours, grey water can jump a level to the next category.
Category 3 Damage: Black Water
This is the most hazardous type of water damage: unsanitary water from sewage or from sources such as flooding overflows that contain harmful substances. Any black-water floods pose health risks and must be handled carefully to avoid exposure.
Black water requires fast action and a thorough decontamination process. “Following safety procedures for removing black water and cleaning anything it touched is critical,” said Dave.
We can help!
AdvantaClean of Badgerland has the equipment, training and experience to help with any type of flood in a residential or a commercial property. Visit our website or call us at (262) 437-7330.