What Are The Different Types Of Water Damage

The health risks with water damage are not something to be ignored. The steps you'll need to take depends heavily on the type of wastewater you're dealing with. There are three different categories to know that all pose health risks to family members and pets. In this article, our team of experts identifies what the different types of water damage are and how to handle each situation.

What Are The Different Types Of Water Damage?

What is water damage?

Water damage is damage to your property caused by water being where it shouldn't be due to a leak in your home's plumbing or drain systems. In some cases, this can be caused by a flood or a malfunction such as a burst water pipe or water main. If water or moisture builds up, mold, fungus, and bacteria can grow, and damage to your property will often result. If you notice signs of water damage, addressing it quickly is important.

Related Topic: Water Sensors - How They Can Help Detect Water Leaks 

What are the different types of water damage?

There are three different types of water damage that determine the level of contamination in the water. The higher the category, the greater the health risks to you and your loved ones.

Category 1: Clean Water Damage

A clean water source does not create immediate substantial risks. This situation is typically caused by malfunctioning appliances, toilet holding tanks, and melting snow and rainwater. It's easier to clean up and repair as it does not pose any health risks. However, it can not only lead to mold growth, but once clean water is exposed to dirt and other contaminants, it can quickly morph into a category 2 in as little as 48 hours.

Category 2: Greywater Damage

Greywater is unsanitary water that contains some degree of contamination but does not contain fecal matter. It often comes from bathtubs, showers, washing machines, dishwashers, and sinks, or from the forces of mother nature as well as a broken pipe. It's important to take caution when beginning the cleaning process by wearing protective gear and keeping children, pets, and others away from the flooded area. If greywater is ingested for any reason, it can induce illness. If the flooding and water damage are especially extensive, such as several inches in the basement, it's highly suggested to hire a professional to safely clean up and decontaminate the area. Again, the cleanup must begin immediately as Category 2 water damage can quickly progress into Category 3 in just 48 hours.

Related Topic: Tips For Handling Broken Water Lines Or Pipes 

Category 3: Blackwater Damage

Blackwater is totally unsanitary. It's contaminated with human waste and other pathogens or toxins. As the most dangerous type of water damage, homeowners should not attempt to clean black water as it's considered to be highly contaminated and harbors dangerous diseases, chemicals, and pesticides. Contact with blackwater, whether it be through ingestion or simply skin contact, can cause illness in both humans and pets.

Blackwater comes from broken sewage pipes, flush toilets, food preparation sinks, dishwashers, and other sources. Because of the serious unsanitary conditions of the water, items such as carpets, upholstery, and drywall are often unsalvageable. Again, water removal needs to be taken care of immediately by a trusted, professional water damage and restoration company to restore normalcy. Do not try and handle this situation on your own.

What You Can Do

Now that you can identify the different types of water damage, you've got to figure out how to handle the situation properly. The awesome forces of water are impressive, to say the least, so immediate action needs to be taken to protect your family and your home.

Important note: clean water, greywater, and blackwater are categorized NOT by COLOR, but by LEVEL OF CONTAMINATION.

When you find water damage, it's highly recommended to call a professional immediately. An excellent plumber will be able to legitimately find and fix the source of the leak and be able to restore your home to safety and satisfaction. Call Leak Science for an optimal experience. Your expert plumber will first have to test the water to identify the category of water they are dealing with. Depending on the category and class identified, what happens during restoration will vary. Often these accredited companies will work with your insurance or offer financing options to restore your home and family to safe conditions as quickly as possible.

Category 1

The key to a successful repair of Category 1 water damage is extraction, dehumidification, and ventilation. Also, containing the affected area will speed up the drying process significantly. A professional can help you determine the category of water damage, remove materials that need to be removed, and provide proper drying equipment.

Category 2

To ensure safety and proper cleanup and restoration, hiring a trained professional is often necessary. Your chosen, trusted professional will remove items that need to be removed and treat them for water damage, and sanitize them. Then, he or she will remove excess water and apply a sanitizing solution to the entire affected area to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria. Once everything porous (such as carpet cushions or pads) is removed, the area will need to be thoroughly dried.

The team you have trusted with this delicate process will create a drying system with air movers and dehumidifiers to speed up the rate of evaporation and dispose of any items that cannot be dried. Now that the damaged area is dried, if any flooring or drywall needs to be replaced, an excellent leak detection and restoration company will replace these materials in the restoration process. Finally, the entire area will undergo a final cleaning.

Category 3

As special precautions are required to keep your family and home safe, it's seriously recommended to hire a company that is qualified and certified to ensure the correct process is executed and health risks are eliminated. The cleanup process for Category 3 water damage is very complicated and requires specific steps for the restoration process as well.

What Are The Different Types Of Water Damage

If you are experiencing any of these different types of water damage, contact Leak Science to get your questions and concerns addressed. We will treat your home as our own and ensure your family and home are safe and back to normalcy.

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