All water damage is stressful, but not all water damage catastrophes are the same. Different sources of water can cause different types of water damage, and each pose different health threats and requires different restoration techniques. At Restoration Pros, we want all homeowners in Lafayette to be aware of the 3 categories of water so that they can be better prepared to stay safe following water damage.
Category 1 water is water that comes from a source that is considered clean. The reason they call it clean water is because it contains little if any contamination and is not a threat to your health. Examples of category 1 water are water from a leaky faucet or broken water supply line. Water damage restoration of category 1 water requires extraction, drying, dehumidification, and mold prevention before repairs can be made. While the restoration process for this type of water is pretty straightforward, if restoration does not begin right away and category 1 water is allowed to sit for extended amounts of time, it can turn into category 2 water.
Category 2 water is water that may contain some levels of harmful bacteria, viruses, and microbes. Because of its contamination level, category 2 water is often referred to as gray water. Common sources of gray water include overflow from the dishwasher, washing machine, and toilet bowl without feces. This type of water can cause illness upon contact, and needs to be handled with strict safety precautions. Professional water damage restoration crews will first extract all the water and begin the drying and dehumidification process as quickly as possible. Then thorough disinfecting is required to kill any and all harmful microbes. Following disinfecting and sanitizing, repairs and rebuild can be completed. Without the proper safety, drying, and disinfecting equipment, category 2 water can cause serious harm. If left untreated for too long, category 2 water will quickly degrade into category 3 water.
Category 3 water, or black water as it is termed, is grossly contaminated water that comes from the sewer line, the toilet bowl with feces present, long-standing water that has begin to grow microbes, and flooding from streams, canals, or rivers. Water from storm damage should also be treated as if it is category 3 water. All contact with black water should be avoided at all costs. This type of water can cause serious illness and even death if ingested. Black water requires a special restoration process to ensure that living conditions are sanitary and safe, and all harmful contamination is thoroughly removed. The water must be extracted, and then every surface that had contact is thoroughly steam washed, disinfected, and sanitized. Drying and dehumidification are performed, and air cleaners are commonly used as well to ensure that no toxins are left in the area. Licensed, trained, and experienced professionals who have the proper equipment and techniques to adequately resolve the problem should handle this type of water damage restoration.
If you find yourself dealing with a water disaster in your home or commercial property, contact the professional water damage repair team at Restoration Pros to help you!