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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Why You Should Know About the Categories of Water Damage

9/25/2019 (Permalink)

Someones putting both hands under a running faucet Faucets are a common source of category 1 damage

Why You Should Know About the Categories of Water Damage

You may think all water damage is the same and requires the same response, from an overflowing washing machine to flood water. However, depending on the source, each situation requires a different level of care and procedure. Know what you're dealing with in Issaquah, WA, so that you can take the appropriate actions in your commercial space.

Category 1

This is the lowest level of water damage, from clean and sanitary sources of water. It should present no immediate risk to nearby people. You may be able to clean this up with just your maintenance staff if they know what they are doing. However, if it is left for more than 48 hours, it can evolve into category 2 water damage. Common sources of category 1 damage can include:

  • Drinking fountains
  • Toilet tanks
  • Overflowing bathtubs
  • Appliance malfunctions
  • Faucets
  • Water lines

Category 2

This type of water damage is from gray water, otherwise known as used water. This water is lightly contaminated with either chemical or biological components, and can contain microorganisms. This means that a cleanup of this category must include some form of decontamination. Some examples are water that comes from dishwashers, toilet overflow with no feces, sump pump failures, washing machines or fire sprinklers. Gray water can also level up to category 3 if left alone for 48 hours.

Category 3

Black water is the third category of water damage. This water is highly contaminated and can be dangerous for people and animals. It can come from flood water of rivers and streams, stagnant water that harbored bacterial growth, toilet overflow with feces or sewage backup. It will require specialized equipment and protocols to thoroughly clean it up. Workers will also need to wear personal protective gear so that they do not come into contact with the water. Please consider calling a professional water damage remediation company as soon as possible to handle the restoration.
There is a large difference in how you should approach flood water versus a faucet leak. If you are unaware, you could be putting yourself or your employees in danger. Stay safe and keep dry!

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