Do you know how many categories of water damage there are? If you guessed three, you’d be right. These categories relate to the severity of the water damage. They are rated by what the water contains and how long it has been sitting. You cannot tell the water damage category just by sight or smell. Let’s go into more detail.
Category 1 – Fresh Water
Category 1 water damage losses are the cleanest. They result from fresh water. If your bathtub is overfilled and leaks onto the floor, that’s a category one. Other examples would be a sink overflow, or a water pipe bursting. These types of water damage are the easiest to clean. Most of the time the structures in your home won’t need to me replaced. They can be dried because the water contains very few pathogens. Very little bacteria is living in this water. These types of water losses if left unmitigated will degrade to a more serious level of water damage loss. Within 72 hours the water will become a category two loss and within 120 hours it will become a category three loss. So get these problems handled. Uncleaned they will only get worse.
Category 2 – Grey Water
This type of water damage is much more serious. It contains many pathogens that are dangerous to people. This water should not be consumed. The most standard example of this type of loss is a dishwasher overflow. Though this water is not as dangerous as a sewage backup, it is still very serious. Other examples of this are a toilet overflow, or a leaking aquarium. This category degrades to category three in a mater of 48 hours. So if this is left uncleaned for two days it will be worse. Do not let this sit.
Category 3 – Black Water
This is the worst type of loss. With category 3 losses usually a lot of structures are not salvageable. Drywall needs to be removed and carpet must be thrown away. Though chemicals can help clean the area, a lot of porous materials cannot be cleaned. You must have a professional remove these structures and clean to the IICRC standards. Failure to do this will result in possible health issues for your family.
If you have any water damage, call a professional. Whether you need work done or not, a free consultation will determine what you should do. Don’t delay because wasted time will result in a more severe problem.