You see, category 1 is easy because it is obvious. Category 1 comes from a clean water source that hasn’t been contaminated or sitting for long. Category 3 is relatively easy because it involves dirty water. If there is sewage or it’s been sitting a while, it’s probably a category 3 loss.
This is were we come to a grey area. In fact, category 2 water losses are often referred to as grey water. They may or may not come from a clean water source. They may or may not have been sitting for a while. So how do you tell what is a category 2 loss?
Well if it’s a fresh water loss that has been sitting for 72 hours but less then 120 hours then it is a category 2 water loss. If the source is an appliance leak then it is also a category 2 water loss. But these parameters are hard to track.
Let’s say the homeowner sees a pipe burst and says it’s only been sitting for a day so it’s only a category one loss. Does the homeowner really know this information? It could be a slow leak or it ran through a pipe that was contaminated. There are so many variables that make it hard to know. And if someone incorrectly categorized a water loss to a category 2 loss instead of category 3 then the water damage professional could be leaving contaminated items in your home. These items can be dangerous to your health.
What do we do then? The answer is a water testing system. A water damage professional should test the area before he starts doing any water damage remediation. A water testing system will look at the amount of bacteria and viruses in the water and surrounding area to see if it can be saved or if it needs to be removed. Some water damage may look and sound like a category 2 loss, but is actually a category 3 loss. So when you have a water damage loss and aren’t sure of what to do, have a water damage professional check the area with a testing kit. It’s better to work this way to ensure the safety of your home and family.