Categories of Water Damage

Water can damage carpet, wood, and foundation if left standing for an extended period of time.  Water damage is placed into one of three different categories: Category 1 – Clean water, Category 2 – Gray water, or Category 3 – Black water.

Category 1 is water that starts out clean at the source and does not pose a hazard if it comes in contact with humans.  However, it may increase in severity and be upgraded to a Category 2 if it is left standing for more than 24 hours and/or comes in contact with dirt or within the floor covering.  Instances of category 1 water include burst water pipes, leaking rainwater, melting ice or snow, faulty toilet tanks, and failed supply lines to appliances.

Category 2, or gray water, is either clean water that has become contaminated or water that started with some degree of contamination from the source.  Gray water may contain contamination of some sort, chemical or otherwise, though it is not yet a major health concern.  Health effects include allergic asthma, rhinitis, lung tissue inflammation, burning eyes, skin irritation, nausea, headache, and/or fever.

Category 3 water damage is known as Black water, and is highly contaminated and may cause serious illness if you come into contact with it, especially if you have a weak immune system, a child, or have allergies/respiratory problems.  The most common types of water damage that leads to black water is from flooding river, stream, or sea water.

In summation, it is important to take care of standing water immediately to prevent further damage!  Call a restoration company immediately in order to prevent any unwanted health effects.

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This entry was posted on Friday, August 30th, 2013 at 6:59 pm and is filed under Water Damage. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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