Water damage disasters happen every day, all over the United States but what happens when you come home and find that you are a victim of said disaster? What do you do when you find water damage in your home?
The steps you take begin by addressing where the water damage came from. Is there a slow leak in your water line? Did a pipe crack or break? Did an appliance malfunction? Once the source of the water damage is discovered and dealt with you will need to know what kind of wastewater you are dealing with. There are three categories of wastewater and each type should be dealt with in a unique way.
Category 1: Clear Water
Clear water is the safest category to clean up and does not pose an immediate health risk. Clear water typically comes from clean water sources such as a malfunctioning appliance, faucets, cracked clean water lines.
When dealing with any category of water damage you want to make sure your response is timely. If clear water sits for too long it can degrade into a category 2 water type.
Category 2: Grey Water
Grey water, otherwise known as sullage, refers to water that is not contaminated by fecal matter but is not clean and clear. Grey water typically includes water from washing machines, showers, and bathtubs, dishwashers, and sinks. This type of water damage contains fewer pathogens than a category 3 wastewater and can induce illness if ingested.
Water damage disasters caused by mother nature, an overflowing plumbing fixture or broke pipe are usually classified as a category 2. Grey water can saturate your furniture, drywall, and carpeting. If you experience a water damage disaster with grey water, take caution if you decide to start the cleanup process on your own. If the water damage is extensive, such as several inches of water in your crawlspace, walls, or carpet, it would be best to call a professional water damage repair company to safely decontaminate and cleanup the affected area. Grey water can quickly become a category 3 if not taken care of as soon as possible.
Category 3: Black Water
Black water refers to wastewater that has been contaminated with fecal matter. Black water typically comes from overflowing toilets, clogged plumbing systems and external sewage systems, this includes raw sewage. Black water is the most dangerous type of water damage you will experience. It contains dangerous bacteria, pathogens and potentially, chemical. Because of the unsanitary conditions of this category of water, absorbent and porous items such as carpets, furniture, drywall, and clothing are often unsalvageable. When dealing with black water you must take the necessary safety precautions to avoid health risks and serious illnesses.
If you suffered a water damage disaster that includes black water, or you suspect the presence of black water contact a professional water removal and repair company as soon as possible to assess the situation before attempting to handle the situation on your own. Don’t put your health at risk!