3 Categories of Water Damage

Between the humidity levels and hurricane season, water damage is inevitable when living in Eastern NC. Due to issues that accompany different categories of water damage, it’s important to know what you’re dealing with. This information can help you identify the different categories of water damage and know what immediate steps and precautions need to be taken.


Category 1: Clean Water Damage
When water invades your home but is uncontaminated, it is considered clean water damage.  This can result from a crack in the window and rainwater has seeped through, a leak in the toilet tank, or even a pipe bursting.  For category 1 water damage, the water source needs to be cut off and the standing water dried properly.  Letting clean water sit for a long period of time will cause more damage, allow microbes to grow. This can lead to gray water damage.


Category 2: Gray Water Damage
This kind of damage is a bit more severe when it comes to the cleanliness of the water.  Gray water is slightly contaminated water.  In most cases, gray water damage results from appliances that overflow such as dishwashers, the toilet, washing machines etc.  It is advised not to clean gray water without gloves, a mask and long sleeves or rubber boots to protect your skin from potentially harmful microbes that may be present in the water.

Category 3: Unsanitary Water Damage (Black Water)
This category is the most toxic and should be handled with extreme caution.  When water damage is considered black, there is often harmful chemicals, microbes, or bacteria that are present in the water. Black water damage needs to be professionally removed and sanitized. Category 3 damage can result from a sewage leak, overflow of a river or lake or water that has sat stagnant for long periods of time.  Black/contaminated water does not always appear to have discoloration, so be cautious whenever dealing with a water leak that you are unfamiliar with. It’s always best to get a professional’s opinion prior to handling water damage. Always wear the proper gear when handling any kind of water damage.

Remember, the sooner the water damage is dealt with, the better.  While a simple clean water damage issue may not seem sever, if left untreated can escalate gray or black water. Regular inspections of the basement, attic, and under the sink can prevent a serious issue through early detection. When in doubt, call a professional that can help you tackle your water damage.  And if flooring needs to be replaced, we’re here to help.