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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Water Damage Categorization & Contamination

4/5/2021 (Permalink)

Water damages originate from many different sources. Each damage falls in one of three basic categories of water damage. According to the IICRC, these categories “refer to the range of contamination in water, considering both its originating source and its quality after it contacts materials present on the job site”. 

Category 1

Category 1 water damages originate from clean and sanitary water sources. These include faucets, toilet tanks, appliances, melting snow or water pipes. These types of  water damages are generally harmless to humans and pets. However, they can cause significant risks to your home if left untreated as the moisture may cause toxic mold growth in as little as 24 hours. 

Category 2

A category 2 water damage involves what is known as “gray water” or sullage. This type of water has not come into contact with fecal matter but may contain harmful contaminants that induce illness when ingested. This water originates from dishwashers, washing machines, showers, bathtubs and sinks. If left unattended, Category 2 water can turn into Category 3 in as little as 48 hours.

Category 3

Category 3 is the most dangerous classification of water damage. Known as "black water", it refers to wastewater that originates from raw sewage or even natural disasters such as floods. This type of contaminated water is a haven for bacteria, pathogens, harmful chemicals and disease-causing organisms. Due to the unsanitary conditions of the water, porous materials like drywall, upholstery and carpets are completely unsalvageable. Extremely careful measures are required to mitigate category 3 water damages. 

At SERVPRO of Burlington & Mt. Holly, we have the training and experience to mitigate your water damage, no matter which category it falls under.

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