While it may seem pretty straightforward, not all water damage is the same. In fact, according to the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), there are three different types of water categories that can each have a different effect on your home. Knowing which type of water damage you have is crucial for a proper clean up and restoration.

Category 1: Clean water
This is the least severe of the three and consists of clear and clean water. This type of water is usually found from rain, melted snow or ice, broken pipes or water supply lines, and even overflowing bathtubs or sinks. Because this water is sewage and toxin-free, it’s harmless, so there are no major health effects from inhaling or ingesting this water, although, of course, it’s not recommended to! Items affected by this category will usually dry and suffer minimal damage.

It’s also important to note that while category 1 water may start off as harmless, it has the potential to come in contact with other materials or contaminants, and could turn into a category 2 or 3.

Category 2: Grey water
This type of water is more severe and is unsafe to ingest. Usually, grey water has some contaminants in it, as the water typically comes from washing machines, overflowed toilet bowls, or sump pumps. If any items in your home have been damaged by grey water, they will need to be thoroughly disinfected to ensure all chemicals and toxins have been removed to avoid further damage down the road.

Again, like category 1, this category can also turn into a category 3 if put into contact with other materials or contaminants.

Category 3: Black water
Finally, there is black water. As the most severe of the three, black water is toxic and should not be ingested or inhaled as it can cause major health problems. Because of this, black water requires immediate attention to avoid damage to your home and your health. This type of water typically comes from sewage, seawater, rising flood water, or river and/or groundwater. Unfortunately, if your home has been damaged by black water, all items affected will need to be removed, cleaned, or possibly thrown away, and your home will need to be disinfected and dried out.

If you’re unsure of which category your home has been affected by, give us a call! We’re here to help answer all of your questions and can get your home back to feeling like paradise regardless of which category your home has suffered from. All of our technicians are certified by the IICRC and we’re trained to clean and restore all types of water damage!