Water Damage 101: What Are the Categories of Water Cleanup?
Unexpected water in your home—where it shouldn’t be—isn’t something that should be overlooked. Whether the water damage appears to be minimal or overbearing, understanding the type of water and accompanying damage is important to ensure proper cleanup and restoration.
Types of Water
Any kind of flooding needs to be immediately addressed to ensure further damage doesn’t occur. Before grabbing the mop and bucket or wet vacuum, it is vital to understand the type of water that is being dealt with because there are three categories of water. These three categories vary by what type of contaminants makes up the water. The categories of water damage that restoration companies like SERVPRO of Central St. Petersburg / Pinellas Park use are:
Clean Water: As its name suggests, this type poses little threat. This damage occurs when a water supply line leaks, a sink or bathtub without contaminants overflows, melting snow, or rainwater infiltrates the home.
Gray Water: Once water mixes with chemicals or minimal biological contaminants, it moves to this category. Sources may include a leaking dishwasher, urine-only toilet overflow, or water condensation.
Black Water: This is unsanitary water full of bacteria and microorganisms which bring potential harm to humans and animals. If there was a recent flood, it could mean those rising water included sewage and other debris. Flood water from storms is usually in this category.
Types of Damage
When assessing water damage to determine repairs, understanding the types is important.
Class 1: The least harmful kind, it typically means that a minimal amount was absorbed in the affected areas. It is usually easy to clean.
Class 2: Known for quick evaporation rates, it can quickly absorb into carpeting and other porous materials. This damage typically requires more extensive repairs.
Class 3: If a sprinkler or pipe bursts, it can rapidly drench floors, walls, furniture, and other belongings. The rapid rate of evaporation requires quick action and water remediation measures to ensure the damage doesn’t spread or promote microbial growth.
Class 4: Excessive flooding means massive saturation of integral home components. Consulting a water damage and remediation expert is the best bet containing the situation and ensuring further damage doesn’t happen.
I Have Extensive Water Damage—What Should I Do?
While there are many levels of water damage, quick action in all situations is key to getting your home back to normal. If you are unsure which cleaning method to take after any type of flooding, call us. We are available 24 hours. Our number is (727) 521-2562. We'll assess the level of contamination quickly to advise you on the safest course of action.
By hiring a cleaning contractor like SERVPRO of Central St. Petersburg / Pinellas Park, you:
- Reduce your likelihood of exposure to pathogens.
- Mitigate long-term problems like microbial growth.
- No longer have to worry about either cleanup or reconstruction—we do both!
- Salvage flooring, furniture and important personal belongings.
- Don’t have to hassle with insurance—we do that for you!