Not all leaks are created equal. In fact, when water ends up in the wrong place through a leak, a backup, or a storm, where the water comes from determines the remedy. Water damages are actually given categories. The method and extent of restoration needed depends on the category of your water damage.
Water, under the IICRC’s S-500 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration, has been broken off into three categories. These categories are based upon the level of contamination present, or assumed to be present, in the source water.
Category One Water – Refers to a source of water that does not pose substantial threat to humans and classified as “Clean Water”. Examples are broken water supply lines, tub or sink overflows or appliance malfunctions that involves water supply lines.
Category Two Water – Refers to a source of water that contains a significant degree of chemical, biological or physical contaminants and causes discomfort or sickness when consumed or even exposed to. Known as “Grey Water”. This type carries microorganisms and nutrients of microorganisms. Examples are toilet bowls with urine (no feces), sump pump failures, seepage due to hydrostatic failure and water discharge from dishwashers or washing machines.
Category Three Water – Known as “Black Water” and is grossly unsanitary. This water contains unsanitary agents, harmful bacteria and fungi, causing severe discomfort or sickness. Type 3 category is a contaminated water source that affects the indoor environment. This category includes water sources from sewage, seawater, rising water from rivers or streams, ground surface water or standing water. Category 2 Water or Grey Water that is not promptly removed from the structure and or have remained stagnant may be re classified as Category 3 Water. A toilet back flow that originates from beyond the toilet trap is considered black water contamination regardless of visible content or color.
So when mitigating water damage, the source of the damage and amount of contamination determines the extent to which parts of the content and structure can be cleaned restored, or must be removed for sanitation and safety.
Remember when facing a water incident, your health and safety should be your primary concern. In the event of a category one water loss, stay out of standing water and be careful of slipping and falling or electrical connections. Only attempt any mitigation yourself if you can do so safely.
When dealing with Category 2 or 3 water damage stay out of the water. It is not safe. Professional services may be required.
Peerless is here to help in case of any water issues you may have, regardless of the category.