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The 3 Types of Water Damage | Clean, Grey, and Black Water

Water damage can be caused by several factors, such as natural disasters or accidental leaks, and should be addressed immediately. While any type of water damage can be devastating, the level of risk and repair cost can significantly increase depending on the water damage category type. For example, damage caused by a leaking appliance is not the same as damage caused by flooding from a hurricane.

The 3 Water Damage Categories

According to the Institution of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), water damage falls under the 3 following categories:

  • Category 1 – Clean Water
  • Category 2 – Gray Water
  • Category 3 – Black Water

Category 1 Water Damage – Clean Water

As you would have guessed, category 1 is the least harmful types of water damage. This type of damage involves damage caused by “clean, sanitary water” and does not pose an immediate health threat to humans.
Examples of category 1 damage include:

  • Overflowing Sinks
  • Leaking Water Lines
  • Overflowing tubs
  • Melting Ice

Building materials that come in contact with this type of water damage can typically be dried off without any future risk to the property owner.

Category 2 Water Damage – Grey Water

Category 2 water damage is defined as water that “contains significant contamination” and water that may or may not cause sickness or discomfort if a person was to come in contact with it.
Examples of category 2 damage include:

  • Overflowing Dishwasher
  • Overflowing Washing Machine
  • Overflowing toilets with urine
  • Failing Sump Pumps

Any aree which comes into contact with this type of water damage should be thoroughly disinfected.

Category 3 Water Damage – Black Water

Category 3 water damage is not only extremely dangerous for your property, but also to your health and should only be handled by a professional water damage restoration company with experience. This contaminated water can expose you to pathogens which cause diseases like Tetanus, Hepatitis B/ C, Norovirus and West Nile Virus.
Examples of category 3 damage include:

  • Sewage Backup
  • Seawater
  • Flooding Water

All types of water damage should be handled immediately, but black water spreads hazardous contaminants across any surface it comes in contact with. Building materials like hardwood floors, sheet-rock, insulation, carpet and padding will have to be removed. After your property has been dried, it will have to undergo throughout disinfection.

We Handle All Types Of Water Damage

R&L Global is equipped to handle water damage disasters of all types. We are IICRC-Certified, use the latest and greatest in drying equipment, and are available to help you 24/7. When you're facing water damage, call The Leaders in Property restoration.