What Category of Water Damage Do You Have?

Water damage, whether it is caused due to heavy rains or bursting of pipes, cause excessive damage to life and property. However, not all water damages are equal. Some can be potentially dangerous, while others tend to be worse than the other.

For water restoration, you first need to determine the category of water damage that your home is affected with. Yes, there is such a thing like water damage classification and water damage category.

The Institute of International Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IIRC) has issued some guidelines that classify the severity of water damage and the level of contamination of water.

You must be familiar with these water damage categories to determine the category of water damage in your home so that you can take the preventive measures for water damage restoration.

Categories of Water Damage

IIRC defined three categories of water damage. All three of them can be very dangerous and can cause significant damage to your house. However, some are easier to restore than others.

Category 1 – Clean Water

It is called ‘clean water’ as the water in this category water comes through clean sources. It does not pose any risk to anyone if they somehow exposed to it or inhale it.

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Clean water damage can be caused due to malfunctioning of appliances, bathtub overflow, broken water supply line, melting of snow, or rainwater. While this category is considered safe and your property is not at a major risk of contamination, yet it is essential to clean the water appropriately. Even a small sitting of water at any place can cause mold growth in your home.

Category 2 – Gray Water

Gray water is caused by water with physical or biological contamination. This category of water damage can cause discomfort or illness to people who come in contact with this water or inhale it. The water contains small microorganisms that are responsible for making you sick.

This gray water can be dirty water from your washing machine or dishwater, water damage caused due to sump pump failures, toilet overflow with only just urine, or broken aquariums.

Remember, as the water in this category is contaminated, you must take preventive measures and wear some PPE for water damage restoration.

Category 3 – Black Water

The water in this category contains pathogens, human waste, and other harmful agents that can cause serious illness and even death.

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The black water is usually the result of heavily contaminated sources like rainwater mixed with sewage or river water. Also, if your home has experienced Category 2 water damage, but it wasn’t cleaned appropriately, then there are high chances of black water damage to your property.

Classes of Water Damage

There are four classes of water damage. Knowing them can help you which type of drying technique you should use to make your home free from any damage.

Class 1 – Water losses that affect only a small portion or room is affected by the water damage. Little or no wet carpet is present in this class.

Class 2 – Water losses that affect the whole room or carpet. Moisture remains in some materials like plywood, concrete, etc.

Class 3 – Water come from ceilings, carpet, or overhead pipes.

Class 4 – It is for specialty drying situations where low porous materials like stone, hardwood have become saturated.

We recommend you to call professional for water damage restoration, as they can accurately determine the category of water damage your home is affected with.


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