If you're dealing with water damage in your home, you may find that restoration experts classify this damage into one of three categories. These categories help clarify the water's source and its likely level of contamination. The three categories are:
- Category 1 (Clean Water)
- Category 2 (Gray Water)
- Category 3 (Black Water)
A simpler way to look at these categories is to consider them unused water, used water, and sewage. Category one water typically comes from a supply line, so restoration experts consider water in this category to be "clean." Does that mean you don't need to worry about category one damage? The answer, unfortunately, is more complex than you might think.
What Can Cause Category 1 Water Damage?
To be classified as category one damage, water must come from a clean, potable source. In other words, this water was safe to contact and consume before it flooded your home. A broken supply pipe would be an example of category one damage. Likewise, most restoration experts classify an overflowing sink or bathtub into category one.
Note that certain types of "unused" water may end up in category two due to incidental contact. One example of this would be a toilet that overflows due to excess water from the tank. Although only clean water is entering the toilet and there's no sewage backup, this type of water would likely fall into category two due to the potential of contamination from the bowl.
How Severe Is Category 1 Water Damage?
Although clean water presents fewer immediate hazards than dirty water or sewage, it can still cause substantial damage to your home. A burst pipe typically won't present any immediate biological threats. Still, it can ruin flooring and walls and, ultimately, create an environment that's hospitable for air quality threats such as mold.
However, even category one water can become potentially hazardous if you leave the problem unaddressed. Standing water may contact any number of threats in your home, and water is more likely to become a biological hazard the longer it remains in place. While this may not be a concern with small leaks, it can be an issue when a major pipe failure floods your basement or another part of your home.
What Should You Do About Category 1 Damage?
The key to keeping category one damage from becoming a severe threat is to act as quickly as possible. It's necessary to remove standing water and dry any residual moisture before it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, mold, or other biological hazards. For small leaks, you can safely handle these tasks yourself, but larger leaks will require the help of an expert.
Remember that water can often spread surprisingly quickly. A thin layer of standing water in your kitchen will likely find gaps to flow behind cabinets and through floors into your basement or elsewhere. Addressing these issues can be challenging for the do-it-yourselfer, so the best solution is usually to call in a restoration pro to evaluate and repair the affected areas.
To learn more, contact a company such as Sahara Restoration.