Categories and Classes of Water Damage Explained

Water damage to a property can wreak havoc on building materials, personal contents, and much more if it is not handled effectively and quickly. There are different categories and classes of water damage that can be present on the affected property that should only be dealt with by professionals. You should never try to tackle this job by yourself if you do not have the proper tools, experience, and knowledge on the subject of water damage restoration. Professionals in this field use specialized equipment and put their experience and training to use to determine what category and class of water damage is present in your home and business, and they will then formulate a strategy to quickly and efficiently extract the water and dry out your property.

Here are the different categories of water damage:

Category 1: This is liquid from a clean and sanitary source such as faucets, toilet tanks, drinking fountains, or showers. This can quickly retrograde into a category two, so it is best to deal with this problem quickly.

Category 2: This type of liquid is best characterized as grey water, and it has a small level of contaminants that may cause some discomfort or even illness if it is digested. Sources for this water include dishwasher or washing machine overflows, flush from sink drains, or toilet overflow with urine present.

Category 3: This category of water damage is the most dangerous to your health and is very unsanitary. It has the possibility to cause extreme illnesses or even death if ingested. It is commonly referred to as black water, and its sources include sewer backup, flooding from rivers/streams, toilet overflow with feces, and stagnant liquid that has begun to support bacterial growth.

Levels of Destruction:

Class 1: This is the lowest classification and it is the easiest to deal with because it has a slow evaporation rate. Only a small portion of a room or area was affected, there is little to no wet carpet, and the excessive moisture has only affected materials with a low permeability rate (plywood or concrete).

Class 2: This class has a fast evaporation rate and affects an entire room, cushioning, or carpeting. The wetness has gone up the walls to at least 12 inches, and there is moisture present in the constructive materials.

Class 3: This classification has the fastest evaporation rate. Ceilings, walls, carpet, sub-floors, and insulation are all saturated with water. Probable cause may be an overhead leak.

Class 4: This would be labeled as a specialty drying situation. That means that there has been enough liquid and time to saturate materials with a very low permeability rate (hardwood, brick, stone).

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