Understanding Water Damage: The Three Types to Watch Out For

When you’re a homeowner, water damage is an absolute nightmare. From minor damage to severe damage, any type of water damage requires swift action to prevent further issues and potential health hazards. The more you understand the nature of water damage and the many forms it can take, the better off you’ll be as a homeowner. Thankfully, the categories of water damage are much more straightforward to understand than most people realize.

Water damage is rated on the IICRC scale (the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification). Understanding the three categories on this scale, and the types of water damage that are included within them will help you be more prepared for handling sudden and tragic water damage accidents. Doing so will allow you to save your home and belongings as much as possible post-water accident.

There are three types of water damage that you should be on the lookout for.

1. Clean Water Damage

Clean Water Damage
source: istockphoto.com

When looking at the IICRC scale, clean water damage is the least destructive and intense (coming in as category 1). Broken pipes, water supply line damage, overflowing water sources, and appliance errors all fall within the clean water damage category. The water involved in clean water damage accidents is typically considered to be both toxin-free and sewage, which makes it both less destructive and frustrating to deal with.

You can therefore repair and dry out any clean water damage with relative ease (especially when compared to the other two types of water damage that we’ll be covering on this list. You’ll have less severe side effects to manage as a result of clean water damage as well, which will allow you to handle the repairs needed in a cheaper, quicker fashion.

Finding the right company to handle Portland water damage is key to getting your home secure after a water damage accident. Professional water damage experts understand the exact strategies and tools needed to dry out areas and prevent further damage from occurring due to clean water damage. By trusting a pro, you can avoid any serious issues plaguing you due to clean water damage.

2. Gray Water Damage

Gray Water Damage
source: groundworks.com

Going up to category 2 water damage, gray water damage involves what’s referred to as “gray” water. Gray water includes water that’s been exposed to potentially harmful chemicals or debris, such as feces and other toxins. The harder-to-clean, and much more upsetting, nature of gray water damage makes it a tougher job to handle.

However, this damage can still be handled fairly quickly if you hire the right time to handle it. Time is of the essence, though, so if you’re dealing with gray water damage, you should never let it sit. Doing so could not only ruin everything the gray water comes into contact with, but it could cause severe damage to your overall health as well.

Water damage that results from toilets, sump pumps, washing machines, and other common appliances will typically fall under the gray water (category 2) damage category. Consuming or coming into contact with this type of water is dubious at best.

While it will not be inherently harmful, there’s a much higher chance of harm than there is when you’re dealing with normal clan water damage. Additionally, the nature of the chemicals that are associated with gray water damage can have severe delayed effects on your health, so you may not realize the damage that’s been done until it’s too late. For this reason, you should take any gray water damage seriously from the get-go.

3. Black Water Damage

Black Water Damage
source: bbc.com

The most serious type of water damage, (category 3), black water damage necessitates a quick response. Because black water comes from rising flood waters, seawater, sewage water, and other natural water sources (such as ground and river water), there is a much higher chance of serious contamination involved with the damage it’s causing.

You’ll need to bring in pros that know how to not only correct the damage but who can access the lasting impacts of the damage as well. Doing so is key to keeping yourself and your family safe after experiencing a black water damage incident.

In most cases, you’ll need to remove the majority of materials and items that were damaged by black water. Doing so will ensure that your home remains non-hazardous and that you do not spread the potential infection among the residents living there. Black water damage is the most frustrating type of water damage to deal with due to its severity.


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