Water damage can be classified into different categories, usually depending on the type of water that inundated a commercial or residential property, and its rate of evaporation.

Categories of Water Damage

Categories of Different Types of Water Damage

There are three categories of water damage and they include the following: The Category one Water Damage or the Clean Water; The Category Two water Damage or the Grey Water; and then the Category three or the Black water.

  • Category 1 Water Damage – Is typically from clean water sources, hence the description. It usually comes from broken pipes, burst frozen pipes, overflowing sinks or tubs, or any water-supply related water damage. This type of water damage is the most harmless type, as it will not harm humans in case it comes into contact with the water. The only time it becomes harmful is when it is left to stagnate damaging property and equipment, inviting mosquitoes that carry vector-borne diseases, and eventually encouraging mold growth.
  • Category 2 Water Damage – Is described as Grey Water, which may cause contaminants as it may harbor some germs and bacteria that may cause relative harm to humans when they get into contact with it, or consumes it. Example of sources of a Category 2 water damage are sump pump failures, overflowing toilet (without fecal matter), seepage from either walls or flooring, and leaking water from appliances connected to water sources like washing machines, refrigerators, and dishwashers.
  • Category 3 Water Damage — is the most dangerous type of water damage as its main source is dirty or severely unsanitary water. Sources may include sewer backups, drain back-ups, over flowing toilet with fecal matter, water from the sea or river, or any source from the outdoors. This water is really dangerous and will cause illnesses to anyone who gets into contact with it. Immediate removal, sanitizing and disinfecting should commence as soon as safe to do so, and should only be carried out by professionals.

Classifications of Water Damage

Determining the classification of water damage is important especially for water damage removal experts so that they will know what specific equipment to use to remove the water and completely dry out the structure. The Classifications indicate how quick the water evaporates inside the enclosed space that it inundated. Here are the different classifications of water damage:

  • Classification Number 1, or Slow Rate of Evaporation. Is the type of water damage that did not inundate the whole room, instead, just a small portion of it, with minimal moisture absorbed by the inundated area, and then the corresponding area is not too porous.
  • Classification Number 2, or Fast Rate of Evaporation. The water may have inundated the whole enclosed area up to about two feet, and it has been absorbed by most of the materials in the affected area. This means the upholstery, carpeting, and the like are already fully-soaked. It is also possible that the walls may have already absorbed a portion of the water.
  • Classification Number 3, or the Fastest Rate of Evaporation. This is the type of water damage that entirely affects the whole area of the enclosed space because the water source is from the ceiling or overhead. This means that the carpeting, the insulation, the ceiling, the walls, and all of the flooring and equipment have been affected by water damage.
  • Classification Number 4, or one that requires a special drying situation. This classification of water damage requires a specific low level of humidity for it to dry up. This also means that the materials that have been inundated by the water have very low porosity. Examples include hardwood floors and plasters.

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