Water damage can be a disastrous occurrence in any home. It can cause substantial destruction, especially when left unaddressed. There are different types of water damage, and knowing these three types can be helpful. For homeowners, knowing the kind of damage will help prepare them to deal with the incident. They could at least intelligently decide whether they could clean it up by themselves, or call for professional help.
From a professional’s point of view, the types of water damage guide them into the removal and repair process that they will have to carry out.
Types of Water Damage
There are three types of water damage, and these types of destruction can happen in any home or commercial property. It is crucial to know these details to remain safe amidst the inundation. It also serves as a guide for both the property owner and the contractor as to the next steps that they could take after extracting the standing water.
Here are the types of water damage:
Category 1 Water Damage. This is the safest type of water damage in terms of the potential to cause illnesses. This water damage mainly comes from the tap or piping and is mostly clean water. It can be described as a leak, or an overflow coming from the faucet or the piping system. It has minimal microorganisms that can cause harm to the health if it touches the skin or accidentally gets ingested.
Other causes of this type of water damage are malfunctioning appliances that have a water source. These appliances include washing machines, dryers, refrigerators, water dispensers, and dishwashers. It could also be from rainwater that may have entered the home from the windows or other openings. Category 1 water damage can also be caused by melting snow.
Even though Category 1 water damage does not pose an immediate health hazard, authorities still encourage homeowners to address it immediately. By allowing clean water to stagnate in a home, damage can be imminent in two days. Molds grow within 48 hours of not extracting the water and eliminating the moisture it has left behind.
Category 2 Water Damage. This is the type of water damage that may contain microorganisms that may harm human and animal health. It is, however, not as dangerous because it does not contain fecal matter. Besides, it can often be reused for cleaning purposes, but it is not potable.
Commonly referred to as Grey Water, Category 2 water damage has several possible sources in homes. These sources include water coming out from appliances like washing machines and dishwashers. These are not clean, but it can be reused either for cleaning concrete surfaces or in watering plants.
Other sources of greywater are stagnant toilet water that may or may not have urine. It can also come from overflowing sinks and tubs due to drain blockages. Greywater can also come from burst pipes that do not precisely have clean water.
Category Water 2 Damage can be hazardous to clean on one’s own. If this has to be done by the homeowner himself, he has to suit up and use protective equipment. There are set guidelines for cleaning that can be found in the United States Environment Protection Agency’s official website. It is best advised though to have professional damage repair contractors handle this type of water damage.
Category 3 Water Damage. This water damage is the most dangerous type of water damage, especially when accidentally ingested. This is highly contaminated water with toxins that can harm human and animal health. This could be dangerous on contact, and when ingested, it can be highly toxic because of the pathogens that it entails.
Broken or backed up sewage, raw sewage, and toilet water with fecal water are the usual sources of this type of water damage. Also referred to as Black Water, Category 3 water damage can be highly dangerous because of its bacterial content.
Flooding that is due to sewage backups automatically fall under this category. So is weather-related flooding. Floodwaters from a typhoon and overflowing bodies of water nearby can be classified as category three water damage.
For Category 3 water damage, it is best to hire professionals who can safely extract water and moisture. Only licensed water damage repair specialists can also appropriately decontaminate the area. The safety equipment, training as well as expertise of the contractor and his technicians ensure that the area will be safe to re-occupy by the household members. Moreover, because they can eliminate moisture, mold, and mildew growth can be prevented.
Dealing with Water Damage
The first step towards dealing with water damage is to turn off the primary electrical source in the house. This move is meant to ensure that everyone at home will be safe from electrocution. The second thing to do is to raise fixtures to secure areas, in case they are getting inundated by floodwaters. Appliances, electronics, upholstered furniture, among others will incur damage when exposed to water, so it is best not to allow it to soak in floodwaters.
Once the valuables are safe from the flooding, the homeowner should immediately assess the damage. He should check the extent of flooding, and which portions of the home have been affected by the water damage.
Upon assessment, the homeowner can then document the damage incurred. Documenting means taking relevant photographs of the damaged areas. It would also be helpful to write notes and print it out to submit to the insurance company. After thoroughly documenting the water damage, it is time to report the incident to the insurance provider. This should be done quickly so that the matter can be addressed right away. Restoration Industry Association
Usually, the insurance provider will be giving the homeowner of a list of accredited restoration contractors. Most of the time, though, the homeowner will not be limited to that list. If and when the contractor of choice is not an accredited service provider, then the homeowner can ask the insurance provider for his other options.
Out of pocket repairs
As for out of pocket repairs, it will be best to get on with the repairs immediately. Find a reliable contractor through referrals. Make sure to only work with a licensed contractor as they can guarantee expertise in carrying out efficient and long-term repairs. Their license and business permits can be verified from the Contractors State and Licensing Board. Check out the local better business bureau website too.
Licensed water damage repair contractors also have insurances and bonds that the homeowner can claim against in case there will be problems after the remediation. A warranty is usually provided to help assure the homeowner that if things do not work out as he has expected, the contractor can carry out needed post-remediation repairs.
Another advantage of working with a licensed contractor is that they can assure the decontamination and sanitation of the area. They will also make sure that they can entirely remove moisture to prevent mold growth. These benefits in itself should be enough to convince a homeowner to work only with a licensed contractor. Water damage removal scam artists may offer lower contract rates, but there will be drawbacks to hiring them.