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What are the categories of a water damage?

When you have a water damage, proper drying isn’t the only reason to call a professional restoration company.  Not all water damages are created equal, and there are different types of water that pose varying risks to your property and health.  The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) , the certifying body for the cleaning and restoration industry, categorizes water damages into three different categories.  They are based on the level of contamination from the source of the water.  

Category 1 ~ Clean Water Source

Clean water poses no substantial threat to our health on its own.  It comes from clean and sanitary sources.  Although it’s clean when it comes from the source, clean water is not without risks.  If it’s not extracted and dried promptly, there is always the risk for mold growth.  Additionally, clean water can become contaminated if it’s left for too long. 
Examples: burst water pipes, or failed supply lines on appliances

Category 2 ~ Contaminated Water Source

Category 2 water poses a health risk, although the risk may not be significant or life-threatening.  The sources of Category 2 water contain a significant degree of chemical, biological, or physical contaminants that often cause illness or discomfort when the water is consumed and sometimes cause health issues just with exposure.  Examples: appliance discharge, toilet overflows with urine only, sump pump failures, or seepage.

Category 3 ~ Unsanitary Water Source

The IICRC refers to Category 3 water as “grossly unsanitary.”  This water can contain extremely harmful contaminants that can cause illness through exposure and severe illness or even death from ingestion.  It’s extremely important that Category 3 water always be handled only by professionals who are trained in proper safety and sanitation techniques. Examples: Category 2 water that's left uncleaned or stagnant, sewer backups, or toilet overflow with feces.

Why call a Water Damage Professional?

It can be very difficult to tell how far water has spread on your property, and if the water is contaminated. Our professionals at ServiceMaster Cleaning & Restoration will immediately contain and evaluate the damage and determine the category of water damage so we can safely remove the water and clean the affected areas and materials. Once the water is removed, we will ensure that the building materials and objects affected are thoroughly dried with our dehumidification and drying services.

If there is water damage within your home or building call the water damage restoration experts at ServiceMaster Cleaning & Restoraiton.  We are available 24 hours a day at (208) 524-8262.