Water Damage - Understanding Water Categories
When your home or business suffers a water damage, understanding what category of water you are dealing with can be critical to ensuring proper cleanup. There are three categories of water:
Clean water (Category 1) is water from a broken pipe, or other water source.
NOTE: rainwater is also considered clean.
Gray water (Category 2) is used to classify slightly contaminated water.
NOTE: Clean water becomes gray water when it is left untreated allowing bacteria and other contaminants to begin growing, making the water hazardous.
Black water (Category 3) is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more. Black water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be handled by trained professionals.
If the Water Damage Is from Clean Water (Category 1)
- Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so.
- Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electrical shock. Do not enter rooms with standing water, as electrical shock hazards may exist.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items
- Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to allow more even drying.
- Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other valuable items that may be sensitive to moisture to a safe place.
- Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors as they may cause staining.
- Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water as there is potential for electrical shock or causing damage to the vacuum cleaner.
- Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet; do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
If the Water Damage Is from Contaminated Water (Category 2 or Category 3)
- Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage. Wash your hands thoroughly if you come in contact with contaminated items.
- Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.
- Do not turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
- Do not use household fans to dry the structure; air flow could spread contaminants.
- Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.
Call SERVPRO Greeley/Windsor at 970-353-1388 for your emergency mitigation needs.