The Categories and Classes of Water Damage

The most common source of property damage is something that can always be found within every home and building: water. There are many potential sources of water in homes and buildings, and standing water and excess moisture can cause serious damage that can include stains, rotting, structural issues, and mold growth. If you notice excess water on your property, you need to take immediate action because water damage will continue to get worse as it spreads and gets absorbed in more materials.

Sources of Water Damage

water damage restoration and cleanup - flooded houseExcess water and flooding within a home or building can come from a wide variety of sources. Common sources of water damage include weather conditions like heavy rain, natural floods, and humidity, as well as issues like plumbing and appliance leaks, roof leaks, overflows, pipe bursts, and sewage backups. With so many potential sources of water, not all water damage is the same. Water from plumbing fixtures and appliances may be relatively clean while water from natural floods, toilet overflows, and sewage backups are typically contaminated with dangerous materials. The extent of the damage caused by water will also vary between cases depending on the source and amount of the water and how far it has spread.

When dealing with significant water damage, the best thing you can do is call our water damage cleanup and restoration professionals at ServiceMaster DAK to stop its spread and restore the damage. However, it is important to understand the categories and classes of water damage, so you have an idea of the extent of the damage and whether the water is contaminated.

Categories of Water Damage

When faced with water damage in your home or building, it is important to have an idea of the category of water damage. Depending on the source, the water in your home can be contaminated with waste materials, bacteria, dangerous microorganisms, and other harmful toxins that can cause illness or infection. By understanding the possible category of the damage, you can keep yourself and others safe from contaminated water. If you are not sure if the water on your property is contaminated, it is best to stay away from it as a precaution.

The following are the main categories of water damage:water damage restoration - brown water flood

  • Category 1: Category 1 is clean water that does not contain any threatening contaminants. This water may come from overflowing sinks or appliance leaks.
  • Category 2: Category 2, also known as gray water, is water contaminated with microorganisms that can cause illness if ingested. This water may come from toilets, sump pumps, or roof and foundation leaks.
  • Category 3: Category 3, also known as black water, is highly contaminated with bacteria and other harmful toxins that can cause illness. It is best to avoid any contact with black water. This can include sewage water and flood water from outdoors.

Classes of Water Damage

It can be difficult for homeowners and business owners to determine the class, or extent of the water damage. Water can get absorbed in many building materials and furnishings, including wood, drywall, flooring, carpeting, insulation, and others, making it impossible to determine how deeply it has been absorbed without the right equipment. At ServiceMaster DAK, our water damage cleanup and restoration professionals will determine the class of the water damage as part of our initial inspection.

The following are the classes of water damage:

  • Class 1: This is the least amount of damage. The affected areas and materials may absorb little or no water, and the water evaporates slowly. Usually, only part of a room with low porosity is affected.
  • Class 2: Water evaporates quickly but may cause damage to materials, like carpeting and curtains, that have absorbed the water. Usually, an entire room is affected, and some water has become absorbed in the walls and structural materials.
  • Class 3: An entire room is completely saturated, and the water evaporates the quickest. Usually, the source of the water comes from overhead, such as a busted sprinkler or pipe, and soaks the ceiling, walls, flooring, furniture, and subfloor.
  • Class 4: Class 4 requires specialized drying to remove water from low porosity materials, like hardwood floors, brick, concrete, stone, plaster, and others.

Professional Water Damage Restoration

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 DAK 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 in Buffalo Grove, Deerfield, Hawthorne Woods, or the surrounding north Chicago suburbs, call the water damage restoration experts at ServiceMaster DAK.  We are available 24 hours a day at (847) 564-0204.

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