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Understanding The 3 Categories Of Water Damage

Flooding in and around your property can cause serious, unfortunate damage, especially when the water source is unknown or is coming from a potentially toxic location. Keep reading to learn about all of the different water categories and what their potential sources are.

The first step to the restoration of a property from water damage is understanding what type of water is involved. Understanding the type of water is important to ensure the health of all individuals as well as how your home and valuables can be saved and restored to their pre-loss condition. The three types of water damage are as follows:

  • Clean water
  • Grey water
  • Black water

Here is everything you need to know about each type of water, the possible sources, and how they should be managed.

24/7 Restoration Has Got You Covered, No Matter What Category of Water Damage

At our Calgary-based restoration company, we pride ourselves on having an expert team of technicians, project managers, and professional water damage specialists. Our team uses the latest technology and expert techniques to clear your home of water damage, no matter what category of water has damaged your property. If your home or business has faced any other form of calamities, such as smoke and fire, mould and asbestos, or any other form of damage, 24/7 Restoration will return your property to its former glory.

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The 3 Category Types of Water Damage

One of the most devastating calamities that can befall a home is water damage. Even the smallest of leaks can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage to your property in an incredibly short amount of time! When those small leaks turn into more substantial issues, the entire foundation of your property and all of your valuables inside can be in jeopardy of damage and possibly even destruction!

When the dust settles and it's time to restore your property and belongings, one of the first steps that any restoration company worth their salt will do is understand what category of water damage has occurred. This is an essential factor to know as it can impact health, safety, timeliness, and processes. The three categories of water damage are as follows.

Category 1: Clean Water

The first category of water damage is also the least severe category. Category 1 water damage often goes by the terminology ‘Clean Water Damage,’ since the water involved in this type is typically clean water that comes from one of the following sources:

  • Broken pipes
  • Water supply lines
  • Sinks
  • Bathtubs
  • Water heaters
  • Rainwater

What all of these sources, and many others that have not been listed, have in common is that the water from these sources is free of harmful chemicals, toxins, and sewage water. Therefore, in most cases of category 1 water damage, the majority, if not all items damaged by water, are successfully dried without any potential side effects occurring later on. It is important to note that, if left untreated for a period of time, category 1 water can turn into more severe category 2 or 3 water.

Category 2: Grey Water Damage

Grey water damage is characterized by water damage that has occurred by some water source that is contaminated in some way and could potentially cause illness if ingested and promote microbial growth. Some prevalent sources of Grey Water can include:

  • Toilet overflows
  • Sump-pump backups
  • Dishwashers
  • Washing machines
  • Aquariums

Due to the presence of microorganisms and other toxins, it is highly recommended that you and your family stay far away from grey water to avoid any health issues. If left untreated, it is highly likely that category 2 water will turn into category 3 water, which can be devastating to your health and property.

Category 3: Black Water

The third category of water, Black Water, is by far the most severe. This type of water damage requires rapid, decisive action to prevent significant, permanent damage from befalling your home or belongings, and to protect the health and safety of all residents present. This type of floodwater is grossly unsanitary and typically contains high levels of sewage and dangerous toxins. The most common sources of category 3 water damage include:

  • Sewer backups
  • Flooding from external sources such as rivers
  • Groundwater flooding
  • Water containing pesticides, lead, and other toxins

It goes without saying that, if ingested, black water will cause grave sickness and even death. When directly exposed to black water, there is around a 90% chance of disease, illness or infection that requires medical attention. To avoid these obviously serious consequences, make sure that you get qualified, experienced water damage and restoration specialists to assess and handle any category of water damage. At 24/7 Restoration, our team of experts has decades of experience handling all sources and classes of water damage.

24/7 Restoration Has Got Your Back

No matter the challenge, how substantial the loss, or what category of water is in play, our expert crews are ready and waiting, 24 hours a day. Whenever a disaster strikes, especially if involving category 2 or 3 water damage, it is imperative to act fast to avoid any unnecessary harm, such as mould growth. At 24/7 Restoration, we pride ourselves on being the fastest acting restoration company in all of Calgary.

Contact our team today by calling (403) 247-4365 or filling out our online contact form below!



How is water damaged classified?

Water damage is classified into four categories. The higher the category, the more severe the water damage. The severity of water damage is independent of the category of water damage. While typically higher categories of water damage result in higher classes, it is not always the case.

What do I do if I cannot tell what the water category is?

If you are unable to tell the source of the water, it is always best to play it safe and treat the water as if it is category 3.

Does my home insurance cover water damage?

In most cases, if the water damage is sudden and accidental, your home insurance should cover water damage. However, this fact depends greatly on your specific home insurance and how the water damage occurred.

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