Water damage comes in many shapes and forms, and can leave lasting damage never to only your property but your wellbeing as well, or even handled correctly. One of many first steps to relieving your property of potential water damage is to ascertain what sort of water damage you are dealing with. According to the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) you will find three forms of water damage, which they outline in their Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration (the S500). Water damage is categorized by its source, length of time in the structure, history of the structure, and other impactful factors like chemicals such as pesticides, fertilizers, animal feces, fuel, detergents, rat poison, etc.
The initial form of water damage they outline is Category 1, which include burst water pipes, leaking appliances, and small amounts of rainwater. The defining characteristic of Category 1 water is that it’s clean at the source, and therefore does not pose a hazard if consumed by people. Category 1 water requires much less equipment and time to remedy.
Forms of Category 1 water damage include, but aren’t limited by burst water pipes, failed supply lines on appliances, falling rainwater, melting snow or ice, broken toilet tanks, or toilet bowl over flow that doesn’t contain any contaminants. While this kind of water damage is not necessarily hazardous, if it’s not handled it might turn to category 2 within 24 hours. That point period could possibly be increased if the right conditions for microorganism growth can be found such as stagnant air, humidity, and moderate temperatures (68-86 degrees Fahrenheit).
Category 2 water damage, or gray water, is characterized by you start with some amount of contamination at the source, or Category 1 water that’s been neglected as mentioned before. This sort of water damage is moderately dangerous, and might cause some extent of sickness or discomfort for individuals or animals if exposed.
The most typical forms of Category 2 water damage are discharge from washing machines or dishwashers, toilet flow overflow with urine but no feces, sump pump back-up, hydrostatic pressure seepage, automatic washer overflow, broken aquariums, and puncture water beds. These cases of water damage may contain chemicals, bio-contaminants, and other forms of contamination which can be hazardous to human health. Health effects are as follows: allergic asthma, allergic rhinitis, hypersensitivity pneumonitis (lung tissue inflammation), burning eyes, skin irritation, inflammatory response, nausea, headache, and fever. Again, time and conducive temperatures allow for deterioration to a Category 3 within 48 hours.
The ultimate and most dangerous form of water damage is Category 3, or black water. Black water is highly contaminated, contains pathogens, and may cause serious illness or even death in extreme conditions. Any person with a poor immune system, respiratory illness, allergies, or young kids should remain from the structure for the duration of the infection and clean-up.
Types of this kind of damage include sewage, ground surface water intrusion, toilet backflow from beyond the trap, and flooding sweater/rivers/streams which have entered the premises. Flooding water brings in silt and other organic matter home restoration services, that will already have bacteria growing inside it, and resting stagnant in your house will only provide a more suitable environment by which microorganisms can grow. Negative health effects from black water are numerous, and include bacterial infections from E. coli, salmonella, and shigella, soil organisms like Streptomyces, saccharopolyspora, thermonospora, viruses like rotavirus, hepatitis, and echovirus, and even parasites such as giardia, cryptosporidium, and others. In virtually any situation, black water is very serious and must be handled immediately.
Besides categories of water damage, there’s also 4 classes per the IICRC. Water damage is divided into class based on the rate of evaporation required. Often the kind of material that’s been affected may be the determining factor.
The water loss has been limited by just a partial room area, and the materials effected are of low porosity (water is retained on the surface). There’s minimum wet carpet or cushion.
The whole room is affected, along with the carpet and cushion. Water has wicked up the walls 1-2 feet. Moisture remains in the structure of the building.
The slowest evaporation rate and water may came from above. Ceilings, walls, carpet, cushion, and sub-floor is all saturated, and will require ample time to dry.
Class 4 comprises wet materials with low porosity or permeation such as hardwood, concrete, stone, brick, or plaster. Water has formed deep pockets of saturation and will require special equipment that creates an environment of very low humidity.
As you will see, water damage is really a very serious matter. If not handled immediately, the negative health effects are numerous. If your property and other property has been affected by almost any water mentioned or not stated earlier, I will suggest calling a professional restoration company ASAP. They will know exactly what to do.