Water damage is available in many shapes and forms, and can leave lasting damage not to only your property but your wellbeing as well, or even dealt with correctly. One of many first steps to relieving your property of potential water damage is to find out what type of water damage you’re dealing with. According to the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) there are three forms of water damage, that they outline within their Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration (the S500). Water damage is categorized by its source, amount 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 includes burst water pipes, leaking appliances, and small levels of rainwater. The defining characteristic of Category 1 water is it is clean at the origin, and therefore doesn’t pose a hazard if consumed by people. Category 1 water requires not as equipment and time and energy 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 does not contain any contaminants water damage. While this type of water damage is certainly not hazardous, if it’s not dealt with it may turn to category 2 within 24 hours. That point period could possibly be hasten if the proper conditions for microorganism growth are present 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 origin, or Category 1 water that’s been neglected as stated before. This sort of water damage is moderately dangerous, and might cause some degree of sickness or discomfort for folks or animals if exposed.
The most common 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 instances of water damage may contain chemicals, bio-contaminants, and other forms of contamination which are 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 can cause serious illness as well as death in extreme conditions. Any person with a poor defense mechanisms, respiratory illness, allergies, or young children should remain from the structure for the duration of the infection and clean-up.
Types of this type of damage include sewage, ground surface water intrusion, toilet backflow from beyond the trap, and flooding sweater/rivers/streams that have entered the premises. Flooding water brings in silt and other organic matter, that’ll already have bacteria growing inside it, and resting stagnant in your home is only going to give a considerably better environment in 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 extremely serious and needs to be dealt with immediately.
Besides kinds of water damage, there are 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 is 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 is little if any wet carpet or cushion.
The entire room is affected, as well as 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 attended from above. Ceilings, walls, carpet, cushion, and sub-floor is all saturated, and will demand ample time and energy 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 demand special equipment that produces an environment of suprisingly low humidity.
As you can see, water damage is a very serious matter. If not dealt with immediately, the negative health effects are numerous. If your home or other property has been affected by almost any water mentioned or not stated earlier, I would recommend calling a specialist restoration company ASAP. They’ll know exactly things to do.