Here Are the 3 Classifications of Water Damage | SERVPRO® of Crowley & South Johnson County
There are three different types of water to familiarize yourself with when it comes to water damage—clean, gray and black. Understanding the differences in these types of water will also help you understand how to better handle the situation if you find yourself facing water damage.
With water damage comes cleanup and restoration, regardless of what type of water has caused the damage. The most important step to take is to remove all the moisture and damp items quickly, so that mold does not have the chance to flourish in that mold-inducing environment.
<h4to-clean-water">Introduction to Clean Water
Much like its name states, clean is considered just that, “clean,” and is not the type of water that will pose an immediate threat to your health as it is free of contaminants. Clean water is a result of:
- Broken water lines
- Malfunctioning appliances
- Toilet holding tanks
- Snow melt and rainwater
This type of water damage is the easiest type to clean up as there will be fewer microbes living in this water, but you must still follow the 48-hour rule where mold is concerned. Also, after that amount of time and if it has had contact with the surfaces of a building, clean water becomes “gray” water.
<h4to-gray-water">Introduction to Gray Water
When you find yourself in a gray water damage situation, cleanup and restoration can become a bit more involved and serious. This is water that may pose a health risk because it will contain chemical or biological contamination. While the contamination is still slight, it would need to be thoroughly treated before being safe to consume.
Gray water can come from dishwashers, aquariums, showers, etc. The 48-hour exposure time applies here as well, as gray water becomes black water if not quickly and properly treated.
<h4to-black-water">Introduction to Black Water
When you have black water, you will find yourself in the most serious of the three classifications because this water is considered highly contaminated by harmful chemicals and biological matter.
Included in this category would be floodwaters containing soil and any sewage. Sewage is contaminated with microbes and laden with bacteria, protozoans, molds, fungi and more, which can be harmful to humans.
Some of the diseases that can be transmitted by black water are:
- Gastroenteritis-type illnesses
Always consider floodwater black water because as it travels it will be picking up contaminants along its path.
These three types of floodwater that are involved in water damage are recognized by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Remediation Certification(IICRC), which is an organization that certifies and sets the standard for all the cleaning and restoration companies. Our technicians all study IICRC standards and best practices in water restoration and are available to help determine the steps to take to get your home back to normal.
It doesn’t matter what type of water has caused damage to your home or business, SERVPRO® of Crowley & South Johnson County is here to help get the situation under control and make it "Like it never even happened." Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need emergency cleanup and restoration services!