When sinks overflow, sewers back up, or flooding occurs, you face the possibility of water damage.
The problem can range from annoying to devastating. How do you know how bad it really is?
Water issues are separated into three categories: Category 1, Category 2, and Category 3 water damage.
Keep reading to learn more about each of them (especially the third and most dangerous type) and why you should be cautious around water damage.
Category 1 Water Damage
When a sanitary water source leaks or overflows, you get category 1 water damage. This is the safest of all types of water damage as the clean water poses no risk to humans.
This might happen when an appliance, like the washing machine breaks. You may also get this type of damage when the pipes carrying drinking water leak.
Category 2 Water Damage
When contaminated greywater goes where it shouldn’t, you get category 2 water damage. This may come from sump pumps, toilets, or seepage and poses some risk to people.
Greywater may contain some microorganisms that can hurt you if you come into contact with it. You should keep pets and children away from greywater and ensure that the area gets properly cleaned and disinfected.
Category 3 Water Damage
The last and most dangerous is category 3 or blackwater damage. When blackwater gets onto wood or other infrastructure material, it quickly grows into a massive demolition project.
You cannot simply clean up this type of damage as you can with greywater. Only professional water damage cleanup companies can handle the project.
Greywater vs. Blackwater: What’s the Difference?
While greywater contains some microbes, it generally will not kill you to be around it. It may have backed up from the tub or kitchen sink, which is gross, but not deadly if you do not drink it.
This liquid may also contain chemicals from household cleaners. It does not, however, contain human waste.
Blackwater, on the other hand, contains sewage and human poop. It may occur due to broken sewer lines, backed up sewers, or flooding from natural disasters.
When this type of water comes into contact with surfaces, like wood, it can quickly colonize and spread. Blackwater also allows for toxic algae blooms.
Exposure to these blooms can cause skin irritation and respiratory problems. Accidental ingestion can lead to serious gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, headaches, and fever.
It often carries with it disease-causing pathogens. Some common microbes found in blackwater include hepatitis, tetanus, tuberculosis, and the HIV virus.
Exposure to it can lead to serious infections, illnesses, and respiratory issues. You do not need to come into direct contact with blackwater for it to be harmful.
Contamination of this nature requires prompt professional cleanup. Do not wait or attempt to clean it on your own.
Call for a Quick Cleanup
Category 3 water damage can create devastating effects, but any water damage at all is a problem. It carries the potential to cause disease and damages homes and personal property.
This can feel overwhelming, but calling for prompt professional cleanup will limit the damage.
In some situations, the wastewater does require you to rebuild some. Look at the architecture section of our website for new and exciting ideas!