Colorado Springs Water Damage Restoration: Article About Categories Of Water Damage
The IICRC identifies three categories of water damage, and those categories are based not on damage level but on health risk to a building's occupants. It is important that area homeowners be able to identify that potential risk so that they can act accordingly. While attempting to identify and disable the source of water may be the right first step during a category one event, a category three event usually demands immediate attention from a Colorado Springs water damage restoration specialist.
Category one water damage involves clean water. Generally, clean water can be identified by being clear, but there are exceptions, and it depends on the source. A burst pipe, malfunctioning appliance or leaking roof are all likely sources of clean water. The IICRC advises professional restoration for such an event within 24 to 48 hours. A more immediate response is usually not necessary unless the source cannot be stopped, but a natural event, such as rainfall, is an exception; in those cases, the professionals may just have to wait it out.
Category two involves gray water. Gray water is murky due to microbes and other contaminants. The soapy water leaked from a machine may be category one or two depending on the concentration. Another common source of gray water in a home is the toilet, but the likeliest source is clean water not attended to in the proper time frame.
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The IICRC recommends that professionals handling category two events use full protective gear, including a respirator suited to high moisture. Homeowners can use some common sense, however, because a leaking washing machine is not nearly as dangerous as a toilet backing up into the home.
The third category of water damage involves black water. Black water is normally associated with natural disasters, but sewage backing up into a home is also a category three event. In addition to microbes, the concern with black water is the presence of bacterial diseases and toxic materials. The IICRC recommends that under no circumstances should homeowners attempt to deal with black water on their own.
For the handling of category three events, the IICRC outlines specific and rigid specifications for respirators and techniques for sealing the various aspects of protective gear together. This is because category three water can cause severe illness and other problems through both touch and airborne means. The IICRC advises homeowners to vacate their homes until all traces of the category three water have been removed.