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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Water Damage Categories – What do they mean?

12/22/2020 (Permalink)

Water Category Sources This picture shows three- (3) sources of water damage. CAT 1 - Bathtub and Sink, CAT 2 - Sump Pump, and CAT 3 - Waste Line Stack.

Water damage comes from various sources. From pipes and toilets to sewer backups.  According to IICRC standards, there are three- (3) types of water categories: Category 1, Category 2, and Category 3.

Category 1 is considered "Clean Water". This category is from a source that poses no substantial harm to peopleAs examples, these sources could be from an overflowed bathtub and/or sink a broken water supply line to your refrigerators’ ice maker, or a leaking dishwasher water supply line. 

  • After 48 hours, a Category 1 can become a Category 2.

Category 2 also known as "Grey Water" poses health risks due to significant levels of contamination of bacteria, mold, and/or chemicals. This includes dirty water from washing machines, as well as leaks from water beds, broken aquariums, and sump pumps.   

  • Due to rampant bacterial breeding and mold growth, Category 2 becomes a Category 3 situation if left untreated for 2 days or more.

Category 3 is considered "Black Water".  Black Water contains disease-causing organisms, toxins, and is grossly unsanitary. It may also contain 100s of bacteria and virus types, including HIV. Typical black water conditions occur from a sewer backup, a broken waste line stack, and rising floodwaters. Tetanus and other serious diseases are likely to be present in rising floodwaters.

 With any of these categories, it is best to contact your professionals at SERVPRO of Winnetka/Wilmette/Skokie 847.600.0102.  We are always here to help and our goal is to make it "Like it never even happened!"

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