Why Does The Source Matter When Restoring Water Damage?

Dealing with water damage is never fun. Your first step when approaching any flooding situation is typically to step back and consider the extent of the damage. How far does it extend into your house? Is water dripping into hard-to-reach areas or creating a long-term moisture problem? While these are critical questions to answer, one is even more important: where has the water been?

Restoration companies often classify water into three categories, with category one being the safest and category three being the most contaminated. The source of the water, as well as its path, ultimately determines which category applies. Understanding a little more about these categories can help you understand the severity of your water damage situation.

What's the Difference Between Categories?

Water damage companies usually divide water into categories one, two, and three. Category one damage water is generally harmless to humans, category two water may contain harmful chemicals, and category three water poses substantial health risks.

The water damage category has numerous implications for your clean-up project. For example, you may be able to dry and save many items affected by category one flooding. On the other hand, furniture, belongings, and even structural elements contaminated by category three water may require disposal or more advanced clean-up techniques.

How Can You Know the Category of Water Damage?

Determining the water damage category can sometimes be relatively straightforward. For instance, a backed-up sewer line will cause category three damage, while a dripping cold water supply pipe will usually fall into the category one umbrella. However, not every case is so easy to diagnose, and determining whether water is safe can be challenging.

These added difficulties arise when water passes through or accumulates in areas beyond the original source. Although water leaking from a supply pipe would typically fall into category one, that water may pass through parts of your room that contain harmful substances. Dripping water can easily pick up pathogens as it travels between floors or drips down from your attic.

For any severe leak, you'll want a water damage restoration professional to evaluate your situation before you develop a clean-up plan for your property. A professional can evaluate the path water has taken through your home and look for potential hazards that you may have missed. Working with a pro will guarantee that you can clean up your water damage quickly, efficiently, and, most importantly, safely.

For more information, contact a local professional.