How the Three Categories of Water Damage Affect Restoration


Water damage restoration professionals recognize three categories of water: clean, gray, and black. Clean water, such as water from an overflowing bathtub or sink, is innocuous and sanitary. Gray water is contaminated and poses some health risks (dirty water from a washing machine is one example), whereas black water is the most heavily contaminated category. Here are three ways the type of water involved can impact the restoration process.

1. Health Risks

Clean water isn't going to harm anyone in your family, so water damage caused by only clean water will necessitate the use of fewer chemicals than damage from gray or black water. This means that gray and black water pose both a direct health threat and an indirect threat. You should make sure that your cleaning team knows if members of your family suffer from asthma so they can recommend a course of action. In the case of black water, you may have to make alternate living arrangements. The health risks of black water mean that family members with respiratory or immune problems, as well as the elderly and infants, should move out temporarily and not return until the threat has been abated.

2. Cleanup

The type of water involved can also have an impact on whether cleanup can be a do-it-yourself project or whether it should be a job for professionals. For example, if the water damage was caused by a shower curtain hanging out of the shower and dumping a gallon of clean water all over the floor, a restoration team may not be necessary. However, if the spillage was contaminated with sewage (for example, from an overflowing toilet), professional help will certainly be needed to safely contain the black water. 

3. Replacements

One of the most heart-wrenching aspects of water damage is having to discard some of your beloved belongings. This is more likely to happen with grey or black water because contaminants can continue to cause health risks if they are not completely removed from the material. Your restoration team will work with you to decide which contaminated furnishings and belongings can be saved and which need to be replaced. Even with clean water, though, replacements may be necessary if cleanup doesn't occur immediately. This is because clean water becomes gray or black water if mixed with contaminants or if it isn't cleaned up within a day or two. Because of this, you should waste no time in calling a professional team for extensive water damage cleanup, even if only sanitary water is involved.

By taking note of the type of water involved in your water damage situation and identifying the category it belongs to, you can learn much about how best to treat the restoration process. Remember, any wasted time can worsen the damage and make cleanup more complicated, so make sure you get everything dry again within a day or enlist professional help such as Fire & Flood Services Inc if damage is too extensive or involves contaminated water.


11 June 2015

restoring log homes

Owning a log home is one thing that many people dream of one day doing. Unfortunately, there are some log homes that have been damaged from moisture, storms or just aged poorly. Do you own, or are you considering purchasing a log home that is not in the best condition? Are you ready to take on the repairs associated with restoring a log home? Visit our blog to find out what all it can take to restore a log home that is in disrepair. Hopefully, a good understanding will help you appreciate the process and help you determine if it is something you want to take on.