The Three Categories of Water
When we receive a dispatch for a home or business that has suffered water damage, one of the first things we identify in our initial inspection is the Water Category. It is important to assess what type of water caused the damage in order to proceed with the appropriate procedure for restoration.
Category 1: Is clean water from a clean source that cannot cause sickness if someone comes into contact with it. This could be water from a broken supply line, or sink overflow containing no detergents. Falling rainwater also falls into this category. It is water that does not contain any additives or contaminants. Cat 1 water cannot be standing for a long time and the materials that have come in contact with the water are clean and well maintained. Once we have identified that the water is Cat 1, we can begin the drying process and it is possible to restore the structure by rapid drying in place and replacing any permanently damaged materials. If there is odor present, it is indicative that the water is no longer Category 1.
Category 2: Cat 2 water is best described as water that has chemicals, biological or physical contamination that if consumed or contacted by humans would cause sickness. This includes discharge water from dishwashers, washing machines, a toilet bowl overflow containing urine, and aquarium leaks. If a water loss is found to be a Cat 2, there are procedures that technicians must proceed with before drying. Affected carpet padding, and insulation will be removed, and materials will be cleaned. An application of anti-microbial agents on affected areas can prevent growth of mold and mildew.
Category 3: The most contaminated level of water is Cat 3 water. This is water that contains pathogens that could severely affect humans that come into contact with it. Examples of Cat 3 water sources are sewer water, flood water, and toilet overflow containing fecal matter. The procedures in handling a Cat 3 water loss are numerous due to the importance of maintaining the health and safety of the workers. It is necessary for technicians to be equipped with personal protective equipment. All highly porous materials that have come into contact with contaminated water would be removed and disposed of including carpet, carpet padding, wood, drywall and insulation.
By ensuring that the water category is appropriately identified, technicians can ensure that the best procedures are utilized while also keeping everyone in the home and on the jobsite safe. Call the experts at SERVPRO® of Greater Waco at 254-224-5999 to help you restore your home or business, regardless of the water category.