Flooding or water damage can be a burden on any home or business. From furniture to structural damage, water can wreak havoc in many situations. It is even worse if you have certain kinds of water involved. The type of water that has caused the damage will determine the steps you take toward water damage restoration.
If the water that has caused the flood or damage is not a health risk, then it is deemed clean water damage, or Category 1. This is the type of issue that comes from leaky appliances, broken hot water heaters, and also melting snow or rain water.
Clean water poses the lowest risk, and can be cleaned up by yourself in most cases. However, it is important to note that time is of the essence. If you have been away for more than 48 hours, then you may need to contact a professional, as this can become what is known as ‘greywater’, which is what we call Category 2 damage. Be sure to get a free clean-up estimate before attempting to clean any water damage.
Greywater damage cleanup, sometimes referred to as sullage cleanup, is a bit trickier. This is waste water that has not been infected by fecal matter. This is the water that could come from a washing machine, shower, tub, dishwasher, or even a sink. As long as you are not ingesting this water, it is relatively safe, and can even be used in toilet flushing.
Greywater floods can be caused by any number of factors. Weather damage, broken pipes, and faulty appliances are common sources. This can also saturate carpet, drywall and furniture. If you suspect greywater to be the source of your damage, use caution. Wear protective gear, and keep children, pets, and immuno-compromised individuals away from the flooded area.
Contact a professional to handle Category 2 cleanups, as they can be dangerous and should be disinfected. Do this quickly, as Category 2 can become Category 3 in as little as 48 hours.
Category 3 or blackwater refers to wastewater contaminated with human waste and other pathogens or toxins. Blackwater comes from flush toilets and bidets or broken sewage pipes and contains human waste such as urine and feces as well as toilet paper. Blackwater can also include water from food preparation sinks, dishwashers and other sources. Raw sewage is classified as blackwater.
Blackwater is a haven for dangerous bacteria and pathogens that must fully decompose before being released into the environment. It can also be contaminated with dissolved chemicals and particulates, making contact even more risky.
Any large scale flooding that includes seawater, rising water from rivers or lakes, and water that enters buildings as a result of weather events, such as hurricanes or storms, can potentially carry contaminants and is characterized as blackwater.
When it comes to home flooding emergencies, blackwater floods are the most dangerous and the most destructive. Because of the grossly unsanitary conditions of the water, porous and absorbent items such as carpets, upholstery and drywall are often unsalvageable. Contact with blackwater via ingestion or skin contact can cause illness in both humans and pets.
Blackwater flooding or damage needs to be handled by professional restoration experts. Do NOT attempt to clean this type of flooding on your own. If you have experienced ANY kind of water damage, contact Aladdin today for a free estimate on your cleanup.