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Water Damage: How to Classify

water damage santa rosa, ca

Water damage is a major dread for homeowners because it be both financially and emotionally damaging. While it can do quite the number on your property, it can also damage household items such as furniture, electronics, family heirlooms, and carpet. Not only that, but prolong damage can start to cause mold and other residual effects, which makes it much harder to recover.

Even though the effects are generally the same, insurance companies and restoration companies don’t all classify damage as the same. If you do incur water damage, there are several categories and classes when it comes to risk management.

They are listed below:

Water Damage Categories

Category 1:  Generally considered clean water, or water that doesn’t pose a threat to humans, this usually results from broken dishwashers, leaky sinks, or your hot water heater.

Category 2:  Also known as gray water, this usually happens when you have a broken toilet or sump pump, and water has started seeping in to potable water. If ingested, can easily cause sickness.

Category 3:  The worst of the worst, this is also called black water. Not only is it unsanitary, it routinely contains bacteria and other organisms that are damaging to your health.  This results when there are major sewage problems or when standing water becomes contaminated.


Water Damage Classes

Class 1:  Though damaging to your property, if caught in time this level of water damage is easily repairable. Materials should absorb very little water and a professional should be able to help you right away.

Class 2:  This class has a fast evaporation rate, which means carpets and furniture may take permanent damage. Repair is more difficult and more extensive in this situation.

Class 3:  Class 3 usually occurs when walls, furniture, or other items are damaged from above. Water damage restoration specialists will be able to help, but to what extent is highly dependent on the severity of the damage caused by the water.

Class 4:  The final class; water damage has affected hardwood floors, drywall, and even concrete. Water damage restoration specialists will require special equipment to help in these instances. 

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