Water damage categories are a classification system used to describe the level of contamination in water that has caused damage to a property. There are three main categories of water damage:
- Category 1: This is water that is considered to be “clean” or “fresh.” It comes from a source that does not pose a substantial risk to human health, such as a broken pipe or a leaking faucet. Category 1 water does not contain harmful bacteria or other contaminants.
- Category 2: This is water that is considered to be “gray” or “dirty.” It may contain some level of contamination that could cause illness or discomfort if ingested or exposed to skin, such as water from washing machines, dishwashers, or showers. Category 2 water may contain bacteria, chemicals, or other contaminants.
- Category 3: This is water that is considered to be “black” or “sewage.” It is highly contaminated and may contain harmful pathogens and toxins, such as water from a toilet overflow or a sewage backup. Category 3 water poses a serious health risk and should be handled with extreme caution.
The water damage category will help determine the appropriate methods for water mitigation and restoration. Category 1 water may only require basic drying and cleaning, while Categories 2 and 3 water may require more extensive cleaning and decontamination to ensure the safety of the property and its occupants. It is important to identify the water damage category as quickly as possible to ensure the appropriate steps are taken to minimize the damage and risk to health.