Categories of Water Damage
In water damage restoration, we share a common lingo with our peers in the industry, as well as the insurance adjusters that we work with.
For example, we define different types of water in three different categories. The water’s category is determined by four factors: source, time, temperature, and pre-existing condition.
Category 1 water, also sometimes called “clean” water, is water that has no substantial risk of causing sickness or discomfort. If the water has come from a broken water supply line, for example, it’s considered to be Category 1.
Category 2 water, meanwhile, carries a significant degree of chemical, biological or physical contamination. Category 2 water is sometimes referred to as “grey” water. It might include water from a dishwasher leak, or an aquarium, or even a waterbed. It could even be Category 1 water which has been allowed to sit for an extended period of time. It might not be the most contaminated, but you certainly wouldn’t want to drink it or handle it without proper protection.
Category 3 water, also known as “black” water, is considered to be “grossly” contaminated. Sewage from beyond the toilet trap, water from a septic system, or floodwater that has swept up contaminants from outside are all considered to be Category 3 and must be handled with extreme caution.
If all of this lingo is over your head, don’t sweat it – the important thing to remember is that if water is contaminated, or even if it has been standing, it carries a risk of causing health effects.