The 3 Different Water Damage Categories

It is difficult to deal with water damage with no matter what type of water has caused it. There are different categories of water damage, however. These different types complicate clean up and make it more hazardous for people to work with. Knowing a bit about the three types of water that can cause damage is a great way to prepare yourself to deal with water damage of any sort.  

Clean Water

The first type of water damage water is clean water or white water. This is water that is clean, free of pathogens, free of sediment, free of any contaminants that may harm or damage the health of someone that comes in contact with it. A great example of clean water or white water damage might be a busted water pipe in your home. This water has not been mixed with soaps, household chemicals, any outdoor contaminants, or any other particulates that would harm the person that is cleaning it up. Clean water clean-up is simple and often does not require any sort of special mitigation or gear to clean. In some cases, the property owner can handle the clean-up of this type of water damage on their own if it is not overly extensive.  

Gray Water

Gray water is clean water that has come in contact with other particulates, chemicals, soaps, and a huge range of other things. The additions to this water are still not overly harmful to the person doing the cleaning or to the person that is living in the home or property. This can be dishwater, laundry water, bathwater, and even water from waste lines that are not connected to the toilet. This type of water damage is a bit more difficult to mitigate for a few different reasons. For starters, it is crucial that the person doing the mitigation know what was mixed with the water. If you can identify the additions, you will be able to identify the danger-level of the water and an appropriate cleaning process. Consider water from a dishwasher. This water has come in contact with detergent and food particles and is therefore not all that dangerous. However, water that has come in contact with harsh cleaning chemicals may be a bit more dangerous to clean.  

Black Water

The main difference between black water and gray water is that black water has come in contact with fecal matter. This means that any water from a septic tank, a toilet, a reservoir with sewage, sewage from outside, or even water from a flooded pond or waterway are all black water. Black water damage is much more difficult and dangerous to mitigate. This type of water is harder to clean and far more dangerous to the human body. This is because fecal matter houses a large number of bacteria, parasites, and other dangerous components. These additions can cause illness, discomfort, or other issues. For this reason, you should immediately vacate the area if you suspect there is black water present. You should also not attempt to remove or clean black water on your own. When cleaning this type of water, damage crews typically wear full hazmat gear to protect themselves. Do not move back into the home or property until the hazmat team has finished thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing.   When it comes to cleaning up flood waters, it is always better to talk with a professional company about clean up. These professional companies know how to properly, effectively, and safely clean up any water that may be in your property so that it is safe to return. Need a professional? Contact Zona Restoration for a free estimate.