Water damage impacts 1 in 50 homes every single year. It’s a lot more common than people think! Whether it’s caused by flooding, a storm, a broken pipe, or a damaged roof, you’ll need to be careful. Water damage can be a huge health hazard. Mold, sewage, and debris are often present in standing water. You’ll need to understand the extent of the damage before you even go near any standing water. We’ll give you some tips straight from the pros so you can stay safe in the event of a water damage catastrophe.
Types of Water Damage
Water damage has a lot of different causes. Whether the damage is caused by rain or a burst pipe is going to have an impact on the dangerousness of the standing water. We primarily break up water damage into categories based on the cleanliness of the water. The cause of the damage is likely to impact which category it ends up in.
This is measured at a “Category 1”. It is the least severe type of water damage. In cases like this, the water is relatively free of debris and particles. Without all those toxins, there isn’t likely to be any serious side effects for people going through the water. Additionally, water like this can be easily dried.
This is category 2 of water damage. This is common with washing machines, toilets, and sump pumps. This type of water damage requires disinfection of impacted items, but may be safe if people come into contact with it. You should still avoid spending prolonged periods of time in contact with greywater
You can probably guess, but this is the most severe form of water damage. Ranked at a category 3, this highly toxic water is dangerous. It’s caused by sewage water and is common in flooding situations as well. Your home needs to be totally disinfected if you’ve been impacted by category 3 water damage. Items and materials that have come into contact with black water need to be removed from your home and could be ruined.
Now that you understand the types of water damage, you have an idea of the general levels of severity of the different types of water damage. However, that doesn’t cover all of the necessary safety practices you should be implementing. Here are a few more general guidelines so you can stay safe after your home has been affected.
One thing that many people forget about is that water conducts electricity. If your home has been flooded by even just a few inches of water, it can pick up electrical charges from electronics or outlets. This can give you quite a shock so be careful! Shut off the electricity to the home as soon as possible. It’s just not worth the risk!
Mold is one of the worst side effects of water damage. The reason we have such a time crunch when it comes to drying out your home is almost entirely due to mold prevention. While water damage does structural damage to many materials, it’s the mold growth that occurs after that causes some of the biggest problems.
Mold can grow in as little as 24 hours in the right conditions and a water-damaged home is about as close to perfect conditions as you can get.
We want to leave you with one thing: trust the authorities. The fire department as well as your local restoration company understand the nuances of your specific situation. They can help you know what is and isn’t safe. Be sure to be in communication with them as much as possible.
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