Whenever you’ve had a problem that spilled gallons of water in your home, you just want to understand the seriousness of your situation. To ensure the safety of everyone in your home plus the cleanup team, each incident of damage can be identified with two measurements. Categories are used to define the source of the water and its contamination levels. Classification determines the severity of the damage itself. Together they determine the cost of cleanup in your home.
The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, a non-profit organization, has written consistent industry standards used to gauge the scope of water damage jobs. Understanding the lingo will help you understand the severity of your project.
The biggest factor determining your water damage cleanup cost, time commitment and procedures needed is where the water came from. Obviously clean water from a tap is the best scenario and is easiest to solve. Known as Category 1 or Clean Water comes from drinking sources, such as leaky faucets or fittings under the sink. Other sources include leaky toilet tanks, rainwater, or sparklers systems. Quick cleaning can keep costs to a minimum and poses no threat to health. However, it can degrade to a Category 2 if not dealt with quickly.
Category 2: Grey Water poses some low level health threat. It may contain harmful contaminants. Overflowing dishwashers and washing machines, which contain soaps and detergents, may cause minor illness if not cleaned properly. In Pittsburgh, homes with basements can have seepage due to hydrostatic pressure. This drainage water is also considered Category 2.
Category 3: Black water is more complex and expensive to remedy. This dirty water is from sewage backups from drains or septic systems. The occasional flooding from overflowing rivers or lakes is Category 3 due to contaminated groundwater.
This category contains contaminants that will cause serious health issues. Typically, [porous materials that could absorb the contaminants in black water should be replaced: upholstered furniture, beds, carpets, sheetrock. Replacement is often more cost effective than restoration.
Identifying the classes of water loss enables restoration professionals to formulate a plan based on your home’s specific needs for affected areas. The class also determines the type of equipment needed to dry out the structure. This concept quantifies the size of the problem plus the evaporation rate of the various materials in the job zone.
Class 1 is the easiest and usually least expensive to clean and repair. An example would be only a small leak where only a section of a room is affected with very little wet carpeting. low-permeance or low-porosity materials such as particle board, plywood, structural wood, vinyl composition tile, and concrete.
Class 2 is used when referring to damage of an entire room. This includes wall heights up to at least 12 inches. Moisture remains in the structure and will need cleanup as well as some repairs.
Class 3 has saturated the ceilings, walls, floors, and even subfloor and insulation. Class three water losses typically come from overhead, saturating insulation, ceilings, walls, carpet, cushion, and subfloor in virtually the entire area.
Damage from long standing water like river flooding, is class 4. Time is the primary factor in this category– when materials such as stone, brick, and hardwood soak up water, the drying process is complex.
When you find water damage in your home, quickly decide if you have the tools and the manpower to clean up before mold can get established? Can you get it completely dry before mold grows? If your problem is too large to handle quickly on your own, call for Pittsburgh qualified water damage services.
G.S. Jones is on call with the equipment, training, and expertise to safely clean and restore your property.