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Water Damage Restoration: Knowing The Three Water Types

water damage services pittsburgh, water damage restoration pittsburgh, water damage pittsburghWhen your home suffers water damage in Pittsburgh, the level of damage and the restoration required is dependent on the type of water that causes the damage. Three types of water classify water damage, and each has their own restoration process. We at GS Jones recommend you familiarize yourself with which type of water you are dealing with before water damage restoration can occur. 

Category 1: Clean Water

Category 1 Water is water that comes from a clean source. Examples are water from a leaky faucet or broken water supply line. Water damage restoration of Category 1 Water is fairly simple. First, water must be extracted and dried completely. Damaged materials can then be repaired or replaced. If Category 1 Water is not remediated quickly and correctly, it can turn into Category 2 Water.

Category 2: Gray Water

Category 2 Water is water that may contain bacteria and viruses. Common sources of gray water include dishwasher overflow, washing machine overflow, and toilet overflow without feces.  This type of water can cause illness upon contact, and needs to be handled professionally with safety precautions. First, all wet areas must be located and the water must be extracted. Removal and disposal of damaged items must be done before drying begins. Not only is adequate drying needed, but thorough sanitization must also be performed.  If left untreated for too long, Category 2 Water can degrade very quickly into Category 3 Water.

Category 3: Black Water

Like the name entails, black water is grossly contaminated water. Black water comes from flooding streams, canals or rivers, the sewer line, the toilet bowl with feces, and long-standing water that has begun to grow microbes.  All contact with black water should be avoided because this type of water can cause serious illness and even death if ingested. Black water must first be extracted, and then every surface affected is steam washed. Carpet pads and other necessary structural materials are then discarded so that the floor can be steam cleaned. A disinfectant is then applied before drying equipment is brought in. Air cleaners are also used in black water damage restoration. This type of water requires professional clean up with the use of specialized equipment to safely remove contaminants. 

If you are unsure which type of water you are dealing with, be sure to call a professional water damage restoration team. With the proper training and equipment, restoration crews will determine the water category and proceed with an appropriate plan of action. While you are waiting for the restoration team to arrive, there are steps you can take to keep you and your loved ones safe from contaminated water.

  • Keep children and pets away from the affected area
  • Keep the area contained as best as possible
  • Turn off all electrical power to the affected area.
  • Turn off the water supply to the area.
  • DO NOT use the HVAC unit to ventilate the area because that can spread microbes through the air. If possible, open windows in the affected area to get airflow. 
  • Avoid entering the area
  • Be sure to use personal protective equipment such as facemasks, rubber gloves and boots, and impervious coveralls if you have to go into the area
  • If it is safe to do so, remove any dry, uncontaminated items out of the area. 

Professional Water Damage Restoration In Pittsburgh

If your home or business in Pittsburgh suffers water damage, G.S. Jones will be ready to respond and begin water damage restoration right away. Our experienced team of water damage experts is on call 24/7, and uses state-of-the-art equipment and techniques to provide the best results. No matter the source of the water or the extent of the damage, our team is able to provide for all your water damage restoration needs.