Water Damage Categories
Water Damage Categories I, II &III
Most people are not aware that there are 3 Categories of water damage. There will be a series of blog posts to follow discussing how different materials in your home are affected by water and how that determines how SERVPRO of Dubuque and your insurance company will deal with the resulting damage.
The IICRC S 500 4th Edition Standards book is the Approved National Standard for the water damage industry. Everyone in the water damage restoration business, agrees to abide by these standards and the courts have, in turn, acted in the past per the standards.
The S500 categorizes water damage into 3 different categories.
Category 1 water originates from a sanitary water source. This water does not pose a substantial risk to health from ingestion or inhalation. Basically, other than falling rain water and melting ice, the source of this water is usually from the water supply to the home. That water might be from a broken supply line, toilet tank, tub or sink overflow (as long as there are no contaminants or additives).
Category 2 water contains significant contamination and has the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if contacted or consumed by humans. Examples of Cat 2 water are; discharge from dishwashers, washing machines, toilet water with urine only, ground water seepage (hydrostatic pressure) or punctured waterbeds.
Category 3 water is grossly contaminated and can contain pathogenic, toxigenic or other harmful agents. It can cause significant adverse reaction to humans if contacted or consumed. Cat 3 water can include, sewage, wasteline backflows, flood water from seas, rivers or streams. Surface water can contain hazardous materials including pesticides or toxic organic substances.
Depending on category of water that causes the event as well as the fact that that water became contaminated by either flowing through a contaminant or from it remaining wet for a duration of time, the Category can change from Cat 1 to Cat 2 or Cat 2 to Cat 3.
The way that we handle each of these types of water damage categories, differs. I will explain specifics in future Blog Posts.