Water Damage: Minor Or Major?

Not all water damage is created equal!


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Not all water damage is created equal. If you experience a flood, minor or major, it is important to know in which category the damage falls and what your options are when calling a San Diego flood repair specialist. At Bill Howe Restoration & Flood, all lead technicians are trained and Clean Trust certified through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and are the experts in diagnosing and determining water damage and solutions for repair.

water flooding home

There are 3 categories of water involved in water loss: clean,gray, and black. In San Diego, plumbers from Bill Howe have encountered each of these and are ready to help you stop the leak or flood fast while coordinating with the San Diego flood repair specialists on their team to help ensure your home is cleaned and returned to its original condition.

Category 1: Often referred to as “Clean” water because the source does not pose substantial harm to humans. Some clean water sources may include broken water supply lines, bathtub or sink overflows with no contaminants, appliance malfunctions involving water supply lines, melting ice, or falling rain water, that has not flowed over soil or through structural components. Even broken toilet tanks and bowls do not contain contaminants or additives. But, once a clean water source contacts other surfaces or materials, the condition may change as it dissolves or mixes with soils and possible contaminations over time. In San Diego, plumbers at Bill Howe often encounter minor category 1 water damage when responding to burst supply lines underneath sinks.

Category 2: Also known as “grey“ water contains some degree of contamination and is considered unsanitary. Category 2 water could potentially cause discomfort or sickness if consumed and carries microorganisms. Gray water examples can include discharge from dishwashers or washing machines, overflows from washing machines, and overflows of toilet bowls with liquid waste. All of these may contain chemicals or biocontaminants (fungal, bacterial, viral or algae) or other forms of contamination. Time and temperature can aggravate Category 2 water contamination significantly. Structures that remains untreated longer than 48 hours can change from category 2 to category 3.

Category 3: The most serious water damage is commonly referred to as “black” water. Category 3 water always contains pathogenic agents. Grossly unsanitary, “black” water sources come from sewage or other contaminated water entering a structure and can contain dangerous chemicals or medical wastes. Toilet backflows that originate from beyond the toilet trap are considered to be “black” water damage, regardless of visible content or color. Category 3 includes all forms of sea water and ground surface water flowing into structures, and situations where structural materials and/or contents have been heavily contaminated with pesticides, heavy metals or toxic organic substances. If you suspect category 3 water damage in San Diego, flood repair specialists should be contacted immediately.

Water categories can change rapidly depending on many variables. In San Diego, flood repair specialists from Bill Howe are available 24/7 and estimates are always free. If you suspect water damage, minor or major, call 1-800-BILL-HOWE (1-800-245-5469) today for your free estimate!

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