Understanding The Categories Of Water To Avoid Damage Cleanup

March 10, 2021
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water damage cleanup san rafael, water damage restoration san rafael, water damage repair san rafaelWhen your home in San Rafael experiences any type of water damage, the situation is always devastating and overwhelming. Whether the water is from a sewer backup, malfunctioning appliance, or leaking pipes, each type of water damage is different. Based on the category of the water present, different steps need to be taken to have successful water damage cleanup. 

Water Damage Cleanup In San Rafael 

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 cleanup 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 and with safety precautions. First, all wet areas must be located and the water extracted. Removal and disposal of damaged items must be done before drying begins. Not only is adequate drying needed, but thorough disinfecting must also be performed. If left untreated for too long, Category 2 Water can degrade very quickly to 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 cleanup. This type of water requires professional clean up with the use of specialized equipment to safely remove contaminants. 

With the proper training and equipment, the water damage cleanup experts at BRC will determine the water category and proceed with an appropriate plan of action. We are available 24/7 to take your call and respond to your water damage emergency as soon as possible. While you are waiting for the water damage cleanup professionals to arrive, here are some 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

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