Common Types of Water Damage

Types of Water Damage

Time is of the essence when dealing with any type of water damage, and the key is to act quickly!

Water can not only ruin your carpet, ceilings, and furniture items; but it can also destroy precious family possessions, important documents, and irreplaceable personal items.

With the help of a water damage restoration company, begin the water restoration process immediately to reduce the impact on your home, family, and life.

Common Types of Water Damage

Sewer Backup: To prevent water damage due to sewer backups, make sure that the main sewer pipe is equipped with a check valve. Although this valve greatly reduces the risk of damage, it should be inspected and checked regularly, preferably by a qualified plumber.

Groundwater infiltration: A sump drainage system includes a sump, settling basin, and a drainage pipe. The sump, installed in the basement floor, collects water from the wet tiles around the basement, while the pump drains the water to safety. Again, regular maintenance and testing ensures that the sump pump remains in good working order. If you are in an area where there are frequent power outages or when water levels have been high in the past, consider installing an emergency generator to keep the pump ready to go at all times, or installing an emergency (battery-operated) automatic backup power pump system (available from hardware/repair stores).

Roofs: Flat roofs use gutters to divert water. These drains should be checked annually and cleaned of debris or sludge. The roof deck and membrane should also be checked for any abnormalities or leaks. For pitched or sloped roofs, schedule a regular inspection of the shingles. A snow clearing/anti-icing program will reduce the risk of penetration as well as roof collapse by snow (this should be done by professionals).

Water heaters: Water heaters don’t last forever. Corrosion will eventually damage the tank, leading to leaks. This can be reduced by installing the water heater in a sump or tray that can be drained to safety. Avoid unpleasant surprises and schedule a replacement date before the first signs of malfunction. After 10 years of use, water heaters should be thoroughly inspected. In fact, it is recommended that the tanks be replaced after this time period (or even earlier, depending on the mineral content of the water).

Overflowing sinks: Overflowing sinks can cause significant water damage due to either clogged/slow drains or because faucets are left open for extended periods of time. A simple inspection of the room during closing time will eliminate this risk.

Classification of Water Damage

The Institute for Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) states that there are three types of water damage. It is classified by source, length of time in the structure, history of the structure, and other influencing factors such as chemicals.

Categories of General Water Damage

Categories of General Water Damage

Category 1.

This type includes burst water pipes, leaking appliances, and small amounts of rainwater. Category 1 water is clean at the source and is not a health hazard if consumed. It also requires much less equipment and time to fix.

While not necessarily dangerous, if category 1 is not dealt with quickly, it can turn into category 2 within 24 hours.

Category 2. 

Gray water is characterized by small amounts of contamination or Category 1 water that has been neglected. This type is moderately hazardous and can cause ill health or discomfort to humans or animals when exposed.

The most common water damages of this type are washer or dishwasher drains, overflowing toilets containing urine, hydrostatic pressure seepage, broken aquariums, and punctured water beds. These cases of water damage can contain chemicals, bio-contaminants, and other forms of contamination that are hazardous to human health. If not treated, it goes to Category 3 within 48 hours.

Category 3.

The most dangerous type of ordinary water damage is black water. Black water is heavily contaminated, contains pathogens, and can cause serious illness or even death in extreme conditions. If your property is in a flood zone and your home is flooded, it is automatically Category 3. People with weak immune systems, people with respiratory diseases, allergies, or young children should avoid contact with the structure.

Sewage, groundwater intrusion, toilet backwash, and flooding of rivers or streams are just a few examples of Category 3 sources. Black water has tremendous negative health effects and includes bacterial infections caused by E. coli, Salmonella and Shigella, soil organisms, viruses, and even parasites. Black water is a very serious problem and must be dealt with immediately.

Classes of Ordinary Water Damage

In addition to the categories according to the IICRC, there are also 4 classes of ordinary water damage. These classes are divided according to the required evaporation rate.

Class 1.

There is little or no wet carpet or cushion. Water loss is limited to only a partial area of the room. Affected materials have low porosity.

Class 2

The entire room is affected. Water has penetrated the walls at least 1 to 2 feet. Moisture remains in the building structure.

Class 3.

Lowest evaporation rate and water may have come from above. The ceiling, walls, carpet, cushions, and basement are all soaked and will take a long time to dry. Basements are usually grade 3 if the water came from the first floor.

Class 4.

Class 4 includes wet materials with low porosity or permeability, such as hardwood, concrete, stone, brick or stucco. Water has formed deep saturation pockets and will require special equipment that creates a very low moisture environment.

Emergency water damage can occur in any situation. That’s why it’s critical to keep contact numbers for your local water damage restoration company when a disaster is about to occur. Water damage restoration companies in California offer many services, from regular maintenance to emergency restoration. You can learn more about the quality of services we at Lawton Construction & Restoration provide. Our reputation speaks for itself, and we also provide complete residential and commercial property restoration, including mold remediation, and fire damage control.

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