Unfortunately, water damage can be difficult to avoid - especially when it’s caused from natural disasters. Typically, the main concern is mold growth in these situations. However, the water that has caused such damage in your home is often contaminated with hazardous bacteria that could pose additional risks to your health. Even if you’re tempted to go back inside and clean your home after significant water damage, wait until your emergency water extraction team gets there as they’re much better equipped and trained for these dangerous situations.
Categorizing Water Damage Contamination
The amount of contamination is categorized based off of the source and contents of the water and its history into 3 separate categories also referred to as; clean water, grey water, and black water.
Category 1 - Clean Water
Clean water isn’t considered hazardous because it doesn’t initially contain any contaminant like bacteria or fungi. “Clean” water sources include; melting snow, household appliance malfunctions, rainwater, or broken water lines.
While clean water isn’t contaminated initially upon flooding, that doesn’t mean that it can’t become contaminated. Unfortunately, bacteria growth is unlimited. The longer standing water is left untreated, the longer bacteria is able to multiply. So even initially “clean” water could grow enough bacteria after 48 hours to be considered category two - grey water.
Category 2 - Grey Water
Grey waters may pose risks to your health as they are typically chemically contaminated. Often, grey waters come from dishwasher or washing machine discharge, sinks, and baths or showers. Just as with clean water, after 48 hours most grey water is considered black water from the drastic increase in bacteria.
Category 3 - Black Water
There’s no doubt about it - any contact with black water can drastically affect your health depending on the severity of its contamination. Category 3 water contains multiple fungi, viruses, bacteria, and microbes from sources such as; overflowing rivers, sewer backups, or even ground surface water.
Restoring your home to its previous condition is a job that’s better left to the professionals, especially when it comes to water contamination. Without taking the proper precautions, the bacteria that is often present in flood water can cause numerous diseases. To avoid bacteria growth, your home must be completely dry within 48 hours - so don’t hesitate, call us today if you’ve suffered any water damage.