Different Types of Water Damage

Being in the Midwest means weather can change in a heartbeat throughout the year. This means being able to control and protect your property from any element that can cause disaster. One of the main ones is water damage. Water can cause damage in several ways such as a pipe burst, flooded basement but there are a number of unrelated causes of water damage property owners still have to account for, including leaking roofs, damaged pipes, malfunctioning sprinklers and flooding dishwashers, to name a few more.

Water damage can spread in a number of ways depending on the amount of water, the flow of it, and the layout of the house. Property owners need to be aware that water can seep through the floor joints and the walls to electrical wiring. Once the water is gone, it takes professionals to be able to determine what parts of the house are able to work again versus being replaced. Not only the parts of the are affected by the water itself but also the after effect. When the water evaporates, mold spores can be transferred to HVAC systems and subsequently spread throughout the property once the furnace is turned back on.

Once finding the water, the next step is to assess it. In order to recover from any type of water damage, the property owner or restorer needs to investigate how to stop the problem at its source. The severity of the damage is often traumatizing and overwhelming, regardless of the actual source. Below are types of water that can matter when discovering the water, Clean, Grey, Black:

Clean: There may be instances when the water that has encroached upon your home is “clean.” Floodwater that does not post an immediate health threat is known as clean water. When a pipe bursts or an appliance malfunctions, or there is a leak in your roof that allows falling rain water to enter your home, oftentimes the water will be deemed “clean.” This is perhaps the easiest type of water damage to handle, since there will not be too many microbes living in the water. Clean water home floods are generally safe for you to clean up yourself, as the water poses no immediate risk from exposure or ingestion.

Gray:  When the water color is gray, sometimes called sullage, that means that the water is slightly contaminated, either because of the nature of the source or because of neglect. Grey water refers to wastewater that is not contaminated with fecal matter. As far as household wastewater goes, greywater could include water from bathtubs and showers, washing machines, dishwashers, and sinks. It generally contains fewer pathogens than black water and can be reused for non-potable purposes, such as toilet flushing. Grey water still contains small amounts of contaminants and can induce illness if ingested. Floods by greywater can be caused by a weather event, an overflowing plumbing fixture or appliance or even a broken pipe. This type of grey water can saturate carpeting, furniture and drywall. If you experience a home flood with grey water, take caution when beginning the cleaning process. Wear protective gear, and keep children, pets and individuals with a compromised immune system away from the flooded area.

Black: The most dangerous type of water is “black” water is usually a result of natural disasters or sewage damage. Black water can include toxic materials such as bacterial diseases, chemicals, pesticides, microbes and more. Also, black water, includes water from food preparation sinks, dishwashers and other sources. Raw sewage is classified as blackwater. Blackwater is a haven for dangerous bacteria and pathogens that must fully decompose before being released into the environment. It can also be contaminated with dissolved chemicals and particulates, making contact even more dangerous.

First and foremost, the most important thing, get all the pets and people away from the dangerous area or room and shut down the source of the water damage as soon as possible. The next step after figuring out what type of water and how much damage as happened, is to come out with a plan to get your property back to pre-loss condition. With simple fixes, you can start mopping up a small spill right away, but you’ll probably need to contact a damage mitigation professional who can help remove water from porous surfaces. For broken pipes and other nonstop cascades, the water supply for the entire property should be shut off immediately.

Let Blue River Restoration be your friend to help your not worry about getting your home or property back to the way you like it.

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