What Are The Classes and Categories Of Water Damage?

water damage restoration anchorageWhen you have had water damage in your home, you will hear the insurance and restoration professionals refer to the source and severity of the damage. Classification describes the severity of the damage to the home. Category determines how clean the source of the water was. While anyone can have a conversation, only a licensed professional can categorize and classify water damage.  

Water Damage Restoration In Anchorage

Before you begin to poke around in the mess , 1) call your insurance company and 2) call TCM Restoration. You don’t want to disturb the site until after you all document the damage. However, if you delay, any situation can quickly degrade into something worse.

What Are The Class Definitions?

When you want to describe the size and scope of the problem, use “class.” Class of water damage is determined by the scale of damage in the space and the probable rate of evaporation based on the type of materials. Determining the class will clarify what type of equipment and techniques will be needed to dry the structure.

When only a section of a room is affected with very little wet carpeting, it is called Class 1. An example would be a small faucet leak when the materials have absorbed very little water. So the cost is also minimal, making class 1 the best case scenario.  

Class 2 describes when an entire room is affected but conditions are favorable for evaporation. This term describes an entire room with damage to wood, flooring, walls, and the walls up to at least 12 inches from the floor.   

More severe Class 3 water damage affects your entire property. Most disasters of this type can stem from above– a burst pipe or water coming from a collapsed ceiling. Here, water soaks into the ceilings, walls, floors, and insulation. This disaster must be addressed immediately or you’re at risk of putting your health and safety from secondary water damage like mold and mildew. 

If you experience a class 4,  you’ve suffered a severe flood that affects the fundamental structure of the home. Special methods are needed to save saturated materials such as stone, brick, and hardwood. Obviously, these situations need an extraordinary amount of expertise. 

What Do The Categories Mean?

The insurance and restoration team needs to identify how “dirty” the water is. Hopefully, you ‘ll hear the terms “Category 1” or “clean water.” Some of the causes could be leaky faucets, pipes, toilets and fittings under the sink. This type is the least expensive to clean up and poses no threat to health. However, since moisture can support germ growth, Category 1 can degrade to a Category 2 if not dealt with quickly. 

Common causes of Category 2 or “grey water”  are appliances– overflowing dishwashers and washing machines with dirty, soapy water. The other most common cause is a toilet with   urine or cleaning agents (not including sewage backup or feces). This type of floodwater poses some health threat from harmful contaminants.

Category 3 or “black water” emergencies contain contaminants that will cause serious health issues. Typically, anything that can absorb the contaminants in black water should be replaced: upholstered furniture, beds, carpets, clothing.  This type of cleanup and repair is more expensive since it requires specialized equipment used by qualified mold and chemical remediation crews. Common causes of black water flooding:

  • Sewage backups from drains and septic systems.
  • Overflowing rivers or lakes 
  • Storm surges 

Water Damage Restoration in Anchorage Alaska

Water disasters can happen at any time of the year. When your home has water damage, contact TCM Restoration & Cleaning.The team will quickly arrive with industrial strength water removal and cleaning equipment to restore your home better than ever.