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In order to clean up and recover your Eau Claire home from water damage, you must work quickly. You may think that water damage cleanup is a ‘one-size-fits-all’ process, but there are actually different categories of water damage that require a tailored water damage cleanup strategy.
To have a better understanding of what the water damage cleanup for your specific case will entail, you need to be aware of the different categories of water. We are going to go through each one and what cleanup steps are involved in each.
Category 1 water originates from a clean source, like a damaged supply line or a leaky faucet. Water damage cleanup of category 1 water is not too difficult and tends to take the least amount of time. First, the water must be drawn out, then the area fully dried. After that, damaged materials can be either removed, repaired, or replaced. The final water damage cleanup can be completed. Pretty straightforward, right? However, if the cleanup of category 1 water does not begin right away it can degrade and cause more problems – requiring a longer and more extensive cleanup.
Water damage that falls under category 2 is considered contaminated and may contain harmful microorganisms, bacteria, and viruses. This is because the source of category 2 water is considered unclean, or contaminated. Dishwasher overflow, washing machine overflow, and toilet bowl overflow (without feces) are common sources of category 2 water. This type of water damage needs to be treated quickly since it can make people or pets sick if they come into contact with it. Along with the water damage cleanup steps taken with category 1 water, gray water cleanup needs a few extra steps in order to fully resolve the problem. Thorough disinfecting is required to remove the harmful contaminants the water introduced into the area that sustained the damage. Guidelines set up by the IICRC help to ensure that safe and effective measures are taken and followed when dealing with category 2 water damage cleanup, so cleanup of this type of water damage should be handled by professionals.
Category 3 water is extremely contaminated, as the name suggests. Because this kind of water can result in serious sickness and even death if consumed, all contact with category 3 water damage should be avoided. Overflowing streams, canals or rivers, sewer lines, and toilet bowl overflows containing feces are all possible sources of black water. Black water can also result from stagnant water that has started to grow bacteria and other harmful substances. This type of water requires special personal protective equipment to perform cleanup, along with specialized substances, techniques, and equipment to safely remove the water, dry it out, and sanitize the affected area so water damage cleanup of black water needs to be handled by licensed and trained professionals only.