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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

The Haunting Facts About the Types of Water Damage

10/27/2023 (Permalink)

Residential water damage can be a homeowner's worst nightmare, often leading to significant structural and financial consequences. This type of damage encompasses a range of issues, from burst pipes and a leaking roof to flooded basements and malfunctioning appliances.

When left unaddressed, water damage can compromise the integrity of a home's foundation, promote mold growth, and damage valuable belongings.

It's imperative for homeowners to promptly identify and mitigate water-related issues to prevent additional damage, escalating repair costs, and health hazards. Timely detection, proper maintenance, and effective waterproofing measures are key to safeguarding homes from the devastating effects of residential water damage.

Aside from the fact that water damage can cause many issues to your home, it's also important to know the types of water damage that can enter into your home.

Type 1: Clean Water Damage

Clean water damage refers to situations where the water causing the damage is considered clean or "category 1" water according to the industry standard classification used by professionals in the field of water damage restoration. Clean water is typically free from contaminants and poses a lower health risk compared to other categories of water damage.

Clean water damage can occur due to various reasons such as a burst water pipe, a leaking faucet, or rainwater entering through a well-maintained roof. While clean water damage may not pose an immediate health risk, it's essential to address it promptly to prevent further damage and microbial organism growth.

This typically involves drying out areas, repairing or replacing damaged materials, and ensuring proper ventilation to eliminate moisture and prevent mold from developing.

Type 2: Gray Water Damage

Gray water damage refers to situations where water damage is caused by "category 2" water. Gray water is water that is contaminated to some extent but does not contain the same level of hazardous contaminants as category 3, or black water.

Gray water typically originates from sources such as washing machines, dishwashers, bathroom sinks, plumbing leaks, and showers.

Gray water may contain some chemicals, detergents, and organic materials, making it potentially harmful if ingested or in prolonged contact with the skin. However, it doesn't contain the highly hazardous pathogens present in black water.

When dealing with gray water damage, it's essential to take precautions to prevent health risks. This includes wearing appropriate protective gear and ensuring thorough cleaning and disinfection of affected areas.

Additionally, prompt water extraction, a drying process, and decontamination are essential to prevent microbial organisms from growing and further damage.

Type 3: Black Water Damage

Black water damage refers to the most severe category of water (category 3). It involves water that his highly contaminated with hazardous substances, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, chemicals, and sewage. Black water damage poses a significant health risk and requires immediate and careful remediation.

Black water typically originates from sources such as sewage backups, toilet overflows, rising floodwaters, or water contaminated by industrial chemicals.

Because of the presence of pathogens and dangerous contaminants in standing water, exposure to black water or surfaces contaminated by it can lead to severe health issues, including gastrointestinal illnesses, skin infections, and respiratory problems.

When dealing with black water damage, it's crucial to prioritize safely and take extreme precautions. This includes wearing protective clothing, masks, and gloves, and avoiding direct contact with the contaminated water and affected materials.

Professional water damage restoration experts are typically required to handle black water damage, as they have the necessary training, equipment, and expertise to safely and effectively clean and sanitize the affected areas.

Water Damage Restoration Process

When your home or commercial property has water damage from flooding or leaks, we have the expertise and equipment to properly restore your property. Our experience and scientific approach to water removal and water cleanup enable us to properly dry and restore your property.

Every water damage event is a little different and requires specific approaches, however, this is how the typical water damage restoration process goes down:

  • Emergency Contact - The restoration process begins when you call us. Our representative will guide you through the crisis and may ask several questions to help us better understand the equipment and resources.
  • Inspection and Water Damage Assessment: We determine the scope of your water damage at this stage. We inspect and test to determine the extent of damage and how far the moisture has traveled to ensure proper and complete restoration.
  • Water Removal/Water Extraction: The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. We use powerful pumps and vacuum units to remove hundreds or thousands of gallons from your property, which helps prevent secondary water damage and more.
  • Drying and Dehumidification: We use specialized equipment to remove the remaining water that is harder to access. Our professionals will use room measurements, temperature, and relative humidity to determine the optimal number of air movers and dehumidifiers needed to dry your home or business.
  • Cleaning and Sanitizing: We clean all of the restorable items and structures damaged by the water. We are adept at cleaning contents using a number of techniques. Our professionals are trained to provide sanitizing treatments and to remove odors and deodorize your property.
  • Restoration: Restoration is the process of restoring your home or business to its pre-water damage condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall and installing new carpet, or may entail major repairs, such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

If You're Dealing with Mold

SERVPRO of West Somerset County is a leading remediation specialist for our region, and we can work quickly to provide your home and business with the solutions it needs to overcome the destructive organisms. We have unique practices that can protect the construction materials of your home while eliminating mold spores.

This is more common than you might think, and winter can present many moisture and water damage concerns that can develop into colonies.

This condition is similar to a project of ours in Bedminster, where a guest house suffered water damage unknown to the owner. By the time the damage was discovered, an outbreak had occurred.

We worked to contain these areas and remove it and worked alongside an industrial hygienist and the insurance adjusters to provide the most efficient and knowledgeable approach available.

Because we can provide our customers with a comprehensive approach to the recovery of their property, including reconstruction efforts, we work to assess damages right away and get started on whatever home or business work is required to return to preloss condition.

Facts About Mold

To fully understand what you're dealing with - assuming you suspect that you have a problem, you should know these facts:

Ubiquitous Presence: It's everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. It thrives in a variety of environments, particularly in damp and humid conditions.

Microscopic Organisms: It's a type of fungus that consists of tiny, multicellular organisms known as spores. These spores are typically invisible to the naked eye.

Mold Varieties: There are thousands of species with different colors and appearances. Common types of household molds include Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Stachybotrys ( often referred to as 'black mold').

Allergic Reactions: These spores can trigger allergic reactions in some individuals, leading to symptoms like sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes, and skin rashes.

Respiratory Issues: Prolonged exposure, especially in individuals with compromised immune systems, can lead to more severe respiratory problems, including asthma exacerbation and respiratory infections.

Property Damage: Mold can cause significant damage to buildings and materials over time, as it feeds on organic matter like wood, drywall, and paper. This can lead to structural issues and necessitate costly repairs.


SERVPRO is faster to any size disaster. We're here day or night, at any time of the day because storms and other disasters don't wait for a convenient time to come, and we understand that. Not only do we have the right professionals to do the job, but we will walk you through the entire process, discuss anything with your insurance company, and make sure that your home or business is back up and running as fast as possible.

We will help you with cleaning services, storm damage restoration, commercial restoration, mold removal, odor removal, and so much more.

So, if your home or business falls victim to water damage, you know who to call.

About SERVPRO Team Harvey

SERVPRO of West Somerset County is proudly owned by Lance and Jennifer Harvey - a husband and wife duo that owns three other SERVPRO locations, including SERVPRO of Lower Manhattan, SERVPRO of Hoboken/Union City, and SERVPRO of Aberdeen/Holmdel.

We understand the stress and worry that comes with a fire or water damage and the disruption it causes your home or business. Our goal is to help minimize the interruption to your life and quickly make it “like it never even happened.”

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