Understanding water damage in your home
-The different categories of water.
In restoration, we see three different categories of water. The first (category 1) is what we’d call clean water. No, this does not mean you can drink it. What it means is the water came from a clean source such as a sink or toilet supply line (not the tank or bowl). Then we have category 2. The nickname for category two water is grey water. Some reasons you’d find category two losses are say the water from the upper level leaked through and damaged the lower level. If the water on the top level was category 1, passing through the multiple layers adds more possible pollutants, irritants, just overall dirt maybe, but because it’s moved through to a second level it’ll be considered category 2. Finally we have category 3 water. This water is dirty and carries any number of bacteria, waste, or so on. Anytime water comes from outside of a structure, contains feces, or is even found to be in a filthy environment we consider it category 3. Category 3 water requires us to wear full personal protective equipment and take care in our work so as to avoid contamination, injury or illness.
-Water and its ability to travel.
Water is both a necessary component to life as well as an amazing force of nature. One thing we find in many homes is water wicking up the walls. What that means is water doesn’t obey the typical laws of gravity. When looking at floods in structures we commonly find water climbing in drywall or wooden surfaces. Luckily we have a way to mitigate that. By drilling small holes behind the baseboards we are able to add airflow inside of the wall cavity in order to pull water out of the walls.
-How quickly should you respond?
In order to prevent secondary damages it’s suggested that you respond within 72 hours. Some of the secondary damages you could possibly see would be microbial growth (mold), or structural deterioration. Wood will start to swell, carpet can begin to delaminate, flooring may bow, waiting can cause a multitude of problems no building owner wants.
-Why should you use professionals to mitigate?
As mentioned before, secondary damages can occur quickly. Many people think that they can put air movement in the damaged area and use a shop vac to pull some water up. While that may “help”, remembering water will travel in any direction it wants is wise. We use high output air movers, not your standard fan, that are capable of pushing up to 3000 CFM (cubic feet per minute). It’s this volume and force combined with machines that can remove the moisture from the air, dehumidifiers, as well as some temperature control that will actually facilitate drying. At SERVPRO we’re proud to use the latest technology available to make your loss “Like it never even happened.”