This Is How Floodwater Is Classified | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin
This Is How Floodwater Is Classified | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin - SERVPRO OF SE WAUKESHA COUNTY/WEST FRANKLIN Blog
Not all water that causes water damage is created equal. There are three different classifications: clean water, gray water and black water. Understanding the differences in these types of water will help you understand how to better handle a water damage situation.
Whatever type of water is involved, there will always be the tedious chore of a cleanup and restoration process afterward. The first and most important step to take is removing all of the moisture and damp items quickly to inhibit the growth of mold—since a wet environment is the perfect environment for mold.Clean Water
The name clearly defines clean water. This water is free of contaminants and not the type that will pose an immediate threat to your health. It can come from:
- Broken water lines
- Malfunctioning appliances
- Toilet holding tanks
- Snow melt and rainwater
Cleanup in a clean water situation is the easiest to deal with since there are fewer microbes living in the water. However, after 48 hours and after contact with building surfaces, clean water can transform into gray water.Gray Water
Gray water makes water damage cleanup and restoration a bit more complicated. This is water that may pose a health risk since it will contain slight amounts of chemical or biological contamination. The slight contamination in gray water means that it would need to be thoroughly treated before being safe for consumption.
Examples of gray water is water that comes from dishwashers, aquariums, showers, etc. Here, as well, the 48-hour exposure time applies because, if not treated, gray water turns into black water.Black Water
Black water is the worst and most serious of the three classifications, and it is heavily contaminated by harmful chemicals and biological matter. This would include floodwaters containing soil and all sewage waters.
Sewage is laden with microbes, including bacteria, protozoans, molds, fungi and more—many of these can be hazardous to humans.
Some of the diseases that can be transmitted by black water are:
- Gastroenteritis-type illnesses
Remember, when it comes to floods, play it safe and assume all waters are black water since it picks up contaminants along its path.
These classifications of floodwater are recognized by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Remediation Certification (IICRC), which is an organization that certifies and sets the standards for the cleaning and restoration industry. Our technicians all study IICRC standards and best practices in water restoration and are available to help determine the steps to take to get your home back to normal.
It doesn’t matter what type of water has caused damage to your home or business, SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin is here to help get the situation under control and make it "Like it never even happened." Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need emergency cleanup and restoration services!
Ways to Guard Your Home From Water Damage | SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin
As a homeowner, there could come a time that you encounter a water damage situation to your home as it can be one of the most common and costliest disasters homeowners face. From a burst pipe to a malfunctioning dishwasher or storm damage, there are countless ways water damage could strike your home.
While water damage is common, there are plenty of ways you can help protect your home from some trying scenarios.
Guarding Your Home From Water
Not only is water damage a hassle to deal with, but it can have a long-term impact on your home, namely, mold. Mold begins to grow within 48 hours of moisture exposure and is one of the most common side effects of water damage.
When you are thinking about ways to protect your home, don’t be overwhelmed. Break it down by areas of impact, such as basements, kitchens, bathrooms, flooring and ceilings.
You can help prevent water damage in the basement by preventing water seepage. To do this, start by resealing vulnerable areas of the basement, making sure water drains away from your home’s foundation and installing a backwater valve.
Your kitchen and bathrooms may experience water damage due to plumbing issues and backups or by appliance failures.
Be sure you regularly:
- Inspect all appliances, looking for issues with hoses and faucets
- Check seals and caulking around your showers and tubs, looking for any leaks
- Know where the main shut-off valve is in your home
- Don’t leave the house while the washer or dishwasher is running
Protecting your possessions in the home from water damage is not always possible, but there are waterproof storage bins that can be used for storing items to at least decrease the amount of destruction. Also, keep items stored up off the floor on shelves—which is especially recommended when using your basement for storage.
How to Recover
If you find yourself and your home in a water damage situation, you’ll can stand a good chance at salvaging items if they can be dried out within 48 hours.
Make sure to immediately contact your insurance company, evaluate the extent of water damage to your home and identify the type of water that is involved as well.
The three types of water involved include:
“Clean” water. Can be from rain, condensation, leaky pipes, etc.
“Gray” water. Slightly dirty water from dishwashers, washing machines, clean toilets, etc.
“Black” water. Water from sewage or serious flooding from nearby rivers, etc. This water can cause serious health problems.
After a water damage disaster strikes, remove all wet items, dry your home out and dehumidify the area. Then be sure to clean and disinfect any remaining materials.
Pro tip: You can freeze wet books, photos and papers in a frost-free freezer to buy some extra time. This prevents mold and mildew from developing and causing more deterioration. Once able, you can remove them from the freezer and air-dry or fan-dry the pages.
It may seem like recovering from water damage is an overwhelming and slightly impossible task, but it doesn’t have to be. You can call on the highly trained experts at SERVPRO® of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin, who are here to make it "Like it never even happened."
Common Causes of Water Damage in Your Home
Have you ever stopped to consider the causes of water damage? When thinking about water damage, severe weather is usually one of the first things that comes to mind for many.
While storms and flooding can cause an enormously overwhelming amount of water damage, they are often not the main culprits. Often, various items in your home can be responsible for many incidents that result in water damage.<45978c769a699fd5e39a99a1065509d4>Gradual Water Damage Is Problematic
Water damage is the third most common reason that many homeowners faced that resulted in homeowners insurance claims between 2011 and 2015, with an average payout per claim of $8,861.
But do you know the difference between water damage and gradual water damage, which can impact insurance claims? Examples of gradual water damage are things that have been happening over time, such as plumbing issues in the walls causing damage to walls, ceilings or floors, or water damage caused by cracks in the foundation of the home. However, unfortunately, many aspects of gradual water damage are not covered by homeowners insurance, while storm-related water damage usually is.<45978c769a699fd5e39a99a1065509d4>Identifying The Culprits
According to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), the leading causes of water damage are:
Plumbing supply system failures. This involves frozen pipes that may burst due to water pressure building up caused by freezing water or when the materials used in the supply system fail resulting in a leaking or burst pipe. Per IBHS, these supply system failures are the leading source of residential water damage losses, and claims cost an average $5,092 per incident after the deductible. Also, according to IBHS, it was found that a larger group of supply system material failure claims were made on homes over 16 to 40 years of age.
Plumbing drain system failures. This occurs when a sewer drain backs up and overflows into a home or when the materials used break down or become damaged. In their study, IBHS found that 52% of drain system failures were caused by sewer backups and 37% were related to material breakdown issues. In their study, IBHS also found that the average drain system failure claim was more expensive in southern region states than in the northern region states.
Toilet failures. Toilets come in as the second largest source of residential water damage loss after plumbing supply system failures, and can stem from faulty fill valves or clogged drain lines. A toilet failure on the first floor of the home causes more extensive damage than those in basements or upper floors, according to IBHS.
Water heater failures. If your water heater has reached its life expectancy, the tank begins to rust and corrode, which can result in leaking or bursting issues. IBHS found that 69% of all water heater failures resulted from a slow leak or sudden burst and, on average, cost $4,444 per incident following the deductible.
Washing machine failures. These failures are typically caused by supply hose failures, machines overflowing and drain line failures, and are one of the top 10 sources of residential water damage losses. Per IBHS, supply hose failures accounted for over half of all washing machine-related losses.
If your home falls victim to water damage, the team at SERVPRO® of SE Waukesha County/West Franklin is available to help with cleanup and restoration and make it “like it never even happened.”
Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service
SERVPRO of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in
SERVPRO of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.
We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 262-895-5540
We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.
What to Expect
When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.
Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:
- Your name and contact information
- Your insurance information (if applicable)
- The street address of the water-damaged home or business
- When did the flooding or water damage occur?
- What caused the water damage (if known)?
- Is there electricity available (on-site)?
About SERVPRO of Southeast Waukesha County/West Franklin
We specialize in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.