Water Loss Categories... What Do they Mean?
IICRC Water Loss Categories
At SERVPRO of Plantation, we understand that you hope you never have to call us for a water loss. But unfortunately, sometimes fate has other plans. When a water loss strikes, arming yourself with knowledge is the first step to avoiding severe water damage. In the water restoration business, we have refer to three categories of water, as laid out by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification or IICRC. We refer to these as categories 1, 2, and 3.
Category 1 Water
Category 1 water is the least contaminated, and therefore the least hazardous to your well being. Category 1 water is any water that comes from a potable water source. However, just because a water loss is has category 1 water doesn't mean that the issue should be ignored. Category 1 water can quickly degrade into category 2 water is left standing.
Category 2 Water
Category 2 water is defined by the IICRC as "having a level of contaminates that may cause illness or discomfort if ingested." This can include water from sources such as backed up drains, dishwashers, and toilet overflows that contain urine, but not feces. If you believe you have a category 2 water in your water loss, it is even more important to seek professional help, such as SERVPRO of Plantation, immediately. The microbial growth that can occur in category two water can be hazardous to your health, and should be removed as soon as possible.
Category 3 Water
The final category of water that can occur in a water loss is category 3 water. This water is defined by the IICRC as "the worst classification and is grossly unsanitary. It could cause severe illness or death if ingested. It used to be called black water, and sources include sewer backup, flooding from rivers or streams, toilet overflow with feces, and stagnant liquid that has begun to support bacterial growth."
Category 3 water requires special remediation techniques due to the highly hazardous nature of the water, and should only be cleaned up by an IICRC certified restoration company, such as SERVPRO of Plantation. Attempting to clean a large category 3 loss without professional knowledge or equipment can lead not only to loss of property, but also damage to your health.
No matter what category of water you find in your water loss, SERVPRO of Plantation has the equipment and know-how to make your water loss "Like it never even happened."