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The Different Types of Water Loss and How They Affect You and Your Home

When your home is affected by water damage it is imperative you and your family evaluate and take the proper steps in an emergency water removal situation. Water losses fall into three categories: clean water, grey water, and black water. By determining which category your home’s water damage falls under, it can be easier to incorporate the proper cleaning and drying technique. Below, we’ll analyze the 3 separate categories to further understand the risks:

Category 1: Clean Water

The first and least harmful of the 3 water loss categories. This describes water that originates from a source that doesn’t pose a serious risk or threat to humans. The water may be a result from a broken water line, sink overflows without contaminates, appliance malfunctions, or even melting snow or falling rain water. While this is the least contaminated water of the three categories, it can become “gray water” If left untreated for over 72 hours.

Category 2: Gray Water

The next level in water contamination, category 2, is gray water. This water has the ability to cause illness or discomfort if ingested by humans. Sources for this type of water include overflows from dishwashers, washing machines or toilet bowls (with some urine but no fecal matter) and broken aquariums, etc. Gray water contains chemicals, bio-contaminates, possible physical hazards and other forms of contamination. Carpet or furniture salvaged from gray water must be cleaned thoroughly with hot-water extraction. If left untreated, category 2 gray water can become category 3 water in under 48 hours.

Category 3: Black Water

For Category 3, the final level of contamination known as black water, is contaminated to the highest extent and includes sewage and other volatile pollutants that enter and affect the indoor environment. Sources range from toilet backflows, to all forms of flooding from ground water, rising rivers and streams, and even sea water. These flood waters contain silt and organic matter which creates black water conditions. Whenever these conditions occur the health of inhabitants and workers should ultimately be the primary concern. Be sure to remove and dispose of any carpet, furniture, or fabric that has been contaminated by category 3 water loss.

Water Damage is a serious concern. Let the experts at Steemer of South Florida evaluate and assist you with the various types of water loss and how to treat and restore your property.


All of the regional Stanley Steemer locations are part of a nationwide network.
Each and every home carpet cleaning service is performed in the same manner, so customers know what to expect when they call for subsequent visits by the company’s representatives.
Customer satisfaction ranks very high with this company, particularly when it comes to respecting private property and attention to detail.

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