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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Types of Water Damage

11/9/2021 (Permalink)

Water damage comes in all shapes and sizes, and no job is just like another. Damage is split into three different categories based off on the type of water that has caused the damage as well as four different classes based on the severity of the damage.


Category One — This category is for clean water with no contaminants or threat of sickness from it. This includes water from broken appliances, water heaters, and water supply line breaks.

Category Two — Category two is for grey water. Grey water is water that has been contaminated in some way and could potentially cause illnesses if ingested. This includes things like dishwasher overflow, washing machine overflow, and other cases where the water is a likely host for growth of microorganisms.

Category Three — This is the highest level for water damage, caused by black water. Black water is water that is grossly unsanitary, containing things like animal or human waste, and can cause serious injury if ingested. Category three damage includes things like sewer backups, flood waters from rivers or streams, standing water that has started to support microbial growth.


Class One — This is the least severe of all the water damage classes. Only a portion of a room is affected and there is little to no carpet to restore. Class one includes damage to materials with low permeability like plywood and concrete

Class Two — This is water damage that affects a whole room and includes items like carpet and cushions. Water has wicked up the walls at least 12 inches and moisture has affected structural materials.

Class Three —This includes items with the fastest absorption rate. Ceilings, walls, insulation, and carpets are saturated. It may have come from above like a hole in the roof, or wicked up the walls at least two feet.

Class Four — Class four water damage is the worst of all the classes and may sometimes take more specialized remediation methods as it includes deep pockets of moisture in items with low permeability like hardwood and concrete.

Regardless of the category or class it is very important that you address any water damage as soon as possible, which is why we at SERVPRO of Chesapeake North respond faster to any size disaster. Category One, Class One damage can quickly move up in both category and class if left untreated so if you encounter any water damage in your home or business be sure to give us a call!

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