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How to Quickly Classify Water Damage and Flooding

Water is flooding your home. Panic starts to sink in. What should be the first step in dealing with this traumatic life event? Classifying what type of water you’re dealing with is the best way to start. Then you can effectively handle the problem at hand; YOUR HOME IS FLOODING! Urgent Restoration has decades of experience dealing with all types of water damage. Thankfully, we’ve made this simple list to help you quickly classify water damage and flooding.

Classify Water Damage and Flooding

Clean Water

Clean water flooding is not immediately harmful to your health. The damage that clean water causes is known as Category 1 damage. An overflowing sink, malfunctioning washing machine or dishwasher, or a leaky roof is often the source of clean water flooding. Oftentimes, you can handle these simple flooding incidents yourself without a hazard to your health. However, clean water floods quickly can change into a more dangerous type of water damage. This is why it is important to take the proper steps to clean up and dry out the standing water. 


Forty-Eight Hours. This is how long your simple, clean water flood can turn into dangerous Category 2 damage aka greywater. Greywater, much like clean water, often comes from malfunctioning household appliances or weather-related incidents. It is wastewater that doesn’t contain feces or decaying animal matter. It will, however, contain some pathogens. Consequently, it can induce illness if ingested or comes in contact with a fresh cut or wound.

Urgent Restoration understands your first instinct to clean up this kind of mess by yourself, but take caution. We highly recommend you contact a water damage professional. If not equipped with the proper safety gear, the removal of greywater could endanger children, pets, and anyone with compromised immune systems. For this reason, the safest bet for cleaning and drying greywater effectively is to hire a professional restoration company, such as Urgent Restoration.


Within 48 hours your mildly hazardous greywater can become a perilous, contaminated Category 3 flood. Being able to classify this type of water damage is extremely important, it is called blackwater. Blackwater is water infected with toxins, human waste, or other pathogens. This wastewater can come from sewage pipes, food preparation sinks, old food in dishwashers, toilets, and other sources. Blackwater is an eerie breeding ground for bacteria and can contain leaked chemicals. Blackwater also occurs from the flooding of rivers, lakes, oceans, or any other bodies of water. If your home has been affected by hurricanes or severe storms, your flooding is likely a blackwater issue with Category 3 water damage.

Backwater flooding is the most dangerous and damaging. Vastly unsanitary, any material that absorbs it, like carpeting and upholstery, is no longer salvageable. To clarify, absolutely nothing about blackwater flooding is safe. As a matter of fact, it is extremely dangerous to the health of any animal or human who comes into contact with it. Therefore, only a properly trained professional water restoration expert or plumber should handle Category 3 blackwater food damage.

Flood Damage Restoration in Central Florida

Being able to quickly classify water damage and flooding is your first line of defense when water starts to pour into your home. Although classifying water damage may be relatively simple, the clean up is never is. Luckily, your water restoration specialists at Urgent Restoration offer a variety of services to handle all of your flood repair needs. Remember when dealing with a flood or standing water it is best to act fast. In fact, waiting to handle water clean up can create a much more serious problem. At Urgent Restoration we provide 24/7 service.  That means we are always ready to help you clean up water damage. Whether it is clean water, greywater, or blackwater, preventing further damage and potential health hazards should be your first priority.


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