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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Determine the category of your water loss

1/28/2021 (Permalink)

There are three categories that restorers use to determine the type of water present in a building. We use these categories to determine risk and safety hazard conditions. 

Category 1, or Cat 1, is what could be referred to as clean water, or ‘white water.’ This is typically still or sitting water that is from a clean water source - such as sinks, bathtubs, or even a burst/cracked pipe. Depending on the area where the water intrusion occurs, Cat 1 water can develop into a more hazardous water category. This is dependent on the contaminants in the area - such as dirt, organic matter, or solvent chemicals. 

It’s important to remember that no matter how clean sitting water is, it is subject to microbial growth as soon as 48 hours after intrusion. This is why a restorer’s ability to respond and remove the source of water intrusion in a building is one of the most critical factors of our work - and why we recommend immediate service. 

Category 2, or Cat 2, is what we would refer to as Grey Water. Grey water is clearly contaminated with solvents, solid materials, or debris. Examples of grey water are sitting water with solvent detergent like from an overflowed washing machine, it can also be sitting water resulting from a roof leak.

Category 3, or Cat 3, is what we call Black Water. This is considered an extremely hazardous category of water intrusion and if you have it present in your building, it is recommended that you avoid contact and request professional service immediately. Black Water is usually a highly contaminated water intrusion, often sourced from sewage lines or flood waters. It contains a high degree of waste and contaminants.

Determining the category of water intrusion is one of the first steps in the restoration process. It helps restorers determine the proper PPE, procedure, and hazard controls necessary for the job. 

No matter the category of water intrusion in your property, SERVPRO of Tigard/Tualatin/Lake Oswego/West Linn and Beaverton can handle it all. Call us as soon as you are aware of the damage at 503-684-5829.

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