The 3 Types of Water Damage | Clean Water, Grey Water, & Black Water

House with standing water on its floor

Here at Elite Restoration, we handle plenty of water damage situations.  Flooding happens much more often than some people might realize. We know it all too well – it’s the most common problem that people call us in for! Because water damage so common, we like to share tips and prevention methods regarding this devastating dilemma with our customers and community whenever we can, such as in this article or this one.

Another aspect of water damage that many people may not know is that there are actually 3 different types of water that cause damage, and therefore, 3 different ways to go about dealing with the damage. Here’s our quick guide to help you determine what kind of damage you’re dealing with!

There are 3 Types of Water Damage

Clean Water Damage: Category 1 Water Damage

The easiest type of water damage to handle is clean water damage. Category 1 water damage is “clean” because it most likely doesn’t have many harmful microbes living in it and is from a considerably sanitary or natural source. Generally, clean water damage comes from a broken appliance, malfunctioning sprinkler, a burst pipe, melting snow, or rainwater.

Even though it is less hazardous, you must remove clean water properly or you risk getting mold and mildew. If the water sits unattended for over 24 hours, it’s best if you give your local Elite Restoration office a call and schedule us to come have a look at it.

Grey Water Damage: Category 2 Water Damage

Grey water damage is somewhat unsanitary, coming from either an unsanitary source or having been unmitigated for a long period of time. For example, toilet water or washing machine water might be considered gray. Gray water has biological or chemical hazards in it, such as urine, laundry detergents, blood, and so on. Grey water has the potential to cause sickness or irritation if humans come into contact with or consume it.

You must wear gloves while you clean category 2 water damage. This protects your skin from coming into contact with the water, and also helps prevent it from being spread. Remember to keep small children and pets away from this type of water damage. Even if not much water damage has occurred, you may want to contact Elite even if just to explain the situation over the phone and get any additional advice on how to clean it up or what to do next. We’re happy to help!

Black Water Damage: Category 3 Water Damage

Black water is the most hazardous type of water damage. It usually results from a natural disaster or raw sewage, and is typically full of chemicals, pathogens, pesticides, or other harmful biological and/or chemical bacteria. Keep in mind that black water damage is not necessarily black in its coloring. Flooding freshwater or ocean water is also considered black water, due to the many unknown contaminants that may be found in it at any given time.

It is not advised to handle the clean up of this type of water damage yourself. If your home has been a victim of black water damage, please don’t hesitate to contact Elite Restoration. We have the proper equipment to handle this sort of problem, keeping you and your family safe from the potential dangers often found in this type of damage.

Hopefully this quick guide helps you determine the source of any water damage you may experience. Just because water may look clean and clear does not mean that it’s free from bacteria or microbes. It’s best to always contact the professionals here at Elite just to be sure. Your home and health are never worth the risk!