Know what you’re dealing with.

When your home or business suffers water damage, water isn’t just the simple H2O combination of oxygen and hydrogen that we have come to know. It begins to take a life of it’s own, and have a personality, if you will. And just like people, some water damage can be downright nasty!

First and foremost, it is important to identify the category of water you are dealing with.


Water damage CLASSES range in manageability from 1 (the easiest to dry) all the way up to 4 (which is where water has permeated materials thought to be most solid, such as brick or hardwood. Class 1 is light damage where only part of the room was affected and the water has not begun to seep in or evaporate, class 2 is most easily determined by how far up the walls the water has absorbed. If the water has affected the drywall up to 12″ or 1′, it moves to a class 2. class 3 water usually affects ceilings, and probably came from above. Class 4, as mentioned above, requires special drying circumstances. These numbers are mostly used for classification purposes when working with insurance companies. do not make the mistake of thinking that category 1 can be handled by you or a family member, and don’t worry that category 4 is too big of a job. Professional Restoration can work with ANY water damage, big or small.

Category 1

This type of water can be considered “clean” and not hazardous. It does not travel through floors or other materials, and comes from a pipe connected to a water main. In essence, this water would be the same that would come through your shower or your kitchen sink. Don’t be fooled and don’t waste any time! This water will sink into your floors, carpets, walls, and furniture and can easily become contaminated as it sits. It is important to immediately find the source, shut off water to the premises and call professional restoration right away. The quicker you make the call, the more likely this relatively gentle category of water can be mitigated and you can get back to normal!

Category 2

This water may have been clean from the source, but has now penetrated materials such as wood, drywall, carpet, etc. The more contact with surfaces and material that water has, the more contaminated it will become. Generally, this can describe water coming from an upstairs source and traveling down through levels of a structure. It is often referred to as “grey water.” Be weary of this, and always call on Professional Restoration before you touch anything affect by this water damage.

Category 3

Otherwise known as “black water”, this type of loss can be detrimental and hazardous. Without a doubt, this type of “water” is highly contaminated and can cause serious illness and even death if consumed. Sewage is a common occurrence of category 3 water. Toilet back-ups and septic tanks are infamous perpetrators! Under no circumstances should you enter any structure or touch any surfaces or materials affected by category 3 water. Professional Restoration technicians are fully insured, IICRC certified, and vaccinated against all hazards caused by such water. In addition, Professional Restoration outfits their technicians with impenetrable biohazard suits and other tools specifically for this type of water damage. Rising flood waters from rivers and streams as well as ground surface water flowing horizontally into homes are other causes of category 3 water.