How To Recognize and Clean Up Black Water Damage
How to Identify and Repair Black Water Damage
Three hundred gallons per day: That’s how much water the average American household uses, most of which is indoors. What happens when it doesn’t go where it’s supposed to? When water escapes the confines of the pipes and tanks that hold it, severe damage can occur. The kind of damage done is divided into three categories based on the type of water and the possibility of harmful effects:
- Clean water
- Gray water
- Black water
What's the Difference Between Black and Gray Waters?
While clean water comes from water pipes and is clear of any substances, black and gray water are contaminated. Also called category 2, gray water is residential wastewater and contains quantities of physical, chemical, or biological elements such as soap and other residues. It does not contain feces. Possible sources include a washing machine, dishwasher, or bathtub. Untreated, this category can develop further contamination and be reclassified to the next level.
Black, or category 3, water is grossly contaminated and carries high levels of biological waste such as feces, urine, and medical or other unsanitary materials. It is the most serious category. Several possible sources are broken or ruptured sewer/septic lines, backed-up toilets or other clogged sewage lines, or storm surges. This type of water damage poses the highest risk and requires fast and specialized cleaning and restoration to prevent further problems.
What Can You Do About Black Water?
A leak or flood of unsanitary material, and the resulting damage to your home, can be frustrating and stressful. Residential water contamination of all types, especially that which is highly polluted and requires sewage cleanup, needs remediation as quickly and effectively as possible. Due to the potential for health risks and progression, cleanup should be left to restoration professionals. Improperly cleaned and dried items can cause more damage over time, such as mold, foul odors, and even structural damage.
Black water can pose immediate and long-term risks to health and property. Seeking professional cleanup services is the best way to mitigate any risks and bring you peace of mind.