Where I live, we have several months out of the year that are packed with devastating storms. These storms have been known to damage entire communities and leave many people's lives turned upside-down. During the days and weeks following these storms, we pull together as a community to help each other rebuild and repair the homes we live in. We have worked alongside some of the best damage contractors in the country. This blog contains a ton of information about the things that we have learned from those contractors during these devastating times each and every year through the worst possible storms.
It's happened. The scenario of your nightmares. You've returned from a fantastic family cruise in the Caribbean only to open the front door and find a puddle pooling out from the front mat. You quickly send out the troops (sometimes referred to as "children") to do reconnaissance on the damage. Tommy gives the all-clear from the upstairs bathroom. Laura shouts that all appears normal in the kitchen. There's a scream from the basement. You all quickly run downstairs to find a burst pipe, several ruined scrapbooks, and a seemingly bleak end to what had previously been a wondrous week.
So you have water damage. What now?
First, it's important to figure out what type of water is involved. There are three possible types of water to consider.
Category I water is clean and safe. It's the water that comes out of the tap for you to drink, bathe, and brush your teeth with. It's also referred to as simply "clean water".
Category II water, otherwise known as "grey water", is contaminated to the point that it will likely cause discomfort or mild illness to humans. This water may contain mild to moderate contaminants such as soap, urine, or soil.
Category III water, or contaminated water, is water with enough toxins to cause severe illness or death. The contaminants in this water are more dangerous, such as chemicals, fecal matter, or harmful bacteria.
Depending on the type of water involved, different actions may need to be taken. Water damage restoration involving Category I water is usually far less costly and intensive than damage involving Category III, for instance. However, it's important to address the issue quickly and efficiently, or even Category I water can develop into a much more severe problem.
After you've assessed the type of water involved, the next step is to identify the type of damage. Again, there are three categories of possible damage.
Category I damage doesn't cause any clear health risks and is usually caused by clean water. As mentioned above, the repair is usually simple and manageable, but it needs to be addressed quickly or the problem may escalate.
Category II damage could cause a health risk. For example, mild to moderate mold, which forms from unaddressed Category I damage, is a potential Category II. This damage sometimes forms from grey water. In other situations it stems from an untreated Category I problem, as in the aforementioned mold case.
Category III damage is a serious risk to human health, such as when there are toxic conditions from contaminated water. Category III could also mean the water, contaminated or otherwise, has been left for so long that the structural integrity of the damaged area is compromised, such as with rotten wood.
The number one rule of water damage is to act fast! Procrastinating effective treatment will likely necessitate a more costly, extensive restoration. Never fear. Your relaxing Caribbean cruise doesn't need to be spoiled. Stay calm, determine the type of water involved and the extent of the damage, and take care of it quickly. No need to worry if you hurry.