(608) 223-1600

The Three Categories Of Water Damage

The Three Categories Of Water Damage

Imagine you’re at a busy restaurant, surrounded by the buzz of others’ conversations. You hear snippets here and there of their conversations, and at some point, you hear the phrase, “water damage.” When you hear that, what exactly comes to mind? When most people think of water damage, perhaps they picture a basement full of water. Or maybe it’s a patch of discoloration and mold growth. You might think of it as a cosmetic issue that could take minutes to fix, or you might think of water damage and imagine terrible destruction to all your personal belongings, possessions, and even your home, or you might think of water damage and imagine terrible destruction to all your personal belongings, possessions, and even your home. In actuality, none of these answers are wrong. While there are different stages and severities, these things are all examples of water damage. In fact, did you know that here at Certi-Dry, water damage can be broken down into three different categories? Read on to learn about each category and the hazards therein. 


“Originates from a sanitary source and poses no substantial risk from dermal, ingestion, or inhalation exposure. However, it may not always remain clear after it comes into contact with other surfaces or materials.” 

This type of water damage may seem relatively harmless at first. In fact, you may not even notice it. However, like all water damage, even the seemingly harmless can spiral into devastation. If left untreated, even water from sanitary source can cause cosmetic or structural damage to walls, floors, paint, wood, carpet, furniture, or basically anything it comes into contact with. Under the right conditions, water damage is the perfect breeding ground for mold, and if left untreated can lead to health hazards. Further than that, if it comes into contact with something else that poses a biohazard or chemical hazard, it can immediately contaminate the water and take a turn for the worst. 


“Contains significant contamination and has the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if contacted or consumed by humans. It may contain potentially unsafe levels of microorganisms or nutrients for microorganisms, as well as other organic or inorganic matter (chemical or biological).”

Like all types of water damage, Category 2 water damage should be addressed immediately. Oftentimes, people mistake water damage as a problem with a quick-fix solution and seek out Do-It-Yourself methods to handle it as fast as possible. However, water damage, especially Category 2 and 3, can be very harmful if mishandled or untreated. Contamination isn’t always noticeable to the untrained eye, and without being able to fully understand the situation, by attempting to fix the damage with DIY solutions, you may be putting yourself, others, and your home in harm’s way.


“Grossly contaminated and may contain pathogenic, toxigenic or other harmful agents. Such water sources may carry silt, organic matter, pesticides, heavy metals, regulated materials, or toxic organic substances.”

This category of water damage is extremely dangerous and should be handled with the utmost caution.  These contaminants pose a very serious health threat and could land you or your loved ones in the hospital if they are exposed to it.

Ultimately, if you notice water damage in your home, your first move should be to call a professional restoration service, like Certi-Dry in the Fitchburg area. If you live in that area, you can call or text (608) 807-4987  for a professional assessment and immediate appropriate action to ensure your home is as safe as possible.

We're Looking For Awesome People To Join Our Team Apply Now