Category of Water
Black water/ Category 3
When your home or business suffers from a storm, it’s critical to know the difference between different levels of contaminated water. There are 3 category of water, Clean (Cat 1), Gray(Cat 2) and Black (Cat 3).
Category of Water
The Categories of water as defined by this document, refer to the range of contamination in the water, considering both its originating source and its quality after it contacts material present on the job site. The time and temperature can affect or retard amplification of contaminants, thereby affecting its category. Restorers should consider potential contamination, defined as presence of undesired substances; the identity location, and quantity of which are not reflective of normal indoor environment; and can produce adverse health effects, caused damage to structure and contents, or adversely affect the operation or function of a building.
Category 1: Category 1 water originates from a sanitary water source and does not pose substantial risk from dermal, ingestion or inhalations exposure. Examples of Category 1 water source can include but are not limited to: broken water supply lines; tub or sink overflows with no contaminants; appliances malfunctions involving water-supply lines; melting ice or snow; falling rain water; broken toilet tanks; toilet bowls that do not contain contaminants or additives.
Category 1 water can deteriorate to a Category 2 or 3. Category 1 water that flows into an uncontaminated building does not constitute an immediate change in the category. However, Category 1 water that flows into a contaminated building can constitute an immediate change in the category. Once microorganisms become wet from the water intrusion, depending on the length of time that they remain wet and the temperature, they can begin to grow in numbers and can change the category of the water. Odors can indicate that Category 1 has deteriorated.
Category 2: Category 2 water contains significant contamination and has the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if contacted or consumed by humans. Category 2 water can contain potentially unsafe levels of microorganisms or nutrients for microorganisms, as well as other organic or inorganic matter (chemical or biological). Examples of Category 2 water can include, but are not limited to: discharge from dishwashers or washing machines; overflows from washing machines; overflows from toilet bowels on the room side of the trap with some urine but no feces; seepage due to hydro-static pressure; broken aquariums; and punctured water beds.
Category 2 water can deteriorate to Category 3. Once the microorganisms become wet from the water intrusion, depending upon the length of time that they remain wet and the temperature, they can begin to grow in numbers and can change the category of the water.
Category 3: Category 3 water is grossly contaminated and can contain pathogenic, toxigenic or the other harmful agents and can cause the significant adverse reactions to humans if contacted or consumed. Examples of Category 3 water can include, but not limited to: sewage; wasteline back flows that originated from beyond the trap regardless of visible content or color; all other forms of contaminated water resulting from seawater; rising waters from rivers or streams; and other contaminated water entering or affecting the indoor environment, such as wind-driven rain from hurricanes, tropical storms or other weather-related events if the carry trace levels of contaminates (e.g. pesticides or toxic organic substances).
Class of Water Intrusion
Class 3 Water Damage
Class of Water intrusion
Restorers should estimate the amount of humidity control needed to begin the drying process. A component of the humidity control requirement is the Class of water.
The term “Class of water intrusion is a classification of the estimated evaporation load and is used when calculating the initial humidity control (e.g. dehumidification, ventilation). The classification is based on the approximate amount of wet surface area, and the permeance and porosity of the affected materials remaining within the drying environment at the time drying is initiated. Information needed to determine Class should be gathered during the inspection process. The Classes are divided into four separate descriptions, Class 1,2,3 and 4.
Class 1- (least amount of water absorption and evaporation load); Water intrusion where wet, porous materials (e.g., carpet gypsum board, fiber-filled insulation, concrete masonry unit (CMU), textiles) represent less than ~5% of the combined floor, wall and ceiling surface area in the space; and where materials described as low evaporation materials (e.g., plaster wood, concrete, masonry) or low evaporation assemblies (e.g., multilayer wallboards, multilayer subfloors, gym floors or other complex built-up assemblies) have absorbed minimal moisture.
Class 2- (significant amount of water absorption and evaporation load): Water intrusion where wet porous materials (e.g., carpet gypsum board, fiber-fill insulation concrete masonry unit (CMU, textiles represent ~5% to ~40% of the combined floor, wall and ceiling surface area in the space; and where materials described as low evaporation materials (e.g., plaster wood, concrete, masonry) or low evaporation assemblies (e.g., multilayer wallboards, multilayer subfloors, gym floors or other complex built-up assemblies) have absorbed minimal moisture.
Class 3- (greatest amount of water absorption and evaporation load): Water intrusion where wet porous materials (e.g., carpet gypsum board, fiber-fill insulation concrete masonry unit (CMU, textiles represent more than ~40% of the combined floor, wall and ceiling surface area in the space; and where materials described as low evaporation materials (e.g., plaster wood, concrete, masonry) or low evaporation assemblies (e.g., multilayer wallboards, multilayer subfloors, gym floors or other complex built-up assemblies) have absorbed minimal moisture.
Class 4- (deeply held or bound water): Water intrusion that involves a significant amount of water absorption into low evaporation materials (e.g., plaster, wood, concrete, masonry) or low evaporation assemblies (e.g., multilayer wallboards, multilayer subfloors, gym floors or other complex built-up assemblies). Drying may require special methods, longer drying times or substantial water vapor pressure differentials.
Other Factors Necessary to Estimate Drying Capacity
Other factors can impact the drying environment. Restorers should understand and consider there factors when estimating the drying capacity needed to prevent additional damages and being the drying process.
These factors include:
- Influence of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems;
- Build out density of the affected area;
- Building construction complexity; and
- Influence of outdoor weather.
Our Highly Trained Restoration Specialists can restore your Frederick County Home
We are an IICRC Certified Firm
SERVPRO of Frederick County is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.
IICRC Certified Firms must
• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.
The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry
The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.
Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.
About SERVPRO of Frederick County
SERVPRO of Frederick County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke, water damage, flood, storm event, or biohazard. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Frederick County Smoke and Soot Cleanup
Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.
Smoke and soot facts:
- Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
- Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
- The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
Different Types of Smoke
There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Frederick County will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:
Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber
- Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood
- Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.
Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire
- Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
Our Fire Damage Restoration Services
Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.
Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (301) 662-1747
Does you Frederick County Home Have a Mold Problem?
Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:
- Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
- Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
- Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
- Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
- Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
- Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.
If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.
If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (301) 662-1747
Do Fall Outside Home Maintenace
Now, during these balmy fall days, is the time to do outside inspections of your gutters, downspouts, and your house's foundations. Take a little extra time, to clean out gutters, or install gutter helmuts, check for obstructions to your downspouts and make sure they drain away from your foundation and to check for cracks around your home's foundation and to caulk and/or repair them before the winter arrives.