What are the 3 water damage categories and how are they different?

Posted by Matt Buchanan

Water damage can be time consuming and expensive to repair. The damage may be minor or catastrophic. Homeowners insurance policies usually don’t cover floods. More than just removing excess water, a water restoration company will dry a home completely back to press-loss conditions. They can also help you determine what kind of water you are dealing with. This assessment of water damage is critical for your home.

Water damage can be classified into three categories: clean, grey, and black water. It is important that you call a company offering professional water restoration services to remove contamination and identify moisture sources.


Category 1 (Clear Water)


This category refers to a source of water that doesn’t pose significant threat to humans. The water is usually clean, but it may become progressively contaminated as it sits. Examples include failed supply lines on appliances, toilet tank ruptures, and sink overflows. Most of the water that comes into your home will be clean water until it leaves its source.


Category 2 (Gray Water)


Gray Water presents some degree of contamination, whether its chemical, biological or physical in nature. This category may include discharged water from the washing machine, broken aquariums, and leaking water beds. Exposure to this type of water may cause discomfort and sickness.


Category 3 (Black Water)


This is the least common and most dangerous form of water damage. Black Water is highly contaminated and could cause serious illness or death should you become exposed to it. Examples include all forms of sewage overflow or damage, rising water from rivers & the ocean, or any water that has traveled across the ground before entering your property.

Regardless of the category type of water you have in your home or office property, it’s important that you contact a certified water extraction and water damage repair company to ensure the work performed is done according to industry standards.


We have emergency crews available nationwide!

If you’ve experienced a water loss, please call now for a free quote & fast response anywhere in the United States!



About Matt Buchanan

I grew up in Irving, TX and left for Nashville, TN for college. After college I lived in Washington, DC and then in Cairo, Egypt. After coming back to the states, I spent a couple of years back in Dallas before moving with my wife to Denver!
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