There are several different types of water damage yet few homeowners are aware of such distinctions. From clean water to greywater and beyond, water damage of all types will compromise your living or working space, leave mold behind, and cause myriad health and structural problems. Let’s take a quick look at the different types of water damage that every homeowner and business owner should be aware of.

1. Clean Water or Category 1 Water Damage

Category one water damage is typically referred to as clean water damage. This water damage stems from flood water that does not pose an urgent health threat. If your living space is compromised by clean water, you should be able to clean it up without an abundance of fear or effort. This water does not pose a risk if ingested or touched as it typically stems from a malfunctioning appliance, a toilet’s holding tank, or rainwater. However, time is of the essence when you have clean water damage. Your standing clean water may gradually become Greywater, also known as category two water damage. This transition can take place in a mere 48-hour time span. This is where hiring dependable water damage & restoration services come into play.

2. Grey Water or Category 2 Flooding

Grey water causes category two water damage. Also known as sullage, this type of water is wastewater that does not have fecal matter. Grey water often comes from showers, bathtubs, sinks, dishwashers and washing machines. However, it is also possible for grey water to stem from a leaky aquarium, hydrostatic pressure seeping, a punctured water bed, or another unexpected source. Thankfully, grey water has fewer pathogens than black water so it can be used in instances when non-potable water is necessary such as the flushing of a toilet. However, grey water should not be ingested as it has small contaminants that can cause illness if consumed. Floods stemming from grey water are the result of a weather event, a plumbing fixture that overflows, a broken pipe, or a malfunctioning appliance. Such water will saturate the carpets, rugs, furniture, and even the drywall within your home.

If your home has grey water, be careful when cleaning. Be sure to don protective gear. Keep your kids, furry friends, and anyone with a weakened immune system far away from the area compromised by the water. If the flood is considerable and causes multiple inches of water to build up in the basement, do not attempt a DIY (do it yourself) cleanup attempt. In such a situation, it is better to lean on professional water damage & restoration services for truly safe cleaning that fully decontaminates the area. This cleanup process must begin right away as it merely takes two days for grey water to become category 3 water as described below.

3. Black Water or Category 3 Water Damage

Also known as category three water, black water is wastewater laden with human waste matter as well as additional toxins and/or pathogens. Black water results from the flushing of toilets with a broken sewage pipe. Black water has human waste along with toilet paper so you should not touch it. It is also possible the black water will have water from your food prep sink, your dishwasher, and other appliances. In general, raw sewage is considered black water so it is quite dangerous. If black water moves through your home, its pathogens and bacteria will gradually decompose and subsequently be released into your living space. It is even possible for black water to be contaminated with chemicals that have dissolved, making physical contact with the water even more harmful.

Black water stems from large-scale flooding, be it from a river, lake, or large-scale flooding. Any weather event that sends water into your home or other building, be it a rainstorm, hurricane, or other event, will send water rife with contaminants into your home. This is by far the most dangerous version of water damage as it is extremely unsanitary. The waste matter brought in by the water will move down into your carpets, rugs, and furniture and possibly even ruin your drywall to boot. Do not let your furry friends touch or ingest the water as it might induce illness. If you believe your home has been compromised by black water, engage our water damage & restoration services right away for prompt assistance.


Water damage is a serious problem with grave implications. While clean water will not cause immense damage as grey and black water will, it is only a matter of time until it becomes a threat. Regardless of the category of water damage, it is crucial to address the problems resulting from them. Attempting DIY can be disastrous, but seeking professional water damage & restoration services can be helpful.

Choose Erica's Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Restoration to Get Rid of Water Damages

Water damage will inevitably lead to the formation of unhealthy mold unless you take timely action. Reach out to our plumbers as soon as possible after you spot or suspect water damage. We provide 24/7 assistance. You can reach our plumbing team by dialing (561) 782-2779. You can also contact us online with our web-based contact form. Schedule an appointment with our expert plumber today!

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