While you can clean up a small amount of water in your home pretty easily, most floods need a professional touch. Yet as a homeowner, you should understand there is a difference in the "water" you are cleaning up.
According to the IICRC, the certification body that approves training courses for water damage professionals, there are three categories of water that can flood your home.
The categories are:
Category 1: Normal, “clean” water from a clean source like a leaky pipe, a sink, a leaking toilet tank and sources like that. While not considered dangerous, if left unattended, it can quickly become harmful. It can begin to create mold.
Category 2: This is “grey” water and may contain all kinds of contaminants and bacteria that could be harmful to your health. At this point, it’s best to call a professional water damage company.
Category 3: This is “black” water and always considered dangerous to health of occupants, like you family. Do not attempt to clean this type of water, which consists of contaminants from sewage, toilet back-ups and flood waters. Use a professional water damage restoration company.
These categories, while using colorful terms like grey and black, aren't related to how they look, but to where they come from.
While it may be tempting to grab the wet-dry vacuum and clean up water on your own, consider the risks to your health and to your family. It doesn’t take long at all for a small amount of water to become a big problem, such as mold. Mold growing in your home is bad news and while not always unhealthy, never take that risk.
Just a few friendly reminders from Jeff Cross, the executive editor of Cleanfax, the magazine and online authority for restoration contractors. Let me know if you have any questions. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org