Minor water damage in the home is a problem that many DIY-oriented homeowners may try to restore on their own. However, it is important to understand the type of water you are dealing with before you attempt DIY restoration so you do not put your health at risk. Here is an explanation of the three categories of water that can cause water damage in your home.
Clean water, as the name implies, is water that is safe for human consumption and skin contact. The tricky part when it comes to DIY water restoration is that you cannot assume the water you are cleaning up is clean water just because it is clear. The only way to safely determine that this water is clean is by knowing the source. Even then, clear water may have been contaminated after it entered your home if it has stayed there long enough for mold and microbial growth to occur or if it mixed with an unclean water source.
Sources of water damage that usually produce clean water are any water lines that deliver water to parts of your home where it will be used directly. This includes supply lines to appliances such as water heaters and dishwashers as well as faucet supply lines.
Gray water is water that contains enough contaminants to pose a moderate health risk. This water will often be grayish or foggy in appearance and will sometimes contain visible floating contaminants. Examples include water that has been used in a dishwasher or washing machine and groundwater that has seeped into the home. It is recommended that you wear gloves, long clothing, and waterproof boots if you attempt gray water damage restoration on your own.
Black water is water that contains enough bacteria and other contaminants to pose a serious health risk to anyone close by. Black water often, but not always, emits a foul odor and is dark brown to black in color. Sewage backups are the most common source of black water damage in the home. Water from rivers, streams, and the ocean that has entered the home is also classified as black water in most cases.
Restoring damage from black water is a task that requires professional-grade safety equipment and disinfectants, so you should always leave the job to a water restoration specialist. Any cost savings that you might achieve by completing the project on your own are not worth the serious health risk that you would be subjected to.
Cleaning up water damage requires careful consideration before any homeowner attempts it. Use your best judgement about the type of water you are dealing with before you begin any water damage restoration project. For more information, contact local professionals like Complete Restoration Services.