According to the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) standard for professional water damage restoration, Category III water damage (often called black water) is water damage to a structure where the origin is unsanitary or potentially infectious to humans. The black water classification also includes less contaminated water not treated in a timely manner. The classification depends on the origin of the water damage and the time of exposure - regardless of the actual color of appearance of the water. Some examples of Category III black water include: all sewage backflows and all rising water from rivers, streams, and seawater that enter a structure. Hurricanes and storms are usually the causes of this type of damage.
Category III water intrusion can be subdivided into three levels that will help the professional restoration business process the contamination efficiently.
- Category III Level 1 contamination is usually a very limited waste problem. It always originates inside the building or house, affects a small area, does not affect porous material, does not penetrate the structure, and has had limited time of exposure. A small toilet overflow is one example.
- Category III Level 2 contamination also originates inside the building. However, the area of direct contamination is larger. Porous materials as well as non-porous materials are affected. Emergency water restoration in Columbus must be more thorough to include removing moisture barriers like vinyl and plastics that will contain the contamination. Cabinets and other structural enclosures must be inspected and possibly removed if the contamination is present -- especially if it is inside the walls behind these items. All contaminated porous items such as drywall, carpet, pad, upholstery, drapery, or particleboard furniture must be removed and properly disposed of.
- Category III Level 3 contamination includes water and waste coming from an outside source such as a septic system, main sewage line, rivers, streams, and ocean waters. Level 3 indicates more contamination for a longer period and presents a much greater health risk.
All black water losses present serious risk of illness. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to contact PuroClean if you have any water damage in Columbus, Ohio, let alone a black water loss.