An Introduction to the 3 Water Classifications | SERVPRO® of Garden Grove East/Anaheim Central
Understanding the difference between the types of water involved in water damage can help you better understand how to handle the situation. It is easy to think that all water causing damage is the same, but there are three different classifications of water involved: clean, gray and black.
No matter what type of water is involved in the damage, there is always going to be a cleanup and restoration process that follows. The first and most important step you must take is to remove all the moisture and damp items quickly, so that mold cannot begin to flourish in its ideal environment.Clean Water
Much like the name says, this water is considered “clean” because it is free from contaminants and will not necessarily be the type to pose an immediate threat to your health. You will generally be dealing with clean water with the following:
- Broken water lines
- Malfunctioning appliances
- Toilet holding tanks
- Snow melt and rainwater
This is the easiest type of water damage to work with, as there will be fewer microbes living in the water, but after 48 hours and following contact with building surfaces, clean water then becomes a category two type of water, “gray” water.Gray Water
In a gray water damage situation, cleanup and restoration can become a bit more tedious and serious. This is water that may pose a health risk, because it will contain some chemical or biological contamination. Because there is that slight contamination in gray water, it means that it would need to be thoroughly treated before being safe to consume.
Gray water can be a product of dishwashers, aquariums, showers, etc. The 48-hour exposure time applies here, as well, because if gray water is left untreated, it then becomes black water.Black Water
Black water is the most serious of the three classifications, and the utmost precaution must be taken when dealing with it because it will be highly contaminated by harmful chemicals and biological matter.
This type of water includes floodwaters containing soil and all sewage waters. Sewage is filled with harmful microbes, including bacteria, protozoans, molds, fungi and more—many of these can be harmful to humans.
Some of the diseases that can be transmitted by black water are:
- Gastroenteritis-type illnesses
The rule of thumb here is to remember that when it comes to floods, all water should be considered to be black water since it is picking up all kinds of contaminants along its path.
All of these classifications of water involved in water damage are recognized by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Remediation Certification (IICRC), an organization that certifies and sets the standards for the cleaning and restoration industries. Our technicians all study IICRC standards and best practices in water restoration and are available to help determine the steps to take to get your home back to normal.
It doesn’t matter what type of water has caused damage to your home or business, SERVPRO® of Garden Grove East/Anaheim Central is here to help get the situation under control and make it "Like it never even happened." Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need emergency cleanup and restoration services!
Ensuring Your Family Is Prepared for Severe Weather | SERVPRO® of Garden Grove East/Anaheim Central
Be prepared! There are steps you should take and safety tips to follow to ensure your family is prepared for various severe weather occurrences. Because even though we may have advance warning for approaching severe weather systems, we can still be caught off-guard at times.Planning for Severe Weather With Your Family
One of the best ways to prepare for weather emergencies is to have an established family emergency plan at the ready.
If your family has put an emergency plan in place, be sure to discuss, practice and review it at the start of each weather season so your family knows exactly what to do.
If you’ve not yet created a family emergency plan, take a look at these considerations when you prepare one:
1. How will emergency alerts and warnings be received?
Thanks to technology today, emergency alerts and warnings are in our pockets, briefcases, backpacks or purses with the use of smartphones equipped with a weather app or Google. This allows you to quickly receive emergency alerts, giving you valuable time to act in a severe weather situation. These warnings and alerts are available over radio and TV in the event you do not have a smartphone.
2. What type of storm shelter is available?
If you live in an area where tornadoes are common, you’ll want to be in the lowest part of your home, like a basement or an interior room on the lowest level that is away from corners, windows, doors and outside walls. Be aware, however, that tornadoes aren’t the only weather circumstance requiring a form of storm shelter, and you can find out more about these situations that call for them by visiting ready.gov.
3. What is your evacuation route?
You should always have evacuation routes mapped out for escape for things such as hurricanes, flooding and fires, which can force you from your home in a hurry. It’s wise to have multiple routes in the event one is impassable, and be sure to take your pets into consideration and find places to stay along the way if you have furry family members taking shelter also.
4. How will the family keep in touch?
Cell phone are a common commodity nowadays, and it is easy to rely on them to keep in touch with your family. But, in some circumstances, that will not be possible.
Cell phone towers can be taken out by the weather, the cell phones can be lost or left behind, and batteries need charging, which will be hard to do when there is no power to recharge them. Your family will need an emergency communication plan in place, as well as a pre-determined safe meeting place so that you can all meet there if separated.
If a storm does cause damage to your home or business, don’t hesitate to call your friends at SERVPRO® of Garden Grove East/Anaheim Central to get the cleanup and restoration process started.
The Impacts Damaging Winds Can Have on Your Property
Severe storms bring a variety of concerns, with one being the threat of damaging winds. These winds can come with little to no notice and can be problematic due to long-term structural impacts.
Understanding Damaging Winds
Usually one thinks of tornadoes and hurricanes when they think of damaging winds. However, those are not the only times when they may come into play.
Damaging winds are considered those with wind speeds exceeding 50–60 mph and can be caused by a strong thunderstorm. The term “straight-line” winds is used when differentiating the damage from tornadoes.
Straight-line winds can cause other objects to become projectiles, leading to additional damage. Windows and roofs can take a devastating blow, and if it’s extensive enough, can result in water damage to the home as the outside elements come indoors through damaged windows and roofs.
Anyone living in a thunderstorm-prone area can be at risk from damaging winds, but some structures are more at risk than others. Mobile homes, even when anchored, can sustain extensive damage in wind gusts over 80 mph.
Tips to Help Protect Your Property From Wind Damage
Some ways you can keep your property from sustaining damage from these damaging winds are listed below. Keep the “Two R’s” in mind: reinforce and remove.
Have your garage door professionally reinforced.
Remove or anchor loose furniture and other items such as trash cans and grills on your property that could be tossed by the wind and become projectiles.
Have large or dying trees and branches that could fall on your home be removed by a professional.
Not all high wind situations come with advanced warning. But by following some of the above precautions, you can be ready “just in case.”
Also, if you are building a new home or renovating an older home, be sure the windows, walls and doors are up to code for the weather in your area.
If you ever experience this kind of loss to your home due to damaging winds and resulting water damage, the highly trained specialists at SERVPRO® of Garden Grove East/Anaheim Central are always here to help with the cleanup and restoration of your home.