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Different Classes and Categories of Water Loss

Different Classes and Categories of Water Loss

Different Classes and Categories of Water Loss

The category of water loss refers to the level of contamination present in the water; this is determined from the water source. It’s also crucial to learn how it impacts different materials. To put it simply, categories indicate how dirty the water is.

On the other hand, water loss classes refer to the rate of evaporation based upon the types of wet materials affected. It likewise depends on the amount of water, from little moisture to great water content-saturated by the affected materials.

The Three Categories of Water Loss

Category 1: Clean Water

These liquids are from hygienic sources; it does not pose any substantial hazards to people or animals when ingested or inhaled and is considered “clean water.” Nevertheless, they can quickly deteriorate to category 2 liquids.

Examples of Category 1 Water Loss:

  • Damaged water supply lines
  • A water tank or bathtub overflows with no pollutants
  • Rainwater or melting snow

Category 2: Gray Water

This water contains contaminants that can create disease or health issues when consumed or exposed to. Referred to as “gray water,” it has many chemical or biological contaminants. It could have an organic or inorganic matter that can trigger health concerns.

Examples of Category 2 Water Loss:

  • Overflows from washing machines or dishwashers
  • Overflows from toilet bowls (urine only)
  • Damaged aquarium
  • Punctured water beds

Category 3: Black Water

The worst classification of water damage, and is grossly unhygienic. It might trigger severe disease or fatality if ingested. This type of water damage is best delegated to the care of St. Augustine restoration companies.

Examples of Category 3 Water Loss:

  • Toilet backflow stemming from the toilet trap
  • Sewage backflow
  • Flooding from seawater
  • Floods from catastrophic origins such as tropical storms, hurricanes, and other related weather disturbances

The Four Classes of Water Loss

Class 1: Slow Rate of Evaporation

A class 1 water loss might affect only a part of a room or an area, or they may include more significant areas that have absorbed very little moisture. Materials involved have low-permeance or low-porosity such as particleboard, structural wood, vinyl ceramic tile, plywood, or concrete.

Class 2: Fast Rate of Evaporation

A class 2 water loss impacts the entire room and materials such as rugs or cushions. Water seepage has gone less than 24 inches up the walls. Moisture stays in structural materials like particleboard, plywood, structural wood, and concrete.

Class 3: Fastest Rate of Evaporation

Water might have originated from overhead. The ceilings, wall surfaces, rugs, cushions, insulation, bricks, concrete, and subfloor are saturated with the most significant quantity of water.

Class 4: Specialty Drying Situations

Specialty drying includes materials with low permeance or low porosity, such as hardwood, plaster, lightweight concrete, rock, and crawl spaces. There are deep pockets of saturation that need very low humidity; this class typically requires longer drying times and may need the service of reputable restoration companies like PuroClean.


If you have experienced water damage or any water-related calamity, it is critical to recognize what water categories and classes you will deal with. This information will help the restoration company determine the mitigation plan and what kind of restoration will follow after the cleaning and drying out phases.

Different water categories and classes have specific requirements; they are dealt with differently, requiring various devices and methods to lessen the effect of the water damage. It will be more cost-effective if the mitigation and restoration work is performed immediately.