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Dealing with Unhygienic Water Damage

water damageIt is always stressful when your home has water leakage and/or flooding issues. That stress is greatly compounded when the source of the leak is a toilet overflow, a leaky septic tank, or malfunctioning sump pump. That’s because this water can pose a danger to you, your family, and your pets’ health. Though it may be tempting to immediately grab a bucket and mop and attempt to clean up the water from these types of leaks, particularly if you know the water is contaminating your home, resist that urge. Instead, take measures to protect your household members’ health and consult a professional cleaning company as soon as possible.

Categories of water damage

The reason why you should be particularly cautious about sewage and other unclean sources of water damage in your home is that these spills contain biological or physical pollutants that can negatively affect human and animal health. Water leakage/flooding is classified into three categories. If you are very fortunate, you will only suffer from Category 1, also known as “clean water,” damage. Category 1 water typically comes from water supply lines or sink or tub overflows; it does not represent a significant risk to your health. Keep in mind, however, that even “clean water” can easily become Category 2 or 3 water if it sits in an area for too long. Mold and mildew begin colonizing a damp area in just 24-48 hours, and these fungi can be harmful to human health.

Category 2 water, or “grey water,” is significantly less sanitary. It contains harmful pollutants that can cause illness upon contact or if ingested. Grey water leakage occurs when washing machines and dishwashers overflow, sump pump damage, or toilet overflows with urine present. Category 3 water is the most dangerous to human health. This type of water damage, which is also referred to as “black water,” may cause sickness if humans come in contact with it or severe illness or death if it is consumed. It commonly contains toxic biological materials, including fungi and bacteria. Sources of black water leakage are sewage backup, overflowing toilets with fecal matter, river/stream flooding, and stagnant water with bacteria present.

Why you should contact the experts

If your home is impacted by water damage, particularly category 2 or 3 water damage, take measures to protect your health. Do not make direct contact with the unsanitary water and immediately disinfect wounds that are exposed to the sewage. Since bacteria and pathogens in these waters can cause you and your family serious harm, it is best to let the experts, who can correctly classify the type of water you are dealing with and take appropriate measures. They can pump out the unhygienic water and dry the area quickly; this prevents further bacteria from forming and pathogens from becoming airborne.

A professional cleaning company can also mitigate damage to your personal belongings that may have been impacted by unclean water. In fact, companies like All Brite have Content Cleaning services, which means they can work to salvage, deodorize, and disinfect items such as electronics, textiles, and furniture. If your home is impacted by unhygienic water, trust the experts at All Brite to make you home clean and healthful once more.