Clean Gray Black water damage

Identifying Clean, Gray, or Black Water Damage

Water damage is a common household problem, but what some people may not know is that there are three water types that lead to water damage, each with their own set of methods for cleaning. Here’s our quick guide to help you determine what kind of damage you’re dealing with!

Clean Water Damage

Also known as fresh water damage, this kind of damage is the easiest type to deal with…even if it’s still just as frustrating! What makes it clean? It doesn’t typically have microbes or bacteria and is usually sanitary or from a natural source. This type of water tends to come from a broken appliance, faulty sprinklers, a burst pipe, rainwater, or melting snow. The biggest risk factor is the potential for it to not be cleaned up properly or quickly enough, leaving the area susceptible to the growth of mold and mildew. If the water has been left for over 24 hours, call your local restoration company and have them come look at it.

Gray Water Damage

Gray water is unsanitary either because of its source or because it’s been left alone for too long. Toilet or washing machine water is often considered gray, but water can also be considered gray if it has biological or chemical hazards in it (think urine, laundry detergents, blood, etc.). If it has the potential to cause sickness or irritation, it’s not clean! Be sure to protect your skin, eyes, and mouth from direct contact (wear gloves at least; goggles and a face mask are a plus!). Keep small children and pets away from this type of water damage.

Black Water Damage

This is the most hazardous water to deal with. It usually comes from a natural disaster or raw sewage and contains chemicals, pathogens, pesticides, or other harmful biological bacteria. It is not necessarily black in its coloring (the same goes for gray water). For example, flooding fresh or ocean water is considered black because it has so many unknown contents. Do not attempt to clean up this type yourself. Instead, please call a professional for your safety.

Hopefully this quick guide helps you determine the source of any water damage you may experience. Keep in mind: just because water may look clean and clear does not mean that it’s free from bacteria or microbes. It’s best to always contact the professionals here at Elite just to be sure. Your home and health are never worth the risk!