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Floodwater consists of more than just water. Biohazardous materials, chemicals, or diseases causing organisms and debris can all be floating around in floodwater at any given time. All categories of floodwater should be cleaned up quickly because the water will degrade over time and become more of a health risk the longer it sits. The water in a flood can come from a variety of sources. From a natural disaster to an at-home accident, it’s important to know the differences in floodwater categories so you can keep your family and your property safe in Houston, Texas.

Man-Made Floods

Man-made water damage most often occurs as a result of faulty appliances. Overflowing sinks, toilets and drain pipes, water heaters, broken dishwashers, laundry machines, and air conditioners can all cause considerable water damage in the home. These types of floods are preventable with routine appliance maintenance, however they still account for much of the reported water damage insurance claims. Man-made water damage generally results in the following types of floodwater categories:

  • Category 1 Water – known as White Water or Clear Water, comes from overflowing sinks, broken water supply lines or a damaged faucet. This is the least hazardous type of floodwater, containing few contaminants. White water can devolve into Category 2 water within 48 hours.
  • Category 2 Water – known as Grey Water, comes from showers, bathtubs, dishwashers and washing machines. This type of water does contain contaminants including soap, grease, bleach or food particulates. Grey water is considered a health risk, so it’s best to call a professional to clean it up in order to protect yourself from contamination. If not cleaned up properly, it can turn into Category 3 water.

Natural Floods

Floods result from hurricanes, monsoons, high tides in coastal areas, and overflowing rivers or flash floods. Although you may think only wetter climates and coastal cities have the highest risk for natural flooding, almost every state has had some form of flooding within the past 5 years. Natural floods bring in the most dangerous type of floodwater, since it’s impossible to know exactly where it came from or what it’s picked up along the way into your property.

  • Category 3 Water – known as Black Water, is the most harmful type of floodwater, resulting in serious illness and even death. Black water contains animal or human waste and generally comes from natural disasters or sewage backups. NEVER enter an area contaminated with black water and always leave cleanup to a professional.

When your home or business experiences a flood, don’t take any chances. ServiceMaster Advantage can cleanup all categories of floodwater and water damage in Houston, Texas and surrounding areas safely and in a timely manner.

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