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Flood Damage – Types of Water

Flood damage can be localized in a home or it can be a wide scale natural disaster. All flooding situations can be dangerous to human health and safety, in addition to causing extensive property damage. The severity and level of emergency of a flood depends on the amount of water, the source and the type of floodwater.

Types of Water

Not all floodwater is the same! There are three main types of floodwater that you can find when you experience water damage due to a flood. The level of risk to your health and safety, as well as the amount of flood damage you can expect, has a lot to do with the type of floodwater you’re encountering. It’s important to know the distinctions and the potential hazards.

Clean Water
  • Also known as white water, does not present any immediate health concerns
  • Typically comes from appliance malfunctions, toilet holding tanks, rain and melting snow or ice
  • When clean water is left standing, after 48 hours, it can turn into greywater
  • Also known as sullage, is water that has not been contaminated with fecal matter
  • It is water that we’ve previously used so it contains small amounts of contaminants that could possibly cause illness
  • Typically, from the water used in bathtubs, showers, washing machines, some dishwashers and sinks
  • The type of contaminants in greywater can vary based on what it was previously used for
  • Harsh chemicals affect the safety of greywater
  • Floods with this type of water can be from plumbing issues, appliance leaks, broken or burst pipes
  • Greywater floods usually have a higher volume of water present; soaking carpets, furniture and drywall
  • Must use precautions when cleaning
  • If not removed, greywater can turn into blackwater after 48 hours
  • Water that has been contaminated with human waste or other fecal matter
  • Mainly comes from flushed toilets, food preparation sinks or dishwashers
  • Pathogens and grease from kitchen and food preparation sinks or dishwashers create blackwater
  • Raw sewage is classified as blackwater
  • Has dangerous bacteria and pathogens that cause disease so it must be fully decomposed before it’s released back into the environment
  • May also be contaminated with dangerous chemicals and particulates
  • Any contact with blackwater is considered extremely dangerous
  • Absorbent items affected by blackwater are typically unable to be salvaged
  • Do not clean blackwater yourself
What You Can Do

Although most cases of flooding situations are beyond our control. However, there are still a few things you can do to lessen the risk of a flood in your home:

  • Check often that appliances or fixtures using water are working properly and schedule regular maintenance
  • Look out for small leaks and changes in water pressure
  • Contact professionals immediately and do not delay necessary repairs
  • Have old pipes, appliances, fixtures and plumbing replaced by professionals
For all types of flooding and water damage, trust WINMAR® to restore your home or business to pre-event condition. The WINMAR® team is licensed and certified with the specialized training and specialized equipment to address the extent and damage of a water related incident. In some cases, our trained and experienced professionals can work with your insurance company to ensure that your water damaged property is restored quickly and safely.
WINMAR® is Coming Through For You, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.