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Levels of Water Damage and Its Effects if Left Untreated

water damaged ceiling next to window

Water damage can have an immediate impact. Water leaks spread quickly throughout the property, soaking anything that gets in their way. Water seeps through the furnishings, walls, floors, and upholstery. As soon as water seeps in, the carpeting will get soiled, and books and other paper products can start to bloat and warp. It also poses a considerable risk of an electric short circuit if any open wiring gets exposed to the water leading to a more catastrophic event. This underlines the importance of starting the water damage cleanup process with the help of a professional water restoration minnetonka company as soon as possible.

Water Damage Levels

As per the originating source, water damage is classified into Levels I, II, and III. There are different degrees of severity for each of the categories.

Category 1: Clean Water Damage

Category 1 water damage is described by the IICRC S500 as water that originates from a clean source of water like

●       Water delivery systems

●       Melting snow/ice

●       Water-filled toilet tanks

●       contaminant-free toilet bowls

Category 2: Gray Water Damage

In accordance with IICRC S500, Category 2 water damage situations are those in which the water contains significant contaminants and has the potential to cause sickness. The sources of damage are:

●       Washer and dishwasher expulsion or overflow

●       Urine is spilling out of the toilet bowl

●       Seepage due to hydrostatic pressure (often found in slabs or basements)

●       Punctured water beds

Category 3: Black Water Damage

According to the IICRC S500, Category 3 water damage is defined as “grossly contaminated water that can contain infectious, toxigenic, or other harmful substances and can cause severe adverse reactions to humans if exposed or consumed.” Category 3 water damage examples include the following:

●       Sewage

●       backflows from a waste pipe coming from outside the trap

●       Seawater

●       rising river/stream levels

●       hurricanes and tropical storms’ wind-driven rain

●       The house will need to be decontaminated if there has been this kind of water damage.

Risks of Stagnant Water and Untreated Water Damage

Untreated water damage, whether clean or black source, poses a number of possible health risks. These include germs, viruses, fungi, molds, and chemicals. Some of these substances can cause a variety of health issues, including respiratory issues, eye, skin, and headache irritations, as well as exhaustion, sneezing, shortness of breath, and wheezing. Furthermore, untreated water damage can compromise the structural integrity of the property. A professional water restoration minnetonka company has described the repercussions of stagnant water damage:

●       1 to 24 hours of exposure: Furniture swells and cracks, drywall bulges and breaks, and metal surfaces start to tarnish.

●       48 hours up through 7 days of exposure: Mold and mildew will grow and spread throughout the home. Metal will start to rust and corrode, and the doors, windows, and wooden floors will expand and distort. Also, there is a risk of significant biohazard contamination.

●       More than a week: At this point, the property becomes uninhabitable with the foul musty smell.


The cost of repairing water damage will dramatically rise due to delays in action. Home restoration after water damage is a difficult task. It can be time-consuming, exhausting, and even dangerous. It’s best to put down DIY equipment and seek the help of water restoration minnetonka professionals for the successful restoration of the property. The experts will use specialized drying equipment, anti-microbial spray, and HEPA vacuuming to clean, dry, disinfect and restore the property while keeping the risk of exposure for residents at bay.

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