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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

3 Contamination Levels for Commercial Water Damage

12/17/2019 (Permalink)

Flooded building entrance Flooded building entrance in Creve Coeur, MO

Overview of The Three Levels Of Water Contamination

Water is necessary for survival, but when it enters interior spaces, it can cause serious damage quickly. If water has damaged your property, due to flooding or a broken pipe, it’s important to begin the cleanup quickly. This overview of the three levels of water contamination may help you make some decisions and begin addressing the damage.
Water damage is categorized by the hazardous contaminants it contains. An overflowing bathtub is much less toxic than flood water. The source of the water determines the contamination level.

Category 1
Known as “clean water,” this category does not pose a substantial threat to humans. If the water originated from any of the following sources, you would have Category 1 damage.

  • Leaking connection from a refrigerator ice maker
  • Broken water supply line
  • Overflowing clean water from a sink or bathtub
  • Leaking water heater
  • Heavy rain entering the building due to storm damage

Category 1 damage is generally covered by your commercial insurance policy. Your agent can detail the type of coverage you have and begin processing a claim.

Category 2
Termed “graywater,” this level refers to a significant degree of biological, chemical or physical contamination. It is not as hazardous as flood water but may contain grease, food or dirt. Water leaking from a shower, sink or washing machine drain would belong in this category. This level of cleanup is also likely to be covered by your business insurance.

Category 3
Known as “black water,” this is the highest level of contamination. It includes any source that may contain sewage, seawater, rising floodwaters or groundwater. Category 3 water is very unsanitary and can cause health problems. It should be addressed immediately by a professional remediation service.
Damage caused by flood water or other external source requires a special government-issued insurance policy. It’s important to consult your agent early on to determine which coverage is needed for your situation.
If your Creve Coeur, MO, business sustains water damage, it could be a costly and unsettling experience. Once you assess your level of contamination, you can begin implementing a strategy for cleanup and move toward returning your company to business as usual.

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