Damage to your home can be a disheartening experience. There are costs involved, insurance claims to file, and worst of all, sometimes irreplaceable family heirlooms and photographs are lost. Among the worst kind of damage that your home can experience is that which comes along with a large rain or flooding: water damage. Did you know that water damage is generally filed away into four types of categories? Throughout the course of this brief article, you'll learn what each class means and what sort of damage and repairs you can expect with each.
Class 1 Water Damage
Class 1 water damage involves the least amount of water, absorption, and evaporation. If you have received water damage to your home, you should be at least relieved to hear that you have received Class 1 water damage. Generally, in homes labeled as being affected by Class 1 water damage, only a portion of the house – or even a portion of a room – is affected by water damage, and there is not much absorption of the water into carpeted areas or furniture. Sometimes Class 1 water damage actually requires no clean up other than removal of the water. In some cases, affected pieces of furniture may be dry cleaned or portions of the carpet replaced.
Class 2 Water Damage
Class 2 water damage is significantly more damaging than Class 1 water damage. It is usually identified as a large amount of water, absorption, and evaporation occurring in the household. It is generally reserved for an entire room, cushioned area, or carpeted area. Standing water can be in the home up to 24" in this class, and in some cases, the water has affected the aesthetic integrity of the room by soaking into the walls, plywood, etc. This is a definite negative for you.
Class 2 water damage almost always involves, at the very least, the replacement of key pieces of furniture, a complete removal and replacement of a carpeted area, and in some cases, re-insulating or rebuilding walls. In most cases of Class 2 water damage, a professional cleanup from a flood damage restoration service is recommended.
Class 3 Water Damage
Class 3 water damage is actually the most damaging classification of water damage. In cases of Class 3 water damage, the water damage is at its utmost damaging. Standing water can exist in excess of two feet and any cushions or carpeted areas are completely damaged. Worse, in this category, damage to the subfloor is a possibility, which can affect the integrity of your home.
This should be investigated immediately. In many cases of Class 3 water damage, the culprit of the water damage has come from overhead, which means that there is most likely ceiling and wall damage. Many times ceilings and entire sections of walls must be replaced. With Class 3 water damage, professional cleanup is not merely recommended, but it will most likely be required.
Class 4 Water Damage
Class 4 water damage is actually reserved for special cases of water damage. In most cases, Class 4 damage is comparable in terms of magnitude to Class 2 water damage, although sometimes Class 4 water damage can affect the structure integrity of the home, in which case it must be addressed as soon as possible. Class 4 water damage refers to porous materials – such as drywall and various forms of bricking – that have been entirely saturated by water. These materials usually require very low humidity, and should most likely be handled by a professional.
As you imagined, dealing with water damage can be a truly trying task. However, with knowledge of the classification of water damage, you're probably ready to face it.