The Three Types of Water Damage You Need to Know About

Brushes, rubber gloves, and cleaning supplies to clean a home for the holidays

Water damage isn’t as simple as something seeping into your floorboards or walls. It goes farther than that. For one, the source of water damage can come anywhere from leaking pipes to a natural disaster. Water damage doesn’t come from just one source.

Then, there are different types of water damage. It can come from a faulty toilet, leaking pipes, sewage, and etc. In order to get a better understanding of how bad the situation may be, you need to understand the three types of water damage that can affect your home.

Clean Water:

Clean water is also known as category one water, the safest of all water damage. This type of damage usually comes from an unattended overflowing sink or a broken water line. Consuming this type of water would pose no health risks to humans or animals and thus, is usually the easiest to fix.

Most cleaning companies would go in, inspect the incident, extract the water, and then thoroughly dry the area. Because there are no microbes in clean water, the process isn’t as complex as it would be with more serious cases.


Gray Water:

Gray water is more serious than clean water and can occur if you leave clean water dormant for a period of over 24 hours. A good example of a gray water incident would be a toilet overflowing. There are microbes in toilet water and consumption of that water could lead to illness and at the very least, an upset stomach.

One of the most important pieces to gray water is preventing the spread of the microbes inside the water. That’s why you usually leave the work to the professionals. But if you want to start the restoration process before the service crew arrives, make sure to keep your skin covered at all times to minimize the risk of exposure to your body and to other areas of your household.


Black Water:

Black water is the most serious of all three water damages. This type of damage usually occurs due to sewage or, in some cases, natural disasters such as hurricanes and heavy flooding. It’s extremely important that you keep yourself away from black water as it can contain anything from chemicals and pesticides to bacterial diseases that will do serious bodily harm if they get inside you.

water damaged floors

If you are in a situation where black water has contaminated your home, call the professionals. Don’t try to clean it up yourself because chances are, you won’t have the proper equipment or knowledge to sufficiently restore your home.

The dangers of Black Water shouldn’t be ignored. Even being exposed to the air around black water can lead to serious respiratory problems. Coming in contact with it can lead to serious illness and even death in some cases.

Some symptoms that can occur from being exposed to black water are nausea, memory loss, vomiting, and liver failure. That being said, black water should only be treated by professionals. Never try to deal with black water on your own.  

An Important Disclaimer

One of the biggest things that people tend to get confused with when it comes to the types of water damage are the colors of the water. Just because the water is classified as black water damage doesn’t mean the water is going to appear black to the human eye.

In fact, black water may look “clean” in a sense, especially after flooding. But when it comes to the microbes and chemicals in the water, chances are you won’t be able to see them. That’s why the safest route is to always call certified professionals. They know what to look for and they know how to thoroughly dispose of the water as well as fix the damage.


Should I Wait to Call If it’s Clean Water?

The answer is always no when it comes to water damage. Even if the damage seems to come from an overflowed bathtub or leaking pipes, immediately call for help. As we mentioned before, if left dormant, clean water can turn into gray water which will only do more damage to your home.

Furthermore, sustained water damage can bring more problems than just wet areas. Fungi can start to show up, the structure of your home can diminish, and furniture can become permanently ruined.

The earlier you call for water cleaning services, the easier it is to fix your home. Waiting will only make things worse.

Say you find yourself in a situation where the water damage was out of your control. It can bring its own series of problems such as molding, sewage contamination, and flood damage. Luckily, there are also solutions for these types of problems as well.


What to Do in the Case of Molding

moldy floors

One of the biggest problems that can arise from water damage is molding. This can occur whenever water damage is present for a long period of time, usually in the case of heavy flooding or sink overflow.

If mold is left by itself, it can easily destroy the structure of your home and cause damage that’s permanent. It can make furniture useless and decorate your walls with green spots. Therefore, it’s important to call right away if you start seeing mold show up.

Companies that have 24/7 emergency cleaning services are especially good to know about because they can assist you whenever and however you want. This makes mold removal much easier to handle.



What to Do in the Case of Sewage Damage

If you sustain sewage damage, call right away. It’s not only black water but once the water subsides, there’s going to be bacteria on bacteria–not to mention the bad smell–inside your home and only the qualified professionals will know how to take care of it.

Like mold, if not taken care of right away, the sewage damage will eventually lead to structural injuries and contamination.


What to Do in the Case of Flood Damage

In the Midlands, flooding is a serious issue that affects homeowners across South Carolina. Sometimes, even with your best efforts, the damage occurs nonetheless. So, what do you do?

First, make a tab. When flooding happens, valuables can be sucked away and it’s important to know what was and wasn’t lost. Then, as you would in the case of molding or sewage, call the professionals.

Especially in South Carolina, 24/7 service such as Whitehall’s ensures your home’s safety time and time again. They’ll flood-proof your home if another incident hits and they’ll be there for you when disaster strikes.



While water may be one of the most essential resources on this planet, its presence alone can do extreme damage to your home if left untreated on surfaces such as carpet and wood. From there, more problems can arise such as molding and structural instability.

It’s important that you don’t let water destroy the well-being of your home. Call professionals as soon as possible if you feel like there is water damage present somewhere inside your house.