Gray water contains a significant level of contamination and has the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if consumed by or exposed to humans. Gray water may contain chemicals, bio-contaminants (fungal, bacterial, viral, algae), or other contaminants. Examples include: discharge from dishwashers or washing machines, overflows from washing machines, overflows from toilet bowls with some urine (no feces), sump pump failures, seepage due to hydrostatic pressure, broken aquariums, and punctured water beds. Gray water that remains untreated for longer than 48 hours may escalate to Category 3.
Keep the basement dry as it's the most common place to find damage. Flooding, burst pipes, and even clogged gutters can cause leaks. Pitching the landscape, cleaning the gutters, and installing downspout extensions are simple outdoor fixes. From the inside, install a sump pump and water alarm. Have the basement inspected for waterproofing – or have some installed.
The methods for dealing with damage to walls depend on the type of materials and also what’s behind those materials. Drywall can often be salvaged, when you respond quickly to damage. You can purchase moisture meters that allow you to assess structural integrity. If the integrity checks out then your drying approach will depend on wall contents. If the wall has insulation, you will need to use flood cuts. If there is no insulation, then usually the best method is to create weep holes. And if you’re dealing with a firewall, you’ll want to use staggered cuts.
Many parts of a car are challenging to clean and dry because they are hard to access. Door locks, window regulators, power seat motors, heating and air conditioning components, and many small parts are tucked away in enclosed areas or up under the dash. These items may work okay immediately following a flood, only to fail later due to contamination by dirty water.

The third type is black water, such as sewage or serious flooding from nearby rivers, etc. This water contains waste, bacteria and other serious contaminants. Black water can cause very serious health problems, and you shouldn’t try to clean it up yourself. It’s time to contact the pros for home water damage repair. Water damage cleanup cost rises to $7 per square foot.


Water damage can originate by different sources such as a broken dishwasher hose, a washing machine overflow, a dishwasher leakage, broken/leaking pipes, flood waters and clogged toilets. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 13.7% of all water used in the home today can be attributed to plumbing leaks.[3] On average that is approximately 10,000 gallons of water per year wasted by leaks for each US home. A tiny, 1/8-inch crack in a pipe can release up to 250 gallons of water a day.[4] According to Claims Magazine in August 2000, broken water pipes ranked second to hurricanes in terms of both the number of homes damaged and the amount of claims (on average $50,000 per insurance claim[citation needed]) costs in the US.[5] Experts suggest that homeowners inspect and replace worn pipe fittings and hose connections to all household appliances that use water at least once a year. This includes washing machines, dishwashers, kitchen sinks and bathroom lavatories, refrigerator icemakers, water softeners and humidifiers. A few US companies offer whole-house leak protection systems utilizing flow-based technologies. A number of insurance companies offer policy holders reduced rates for installing a whole-house leak protection system.
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