The Basics of Water Damage in the Home

December 15th, 2016 | seowerkz

At Expert Plumbing, Heating, Air and Electrical, one of the most common needs for our emergency plumbing services comes as a result of water damage. There are dozens of different ways water damage can be caused in your home, and it can lead to some of the most costly and time-consuming problems in the plumbing field.

With proper maintenance and upkeep, there’s a good chance you may never need to face any of the most serious water damage issues. It’s better to be safe than sorry, though, so here are a few basics on water damage – classifications, causes and potential resulting issues.


When a plumber deals with water damage, they classify it based on two important factors: The level of contamination in the water involved, and the type of damage and necessary cleanup that’s taken place. Damage and cleanup are broken down by numbered class:

  • Class 1: Limited damage, most of the spillage has been absorbed
  • Class 2: Significant damage, fast evaporation required for cleanup. Usually, this class involves damage to carpets or cushions
  • Class 3: Major damage, often from sprinklers or other major water sources. Requires fastest evaporation possible for cleanup
  • Class 4: Structural damage to hardwood floors, plaster or concrete. Typically requires special restoration or replacement procedures

Water type is classified by numbered categories:

  • Category 1: Clean water, does not pose a health risk (dishwasher, sink or water heater leak)
  • Category 2: Gray water, contaminated, can cause sickness (toilets or sewage)
  • Category 3: Black water, contains bacteria, fully unsafe


Water damage has several potential causes in the home:

  • Clogged toilers or drains
  • Leaking pipes or water heater
  • Overflowing laundry machines or dishwashers
  • Broken hoses
  • Floods, heavy snowfall or rainfall
  • Cracks in foundation, or leaky roofs

Health Concerns

Especially in cases of Category 2 or Category 3 spills, water damage can cause a number of potential health issues if not properly addressed. These include:

  • Bacteria growth
  • Mold growth
  • Major increase in asthma and allergy symptoms
  • Major increase in risk of respiratory disease
  • Major complications for people with weak immune systems

Expert Plumbing, Heating, Air and Electrical is your go-to 24-hour plumbing source, and we’re here to assist you with any water damage or other plumbing needs. Our technicians are standing by at your convenience.