Tips to Prevent Long-Term Water Damage

Water-Related Disasters Require Fast Action

Water is one of the most destructive elements to property, buildings and their inhabitants. Damage becomes more severe with unsanitary water and when cleanup and dry-out services are delayed.

There are three categories of water to be aware of, and here’s what to do when you encounter them:

Category 1: Clean Water

  • Danger Level to Humans: Low, as long as it’s treated quickly.
  • Most Common Sources: Water supply line problems, overflowing sinks, rain and snow.
  • Important Facts: If untreated within 72 hours, moves to a Category 2 Water Loss

Category 2: Gray Water

  • Danger Level to Humans: Moderate; may cause illness and discomfort.
  • Most Common Sources: Toilet tanks, sump pumps, dishwashers, or washing machines.
  • Important Facts: Category 2 Water Losses contain chemicals not fit for consumption.
    • Carpet pads must be removed, and carpet that is saved must be treated with hot-water extraction.
    • Within 48 hours, if left untreated, it moves to a Category 3 Loss and becomes a great deal more expensive.
    • Time is of the essence.

Category 3: Black Water

  • Danger Level to Humans: High; can cause serious illness if not handled properly.
  • Most Common Sources: Any sewage or toilet backflows, as well as ground surface water carrying silt and organic matter.
  • Important Facts: Safety of occupants and workers is paramount with a Category 3 Water Loss. Proper disposal of affected materials is critical.

Here is our Emergency Response Manager, Pete Marrero, discussing water damage on Chicago radio:

Have a question about water damage to your property?  Call us at 800.266.5677 or visit 

Candace Johnson

Corporate Marketing Manager

Candace is a veteran marketer, who specializes in bringing out the best in companies. Responsibilities for BluSky include content creation and editing, brand management and consistency, website management, public relations writing, advertising, and social media management. Candace lives just south of Chicago with her husband Eric and three children.

Candace Johnson

Corporate Marketing Manager
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