Natural Versus Man-Made Flood Damage

Floods can come from a variety of sources, from a natural disaster to an at-home mishap. It’s important to know the differences in floodwater so you can keep yourself or your family safe from biohazardous materials, chemicals, or disease causing organisms and debris that may floating around in the water. Floodwater differs in its composition depending on where it came from, so we at ServiceMaster Quality Clean are here to help you know the major differences in floodwater, how hazardous it can be, and when it’s time to call a professional.

Natural Floods

Flooding is the most common natural disaster to occur for a homeowner or renter. Floods can result from hurricanes, monsoons, high tides in coastal areas, and overflowing rivers and flash floods from heavy rain. Wetter climates and coastal cities have the highest risk for natural flooding. However, almost every state has had some form of flooding within the past 5 years. Natural floods can result in the some of most dangerous types of floodwater, since it’s impossible to know exactly where it originated or what it’s picked up along the way to your home.

Man-Made Floods

More often than not, man-made water damage results from faulty appliances. Overflowing sinks, toilets and drain pipes can happen to anyone! Other malfunctioning appliances that can cause water damage include water heaters, broken dishwashers, laundry machines, and air conditioners. Many of these types of floods are preventable with routine appliance maintenance, however they still account for a large portion of water damage insurance claims.

Categories of Floodwater

Floodwater always contains more than just water, which affects the cleanup process and how hazardous it is to your health. All floodwater should be cleaned up quickly because any category of water will degrade over time and become more hazardous the longer it sits.

Category 1 Water – also referred to as White Water or Clear Water, comes from overflowing sinks, broken water supply lines or a damaged faucet. This is the least hazardous type of floodwater since it contains few contaminants. However, white water should still be cleaned up quickly since it can become Category 2 water within 48 hours.

Category 2 Water – also known as Grey Water, this type of water comes from appliances such as showers, bathtubs, dishwashers and washing machines. This type of water contains contaminants such as soap, grease, bleach or food particulates and can be harmful to your health. If not cleaned up properly or within an efficient time frame, it can turn into Category 3 water.

Category 3 Water – known as Black Water, this is the most harmful type of floodwater than can result in serious illness and even death. Black water contains animal or human waste and generally comes from natural disasters and sewage backups. NEVER enter an area this is contaminated with black water and always leave cleanup to a professional.

When your home or business experiences a flood, don’t take any chances. ServiceMaster Quality Clean can cleanup all categories of floodwater and water damage in Elkton, Maryland and surrounding areas safely and in a timely manner. Floodwater is a serious health hazard and should be taken seriously, especially during a natural disaster or sewage backup.

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