What Type of Loss?

What Type of Loss?

This is a picture of a Category 2, Class 2 water loss. Why? It is a Cat 2 because it originated from the clothes washer which overflowed during a cycle due to a faulty sensor. Class 2 because there was a significant amount of carpet which was wet, and because the water ran along the walls, there was removal required but not more than twenty four inches.

Classes of Water – Part 2

Class 3

Class 3 water intrusion is where moisture has wicked up the walls more than 24 inches, water may have come from above and/or wet insulation may be present and there is more water present than any other class. Class 3 water losses include:

  • Strong wins damage the roof and rain enters from above, saturating ceilings, walls, flooring materials and structural items.
  • Second floor water supply failure saturates entire areas below with large amounts of water.
  • Overhead water supply pipes malfunction, saturating entire areas with large amounts of water.

Class 4

A Class 4 water intrusion results in a specialty drying situation. Typically, wet materials present in a Class 4 water situation have very low porosity. Materials that are common to Class 4 intrusions include hardwood, plaster, brick, deeply saturated concrete, deeply saturated ground soil and stone. Other examples of Class 4 situations include:

  • Plaster and lath walls that are deeply saturated
  • Gymnasium floors
  • Hardwood floors in residential construction
  • Very old construction with multiple layers of building materials
  • Concrete
  • Dirt floors

Use of desiccant and/or LGR dehumidifiers is necessary in Class 4 situations.

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Classes of Water – Part 1

Along with Categories of water, there are also Classes of Water. Classes of water describe the potential rate of evaporation based upon the amount of water present and the type of material affected. In this session, we will define the different classes of water.

Class 1

Class 1 intrusions involve only a part of an area, or involve a larger area that has only been lightly affected. In a Class 1 loss, there is little or no wet carpet or cushion, typically, only low porosity materials such as plywood, concrete and structural lumber are affected. Examples of common Class 1 water intrusions are:

  • A concrete basement floor that only absorbed a small amount of water.
  • And losses where carpet and pad have been removed and there is no wet gypsum.

Class 2

Class 2 water intrusions are ones that have affected significant areas of carpet and cushion. Water may have wicked up the walls but is less than twenty four inches high, and structural materials are wet. Some examples of Class 2 common intrusions are:

  • A loss that includes wet carpet, cushion and gypsum wicked less than twenty four inches.
  • A structure that was affected by Category 2 water and where the underlay was removed, but wet carpet, drywall and structural materials remain.

Structures with no wicking on walls but where the carpet and underlay is being dried in place.

Part 2 will include Classes 3 and 4.

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Category 3 Water Loss

Category 3 Water Loss

Here’s a photo of a category 3 water loss. This is probably the least offensive photo we can show, but it is a sewer back up. Category 3 is when water intrusion results from a grossly unsanitary source, or carries pathogenic agents. Examples of Category 3 water sources include discharge from toilets that originate from beyond the trap, sewer or septic system, and intrusions from the surface of ground water into the structure like flood water.

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Categories of Water – Part 2

Category 2

Water that does carry a significant degree of chemical, biological and/or physical contamination is said to be Category 2.  Aquarium leaks, waterbed leaks, toilet bowl overflows that contain urine, dishwasher and clothes water discharges, and water which enters the structure through hydrostatic pressure. 

With Category 2 water losses, special steps and procedures are necessary in order to return the structure to a pre-loss condition.  Hot water extraction must be executed and the underlay of the carpet must be removed and disposed of.  Antimicrobials should also be used to mitigate growth of microorganisms especially when there are porous materials that are to be cleaned and restored. 

Category 3

When water intrusion results from a grossly unsanitary source, or carries pathogenic agents, it is said to be category 3.  Examples of Category 3 water sources include discharge from toilets that originate from beyond the trap, sewer or septic system, and intrusions from the surface of ground water into the structure like flood water.

Many procedures are necessary to address cleanliness and safety when dealing with category 3 water losses.  Worker and occupant health and safety are the first priority on such losses as they are considered potentially hazardous. 

Individuals with compromised immune systems, individuals who have undergone recent surgery or chemotherapy, and those whose immune systems are suppressed by conditions such as AIDS should be evacuated from the structure until it has been judged safe for occupancy. 

Various cleaning and decontamination procedures must be applied, while surfaces that are to be restored must be thoroughly cleaned.  Category 3 loss, like all other losses requires immediate action, but materials that have been affected by this type of loss will most likely be discarded, unless those items can be restored, but the process is quite expensive.  Appropriate biocides during and after the demolition process should be implemented to help control microorganisms while increasing the cleaning process.   Be sure to check your contractors certifications and insurance prior to hiring anyone for a water loss.  Hiring an uninsured contractor, or one that doesn’t have the proper training and certification needed for such remediation projects could result in thousands of dollars in damage.

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