Water damage is categorized in various ways. The level of danger of wastewater is separated into clear water, grey water, and black water, which all indicate what, where, and how dangerous the materials the water came in contact with are. There are categories describing what kind of water damage has occurred, whether due to faulty appliances, natural disasters, or human error. Another way to categorize water damage is by class. Water damage classes are determined by the likelihood of evaporation based on what materials were affected or damaged. There are 4 differing water damage classes, and the determination of the class based on the project is important to help initiate the restoration process.
The first class identifies a project where only a small portion of an overall area or room is affected, and the materials within the area are not likely to be damaged by water. In order to be considered a Class 1 project, less than 5% of the total square footage of a room, including the ceiling, walls, and flooring, can be damaged by water. Additionally, the materials and inserts in the area must be considered low or non-porous or permeable materials such as marble, glass, and plastic.
The second class is a more intensive project than a Class 1 project, and the area affected is much broader. Known as the “fast rate of evaporation” class, a Class 2 project can damage anywhere from 5-40% of the room or area. This means that the water damage has spread and affects the entire flooring of carpet and cushion, but not necessarily the entire wall (only up to 24 inches may be damaged) or any of the ceiling.
Water damage would be considered quite severe at a Class 3, as it is dubbed the “fastest rate of evaporation” class. Water damage at this level would be prompting an entire remodel or restoration project, as a simple water extraction process wouldn’t completely mitigate further issues. At a Class 3, water is generally affecting the entire area by emerging from the ceiling and, with the help of gravity, traveling to every aspect of the room, including the ceiling, walls, flooring, insert materials, insulation, etc. A Class 3 project is indicated by more than 40% of the entire area being affected or damaged.
Specialty drying situations make up the final class, and, similar to Class 1, all materials involved have very low porosity, including hardwood floors, concrete, and plaster. The difference between Class 1 and Class 4 is that with class 1, an area can have porous materials, such as carpets or cushioned furniture, but it is still considered Class 1 if less than 5% of the area is affected. With Class 4, the entire area can be affected, but the damage is minimal regardless, due to the nature of the materials within the room. Empty crawl spaces that are completely made of concrete, for instance, would be considered a Class 4 project because it will be a less intensive drying and humidity control process.
If you are experiencing water damage and are unsure of the severity of the situation, be sure to contact Five Valleys Restoration for service and advice.
Located in Hamilton, Montana, Five Valleys Restoration and Cleaning is a licensed and certified restoration contractor providing emergency restoration services as well as reconstruction, cleanup, and cleaning services throughout Western Montana. As an IICRC certified firm, Five Valley’s offers professionals who will complete every project with integrity, skill, and top-tier customer service. With their commitment to respond, restore, and rebuild with efficacy and efficiency, these professionals are prepared for anything.
Water can be categorized, leveled, and classed, but at the end of the day, water damage is water damage, and it needs to be taken care of. For the safety of yourself and your family, Contact your local water damage team, and let the professionals school the water classes.
If this is an emergency, please call 406-542-2113 for immediate service.