Water Damage Contamination Categories

When it comes to water damage, you want a certified, highly trained professional by your side to perform the extraction and cleanup for your Pennsylvania home and business. The process of water damage cleanup is very involved, and it takes a skilled technician to be able to be able to successfully evaluate, extract, and disinfect a flooded area. Read on to learn about the three different water damage contamination categories professionals use to classify the contaminants found in water damage so you can be educated when it comes to your restoration project.

We know many professionals use jargon and industry-specific terms. Here at Scavello Restoration, we want you to feel comfortable and be in-the-know when it comes to your water damage restoration project.

After a flood in your house or business, the water present is described according to its degree of contamination. Water damage professionals in the industry have set out three different categories of water contamination. These categories help restorers such as our team at Scavello Restoration to determine the restorability of the affected material and to determine the need for protective equipment that will be worn during the restoration process. Depending on which category of water has affected your home, your water damage expert will take different steps to clean up the affected area and then prevent further damage.

Category One Water of Damage Contamination

If the water flooding your house falls within category one, consider yourself lucky. This water comes from a sanitary source and doesn’t pose a substantial risk with ingestion or exposure. Overflowing tubs, leaking faucets, malfunctioning appliances that have water supply lines, broken toilet tanks, and rainwater are all examples of clear water, or water damage that’s categorized as category one water damage.

Category one can rapidly turn into category two, so it’s important to seek professional help as soon as you notice a leak or flood.

Category Two of Water Damage Contamination

The level of contamination that’s present in the water of a washing machine or dishwasher overflow is what is known as “grey water,” known today as category two water damage contamination.

This type of flooding or water damage is marked as having a level of contamination that can cause illness or discomfort if ingested. Sink drains and overflowing toilet bowl (with urine present) also fall into category two contamination of water damage.

If your house or business reaches this level of contamination, it’s important to have a professional perform the water removal process, as expertise and certain precautions are necessary in the extraction and decontamination process.

Category Three of Water Damage Contamination

Category three water damage is the most dangerous, as it is the most unsanitary and tends to be the most extensive. This type of flooding can be perilous to your home and health if not properly treated and cleaned.

If ingested, category three water can cause severe illness or even death. Previously called “black water,” this type of water contamination is caused by various things: overflowing toilets (with fecal matter present), backed up sewers, broken or leaking septic tanks, flooding from streams or rivers, and bacteria growing in stagnant water.


Water damage occurs when you least expect it. A swift response is crucial to saving your belongings, your home’s foundation, and its structural integrity, as well as preventing the growth of dangerous molds and mildews.

It’s vital to call a professional to assess the damages, diagnose the category of water damage contamination, and to extract and clean up the flooding in your Pennsylvania home or business. Scavello Restoration is your go-to water extraction expert for water damage in Eastern Pennsylvania.