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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

There's More Than One Type of Contaminated Water

8/22/2019 (Permalink)

Rain water is a source of clean water

There's More Than One Type of Contaminated Water

No matter the source, you should be careful when coming into contact with flooding in Warwick, RI. Often, it is contaminated water. Depending on what the water contains, it could pose different levels of risk. 

Type 1

This type of water comes from clean sources and you can attempt to clean it up yourself. However, it is time sensitive. If left standing it can become contaminated in as little as 48 hours. The biggest concern with this type of flooding is getting everything dried out as quickly as possible to avoid mold growth. Some common sources of clean water flooding are:

  • rainwater or melting snow
  • supply line leaks
  • sink overflow
  • malfunctioning appliances
  • toilet holding tanks

Type 2

This level of contamination is called grey water. It is wastewater or used water that is not contaminated by fecal matter or human waste. You should wear personal protective gear, like boots and gloves, if you are attempting to clean it up yourself. However, you should consider hiring a professional, just in case. If possible, it is especially important to keep vulnerable people such as children and elders away from the contaminated water. Also, if left standing for 48 hours or more, it can sometimes turn into black water, the third type described below. Common sources are sump pumps, appliance leaks or sink back-ups.

Type 3

This is black water. It is contaminated by human waste, untreated sewage or fecal matter. It could also contain dissolved chemicals. It is best to avoid all contact. It is also highly advised to call a licensed water damage remediation specialists who follow special protocols when dealing with this type of water. Usually all porous materials that come into contact with black water, like carpets and upholstery, cannot be salvaged. Common sources are flooding, sewer backup, foundation problems or gutter problems.
A general rule of thumb is that if you don't know what's in the contaminated water, try not to touch it. Leave it to the professionals who know what they are doing and how to restore your home.

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