Classification of Water and the Damage It Leaves

When it comes to water and the damage it can leave behind, it’s best to educate yourself on the dangers it can impose. There are not only classifications of water damage, but also of water itself. Below we’ve listed the categories of water so that you can best judge how to proceed once water has infiltrated your home.

3 Categories of Water

Category 1

Best case scenario, you have Category 1 water in your home. The most sanitary of the three, you’re not at risk from any type of exposure. This category of water could be from tub or sink overflow or broken water supply lines.

Category 2

While not as bad as Category 3, Category 2 contains contaminants that have the potential to make one ill. Exposure to or ingestion of Category 2 water could be a threat to one’s health. The source could be from the toilet with trace amounts of urine but no feces, water from dishwasher or washing machine, or from a sump pump.

Category 3

Also known as “black water”, this water could potentially carry anything from pesticides to heavy metals and other toxic substances. This water source would be from sewage, seawater or river/stream water, or standing water.

Along with classifying the type of water that has made its way into your home, there are categories for the level of damage it leaves behind. We’ll help you understand what type of damage you have in the four categories below.

Classification of Water Damage

Class 1

The slowest evaporation rate and the easiest to deal with. Class 1 only affects a small section of a room. It leaves very little wet carpet and would only affects materials like plywood or concrete.

Class 2

A little tricky to deal with, Class 2 leaves behind moisture in the structural materials of the home and ceilings. The water has evaporated quickly and leaves up to two feet of wetness in walls, carpets, and cushions.

Class 3

An even faster evaporation rate than Class 2, Class 3 involves the most water absorption. Due to the water most likely coming from overhead, ceilings, walls, and insulation are all affected. Water would also permeate any porous materials in the affected area.

Class 4

This is more of a special situation – with materials that aren’t as porous, such as concrete, brick, plywood, and etc. These materials require longer to dry. Some situations may need specific methods to dry properly.


Sometimes water damage is unavoidable, but there are always precautions you can take! If you’re in need of waterproofing, call our Kansas City office at 816-219-1099!

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