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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

What’s In Flood Water?

2/13/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage What’s In Flood Water? Flood water contains bacteria

What’s In Flood Water?

Water damage is classified into three categories. Category One water is clean. Category Two water, or gray water, is contaminated, but does not contain solid waste. Category Three water, or black water, is severely contaminated. This water originates from a flood or sewer backup. Find out more about why it is necessary to disinfect any building materials and contents exposed to flooding.

Contaminants

Category Three water may contain a variety of contaminants. When flooding occurs, surface water may carry any of the following contents:

  • Bacteria
  • Chemicals
  • Hazardous waste
  • Heavy metals
  • Sewage

When a body of surface water overflows or heavy rain accumulates, this water may mingle with overflow from sewer mains. Water accumulates more contaminants as it flows. For this reason, it is important to extract standing water before cleaning and disinfecting any parts of a commercial structure exposed to this type of water damage.

Protective Equipment

Building occupants should take measures to limit exposure to contaminated water. It may be helpful to keep the following personal protective items on site:

  • Goggles or safety glasses
  • Heavy work gloves
  • Hip waders
  • Watertight boots with electrical insulation

All of these pieces of equipment can be useful if a building occupant needs to move through flood water for any reason. Individuals should factor in the depth and speed of the water when deciding whether to cross.

Cleanup Procedures

There are several stages to cleaning up flooding. A commercial restoration company will extract black water with a pump or other specialized equipment. It may be necessary to tear out damaged building materials. Afterwards, the area should be cleaned, disinfected and dried. Once the area is totally dry, restoration can proceed.

It is important to exercise caution during flooding in Holly Springs, NC. The owner of a commercial building should contact mitigation and restoration professionals as soon as possible to start the water damage cleanup process.

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