Category 3 Water Damage: What It Is and How to Deal With It

By: Diana Rodriguez-Zaba
Updated on: January 4, 2021

When you’re faced with flood water damage in the house, you don’t stop and wonder if it can be classified by category. You want to get everything cleaned up, dried out and back to normal as quickly as possible.

How can you be sure you’re not exposing yourself and your family to the serious hazards of Category 3 flood water?

You need to know the different sources for this type of water and why it carries such high levels of risk to your health and damage to your home. We offer our industry expertise in sewage flood cleanup to help you identify and deal with dangerous Category 3 flood water.

Understanding Category 3 Water Damage

You know backed-up sewage water creates an unhealthy mess, but it’s not the only source of hazardous home flooding. Flash flood waters can quickly push organic and chemical contaminants into the house. Even rising water tables can become a source of contagions after a heavy downpour.

To help you better understand the risks involved in cleaning up this type of damage, we offer an overview covering the questions we’re most often asked about Category 3 flood water.

What Is Category 3 Water Damage?

Category 3 water damage occurs when highly contaminated black water soaks porous materials like sheetrock and wood.

Problems can range from sewage water in basements to mold-infested crawl spaces.

The most common sources of Category 3 water include:

  • Broken sewer lines
  • Backed-up sewer mains
  • Extended rain events
  • Flash floods
  • Hurricane flooding

Even a small toilet overflow causes Category 3 damage when dirty water deposits bacteria on the floor, baseboards and surrounding fixtures.

How Does It Spread So Quickly?

The cellulose in walls and flooring serves as a food source for black water contaminants. Every porous surface in your home becomes a breeding ground for pathogens and fungus.

The high humidity, warm temperature and stagnant air in a flooded house create an ideal environment for bacteria and mold growth inside walls and under floors.

Why Can’t I Clean It Up?

Any type of flood water poses serious health risks, but the black water in Category 3 flooding is very dangerous. The contaminated water exposes you to pathogens that cause serious diseases including:

  • Hepatitis B and C
  • Norovirus
  • Tetanus
  • West Nile virus
  • Tuberculosis
  • HIV / AIDS

Black water and sewage backup health risks spread quickly through an affected home. Ordinary cleanup can’t address the hazardous contamination that soaks deep into sheetrock, carpets, furnishings and personal belongings.

What Should I Do?

Call a professional cleaning and restoration company certified in handling Category 3 contamination. You want highly trained technicians on the scene who adhere to strict OSHA and EPA standards as they clean and sanitize the entire house. If possible, make arrangements to stay at another location until the process is completed.

By bringing in a cleaning contractor, you:

  • Reduce your chances of exposure to dangerous pathogens.
  • Address long-term problems like hidden mold growth.
  • Take care of both cleanup and reconstruction.
  • Recover salvageable flooring, furniture and personal belongings.

Will Insurance Cover My Damages?

Most homeowners insurance covers water damage, but you need to purchase a separate policy for natural flooding events.

If you aren’t sure about your coverage, discuss different options and additional protection with your agent. This is a good time to update the details on your current policy too.

Ask your agent to recommend a water damage restoration company now so that you’ll be prepared just in case. An established restoration contractor can also help you handle insurance paperwork and navigate the claims process.

If you find yourself facing the aftermath of Category 3 flood damage, it’s good to know you already have a partner who can handle the recovery from start to finish.

Call Us Right Away

category 3 water clean up
Professionals use specialized water damage equipment to sanitize, dry and repair affected areas.

Tackling water damage and flood cleanup by yourself isn’t easy. Don’t let it become dangerous by taking on Category 3 flood water damage. Print out our guide, and keep it handy. We invite you to share your experiences with home flooding by joining the conversation here through our Comments Section.

If you ever have doubts about cleaning up after any type of flooding, call us right away. We’ll quickly assess the level of contamination and advise you on the safest course of action.

You can count on ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba for certified sewage flood cleanup and the best water damage home repair services in Chicago and the suburbs: 773-647-1985