Floods are classified into three different categories. These categories can be easily spotted based on the various colors of the water. Floodwaters may be white/clear, gray, and black. Each category requires specific safety precautions and has different levels of mitigation and cleanout. It is crucial to understand the difference in categories to receive the proper assistance and avoid any further damage.
White/clear water is the least expensive to remedy. The source is sanitary, meaning that there is no harmful bacteria or sewage present. While this category can be a relief, it is still necessary to act quickly to remove the water and repair the damage. If the water sits for too long, it can be contaminated by other items in the area, causing an elevation in category or classification.
If the water is found to be category two, or greywater, through pretesting, then it is best that you do not go near it. This result indicates that there are organic and inorganic substances in the water and that you may become ill if it is consumed or touched.
Blackwater is the most dangerous water. The level of contamination includes sewage, chemicals, bacteria, and possible toxins. It is likely that your insurance agent and company will recommend a disaster restoration specialist who will probably seal the space as they work to remove the water safely.