Basically water damage is confined to three different categories: clean water, gray water and black water.
Clean water means pretty much what it says. The water than has done the damage is clean, and relatively safe to work with during restoration. There are no impurities in the water that is going to be harmful to humans or pets.
Grey water is water that has harmful agents in it that can make anyone coming in contact with it ill, or at the very least very uncomfortable to work with.
Black water is definitely the worse of the three. It is known to have bacteria, chemicals or fungi that can not only be very harmful to humans and animals alike, but in some instances could cause death. Black water should always be handled by professionals who have the equipment and knowledge to deal with it effectively.
Most types of water damage can be prevented by an awareness as to what causes it, plus a minimum of two yearly inspections to see that your plumbing facilities, your foundation and roof are in good order.
Though many of us think of water damage as something that happens on a large scale, there are many times water damage can be happening on a much smaller, but still very serious scale.
If you notice even small amounts of water on the inside surface of exterior walls or on plaster sheet rock, there is a moisture problem that is causing slow but costly damage. These problems are usually caused by a small leak inside the wall coming from the roof or a rusty pipe with a slow drip.
If there is moisture on your foundation walls, you need to apply a damp proofing compound. The moisture is eventually going to cause rot to any wood framing that it is in contact with.
Many times a serious water damage problem will occur simply because the structure does not have a sufficient amount of insulation. When a home or other structure is under insulated, water vapor forms inside the walls or in the attic and sooner or later will do a lot of damage as well as being a haven for insects. To prevent the problem from getting any worse you may need more insulation or need to install an attic fan. Fans keep the air circulating, which will dry the moisture as it forms.
The installation of exhaust fans in the bathrooms is also a needed necessity to help prevent water damage. When you take a shower or bath water vapors form in the air, and over a period of time your wallpaper will start peeling off the wall and you will need to repair or replace it often. Also, it is a ripe environment for mold to develop.
On the outside of your house rotten or stopped up gutters will eventually cause the eaves and wood trim around your roof to rot. If it gets bad enough, it could even allow water to enter the walls of your home.
As you see there are many types of water damage that can occur in many different ways. You don't necessarily need a pipe to burst or a storm to damage your roof to incur a costly amount of damage.
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