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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Clean Water, Gray Water, and Black Water

8/3/2022 (Permalink)

This picture shows the three different categories of water. Clean, gray, and black water. SERVPRO of Indianapolis East will help make it "Like it never even happened."

What's the difference between clean water, gray water, and black water? And why are they all bad when it comes to flooding and water damage to an Indianapolis home or business? 

What is Clean Water?

Clean water is water that comes from your faucet or shower head that you can drink safely. It is also considered rainwater or snow melt. Water damage to your home can come from a broken water line, a busted toilet tank, a leaky washer or refrigerator, or rain or snow melt entering your home or basement. While clean water flooding your basement or floors may not cause an immediate health risk, it can quickly evolve into gray water after prolonged contact with building surfaces, materials, and items. This can happen within 48 hours, so it is important to call SERVPRO of Indianapolis East as soon as possible after a flood or water damage. 

What is Gray Water?

Gray water is water that may contain chemicals or contaminants that may be harmful to your health. Gray water can come from the shower and sink drains, the washer drains, the dishwasher drain, and aquariums. Gray water can cause even more damage than clean water and evolve into black water within 48 hours, causing further damage and health risks. 

What is Black Water?

Black water is contaminated water from floodwaters and sewage waters. Black water can come from a flooded river, a backed-up toilet, or a backed-up sewage line in your home. Black water can contain all types of harmful contaminants like bacteria, mold, and viruses that can be highly harmful to humans. Black water can cause diseases and illnesses like cholera, hepatitis, and norovirus. Black water can be hazardous to one's health, and it is imperative to immediately call a professional cleanup team like SERVPRO of Indianapolis East. If the water damage from black water isn't professionally removed, dried out, and cleaned, infections and illnesses can occur from microbes in the air and dust. You must hire professionals with the right tools and processes to ensure a thorough cleanup. 

Time is Not on Your Side

If your home or business suffers water or flooding damage, you need to take immediate steps to dry out the property as quickly as possible. With black water, it is imperative that you call us immediately and not try to clean up the water yourself as this can be very dangerous to your health. Even with gray water, if you are unsure what contaminants may be in the water, it is usually best to rely on professionals, like us, who can test the water, extract the water, and take the appropriate steps to clean the property and ensure there are no health risks from contaminants. Even with clean water, if you do not completely dry the damaged areas, the clean water can quickly turn into gray water, which can turn into black water. 

At SERVPRO of Indianapolis East, we have extensive experience with water and flood damage in homes and businesses in the Indianapolis area. We have the professional equipment, tools, cleaning solutions, and expertise to properly extract the water, dry the property, and make it "Like it never even happened."

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