If your home sustains water damage, the extent of the repairs that your homeowners insurance agency will make depends on the type of damage that has occurred.

Though it may seem that any damage caused by water is essentially the same, homeowners insurance services actually refer to three different types of water damage which they use to calculate the extent of the required repairs.

By recognizing these three types and how they are handled, you can gain a better understanding of how these claims to your homeowners insurance are handled.

Category 1 Water Damage - White or Clean Water

Homeowners insurance agencies consider clean water or white water damage to be damage caused by water from clean sources.

These sources covered in most homeowners policies include leaks or flooding from broken supply lines, overflowing sinks or bathtubs, some appliance leaks if it’s the clean water, damage caused by ice, snow, and rainwater, and more.

Category 1 water damage involves the least amount of repair other than what’s required due to the extent of the damage itself as white water is considered to be uncontaminated.

Uncontaminated floods and leaks can be repaired quickly and directly as long as efforts are made to prevent mold growth.

Category 2 Water Damage - Gray Water

Gray water damage is caused by fluid that’s not exactly clean but not necessarily a serious health or environmental hazard either.

Homeowners insurance services include in this category any flooding and leaks of dirty discharge water from washing machines and dishwashers, shower and bath water, toilet and sump overflows, fish tank/aquarium water, and other sources that are considered contaminated but not toxic.

Gray water may include chemicals and detergents used in the home and other substances that could be unhealthy.

As such, Category 2 damage requires thorough disinfecting and mold prevention in addition to the needed home repairs to fix or replace ruined items and elements.

Category 3 Water Damage - Black Water

Black water is categorized as floodwaters, sewage, sea and river water, groundwater, and other sources of unclean water that could be carrying any number of chemicals, bacteria, and other harmful microorganisms.

Damage from black water is considered extreme by all homeowners insurance agencies and health officials and requires very extensive repairs and decontamination as it’s considered to be toxic and/or a health hazard.

Since Category 3 damage in the home involves outside water coming in, remediation frequently means homeowners insurance services will advise that flood restoration services be brought in to remove items from the home, professionally disinfect and dry everything out, then make repairs as necessary to prevent mold growth and illness related to the contamination.

Act Fast When Water Damage Occurs

Different kinds of water damage require different treatments to ensure your home can be properly cleaned and repaired.

Contact your homeowners insurance agency after flooding of any sort so they can direct you on the next steps you should take.

Most importantly, stay clear of any black water in the home and call your insurance company immediately so the cleanup can be started as quickly as possible to prevent additional damage from occurring.

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