4 Classes of Water Damage

November 28, 2019

The task of mitigating water damage requires strict attention to completely mitigating the water and the effects, not just to "band-aid" the situation so it looks ok. With that said, as a restoration company, we must first assess and assign a class to the water damage in question. 

Water coming from a bath overflow, leaking pipe or perhaps a large scale pipe burst, is all bad news to the owner, but some of them can be solved with relative ease. Drying out the area and then demoing-replacing any water damaged is what we do, and have been doing for years.


Look at the classes below:

  • Class 1 – Slow rate of evaporation

    • Small size water loss.

    • Water losses that affect only part of a room or area.

    • Losses with low-permeance/porosity materials (e.g. plywood, particleboard, structural wood, VCT, concrete).

    • Little or no wet carpet and/or cushion is present.

    • Minimum moisture is absorbed by materials, which release that moisture slowly.

    • On hot dry days this class is an ideal candidate for open system dehumidification.

  • Class 2 – Fast rate of evaporation

    • Medium size water loss.

    • Water losses that affect the entire room of carpet and cushion.

    • Water has wicked up walls less than 24 inches.

    • There is moisture remaining in the structural materials (e.g. plywood, particleboard, structural wood, VCT, concrete).

  • Class 3 – Fastest rate of evaporation

    • Large size water loss.

    • Carpet and pad with water from coming from above or water wicking more than 24” up walls.

    • Ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet, cushion and subfloor in virtually the entire area are saturated.

  • Class 4 – Specialty drying situations, focus on bound water

    • Involves wet materials that are very low permeance/porosity (e.g. hardwoods, subfloors, plaster, brick, concrete, stone, crawlspaces).

    • Typically there are deep pockets of saturation that normally require very low specific humidity.

    • In laymen's terms a class four water loss involves drying hardwood flooring, concrete or some such material

You should hpopefully never have to deal with these, but if you do - you can rest assured that ALL of the damage will be taken care of when you hire the right restoration contractor.



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