Categories Water Damage

Standard Procedures for Water Damage Restoration

There are no special licenses required to work in the water mitigation industry. Any man with a van and a fan can get into the business and start making money, and trust me a lot of them do.

However, there is a standard that all legitimate companies should be following. It is set by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). They have laid out the “guidelines” of our industry in a book titled the “S500 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration”.

The S500 includes key words, definitions, operating procedures, and a list of other great information specific to the water mitigation field.


S500 standard and reference guide for professional water damage restoration


Have you ever bought a new toy that came with a booklet of specific directions? You had a choice in that instance to either follow the directions, or “wing it” and figure it out on your own. There isn’t anyone making you do it one way or another.

If you decide to “wing it” the worst that can happen is the toy doesn’t get assembled correctly and you’ll have to go back and start from scratch.

If a water mitigation company isn’t following the S500, the worst that can happen is causing serious injury or even death in a customer’s home. When you’re dealing with water, fire, and mold damage, problems can escalate very quickly if they are not being handled properly.

At that point, the man with a van and a fan who decided to “wing it” will be explaining why he didn’t follow the S500 “guidelines” to an attorney in a court of law.

While the S500 is technically a book of “guidelines”, reputable water mitigation companies treat its content very seriously. It serves as the standard for how we do things and why.



Need help with Water Damage?

Call (317) 315-5071




Categories Water Damage

Categories of Water Damage

What are the categories of water damage?

Categories of Water Damage: the categories of water, as defined by the, IICRC S500 document , refer to the range of contamination in water, considering both its originating source and quality after it contacts materials present on the job site.


Category 1 Water Damage:

Category 1 water originates from a sanitary water source and does not pose substantial risk from dermal, ingestion, or inhalation exposure. Examples of Category 1 water sources can include, but are not limited to: broken water supply lines; tub or sink overflows with no contaminants; appliance malfunctions involving water-supply lines; melting ice or snow; falling rain water; broken toilet tanks; and toilet bowls that do not contain contaminants or additives.


category 1 water damage


Category 2 Water Damage:

Water that is consider category 2 contains contaminants and has the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if contacted or consumed by humans. This water can contain potentially unsafe levels of microorganisms or nutrients for microorganisms, as well as other organic or inorganic matter (chemical or biological).

Examples of category 2 water can include, but are not limited to: discharge from dishwashers or washing machines; overflows from washing machines; overflows from toilet bowls on the room side of the trap with some urine but not feces; seepage due to hydro static pressure; broken aquariums and punctured water beds.


category 2 water damage


Note: Seepage due to hydrostatic pressure is most often pertaining to sump pump backups.


Category 3 Water Damage:

Category 3 water is grossly contaminated and can contain pathogenic, toxigenic or other harmful agents and can cause significant adverse reactions to humans if contacted or consumed.

Examples of Category 3 water can include, but are not limited to: sewage; wasteline backflows that originate from beyond any trap regardless of visible content or color; all forms of flooding from seawater; rising water from rivers or streams; and other contaminated water entering or affecting the indoor environment, such as wind-driven rain from hurricanes, tropical storms, or other weather-related events.

Category 3 water can carry trace levels of regulated or hazardous materials (e.g. pesticides, or toxic organic substances).



The category of water damage determines how a water damage contractor will complete the mitigation process.  Each category of water requires a different procedure for cleaning-up and drying the home or business.  If you are experiencing water damage and need immediate assistance give us a call.






Click To Call