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What to do when you discover water coming in your home or business.

water leak in ceiling

Time is not on your side!
Act quickly but carefully.

Call us immediately! Mold can start in 48 hours and toxins can become introduced to the water in hours. Do not enter standing water if the power is on in the area.

First determine the Type of Liquid, and the class of toxicity, according the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification), from the lists below. Wear protective gear like water proof boots, gloves, and respirators. Open windows and place fans in side them to keep air moving.

DO NOT TRY TO REMIDIATE if the cause is more than Category 1 and Toxicity exceeds Class 1.

If water is coming from a broken pipe shut off the closest valve to the leak, or shut off water line at the entry point by the water meter. Mop or wet van up any standing water, and pour outside or down drain like a bath tub or toilet. Remove any wet materials like area rugs, furniture.

Type of liquid involved

Category 1:
This is liquid from a clean and sanitary source, such as faucets, toilet tanks, drinking fountains, etc. But, category one can quickly degrade into Category 2.


Category 2:
This category of liquid can be referred to as “grey water” and is described as having a level of
contaminants that may cause illness or discomfort if ingested. Sources include dishwasher or washing
machine overflows, flush from sink drains, and toilet overflow with some urine but not feces.


Category 3:
This is the worst classification and is grossly unsanitary. It could cause severe illness or death if ingested. It used to be called black water, and sources include sewer backup, flooding from rivers or streams, toilet overflow with feces, and stagnant liquid that has begun to support bacterial growth.

Water damage clean up by classes.

Class 1:
The lowest and easiest to deal with, this has a slow evaporation rate. Only part of a room or area
was affected, there is little or no wet carpet and the moisture has only affected materials with a low
permeance rate, such as plywood or concrete.


Class 2:
With a fast evaporation rate, this level affects an entire room, carpeting, or cushioning. The
wetness has wicked up the walls at least 12”, and there is moisture remaining in structural materials.


Class 3:
This class has the fastest evaporation rate, and ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet, and sub-floors
are all saturated. The liquid may have come from overhead.


Class 4:
This class is labeled as specialty drying situations, which means there has been enough liquid and
time to saturate materials with very low permeance, such as hardwood, brick, or stone.

What to do.

If the toilet is clogged and overflowing, turn off the water at the valve so it cannot be flushed again.
Prevent cross-contamination by not moving anything from the area. Call us to evaluate the cause of the
problem, and if needed, we will call a plumber to find the issue.


If water continues to rise in the toilet or tub and no toilets have been flushed or water has been run, this
issue may be from a backflow from the municipal water system or from a saturated septic system. Call us and your local municipal water system administrator and report a clog in the system, not in your sewer line. Do not try to clean up as it will continue to rise. Do not attempt to resolve yourself as the water is very toxic.


If water is from exterior penetration of the building, there is nothing that can be done except to reduce the
damage. Remove all area rugs, furniture, and other porous materials to an upper floor if available. If not,
place them on the highest available space like countertops. Call us to schedule a time to come and
remediate the damage.