Flooded Home? Find Out if the Water is Clean, Gray, or Black

Do you know the difference between clean water, gray water, and black water? These descriptions are not about the actual clarity or shade – they’re about how much contaminants are in the water invading your Kenosha or Racine home. The level of water contamination dictates how complex your water damage is, and what the flood remediation team has to deal with.

Clean Water

Clean water is water that comes from your home’s inbound water pipes, also known as potable water. This can also include rainwater or snowmelt that could come in through a hole in the roof or a broken window. Clean water is water that you could conceivably have consumed safely before it flooded across the floors of your home. You’ll typically see flooding from clean water coming from a broken water line, a busted toilet tank, a leaking washing machine, or the water line running to a refrigerator.  Clean water that is cleaned up quickly usually doesn’t pose a health risk, but after just 24-48 hours of contact with your home, it can become gray water.

Gray Water

Gray water is water that might have contaminants or chemicals in it. It may come up from drains (including your showers, bathtubs, sinks, clothes washer or dishwasher drains) aquariums, leaking water beds, and more. Gray water can cause a lot more damage than clean water, requiring more cleanup and possible temporary evacuation during water damage remediation. In just another 48 hours or so, gray water can devolve into black water – posing serious health risks to you and your family and increasing the damage to your home.

Black Water

Black water is water that has been contaminated by floodwaters or sewage. It can wash into your home due to a flooded river, or glug up out of a backed-up toilet, or clogged sewage line near your home. This water can contain bacteria, mold, and viruses and can be very dangerous to your health. If black water damage isn’t quickly and thoroughly addressed by experts, you home can become surely contaminated and unsafe to live in.

Whether you have water damage from an overflowing tub, broken pipe, leaky dishwasher, or sewer backup, call The Dry Guys immediately. Clean water can be dried out quickly, and gray water dangers addressed promptly and remedies. Black water must be carefully handled by our experts, who may present you with recommendations as to remediation steps that need to be carried out. Sometimes flooring and drywall must be completely removed to minimize health hazards.

While small clean water leaks may be manageable, severe leaks should always generate a call to professionals who can help you thoroughly dry your home and avoid mold risks.  Never try to clean up black water yourself. It’s advisable that you call The Dry Guys for water or flood damage, as we will assess the situation professionally, and make sure you are protected from potential health hazards.