4 min read

Dirty Water

Water damage is more common than most think. Industry statistics show that around 14,000 people in the U.S. are affected by a water damage emergency every day, either at their homes or workplaces. Whether you run a household or a business, you’ll most likely experience water damage at one point. 

With this said, it helps to remember that not all water damage events are the same. Enlisting water restoration in Chicago North Shore is critical to restoring water-damaged buildings, but you’ll want to act more quickly and take extra care when dealing with black water.  


What Is Black Water?

To understand what black water is, let’s look at the three water damage categories created by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC): 

Category 1 Water – “Clean Water” 

The least severe contamination on the IICRC scale, this includes water damage events with a sanitary water source, like broken pipes and water supply lines and appliance leaks. 

Category 2 Water – “Gray Water” 

Category 2 covers water damage incidents with water that contains significant contamination, such as toilet bowl overflows, dishwasher or washing machine discharge, broken aquariums, and hydrostatic pressure seepage.  

Category 3 Water – “Black Water”

The most severe contamination category, black water can contain pathogens, human waste, and other infectious materials that can cause serious illnesses and diseases if contacted or consumed. This covers water from sewage, rising flood waters, and river and groundwater. 

What’s important to remember about black water is that any surface that has been affected by it should be considered as hazardous as the water itself. 


The Dangers of Black Water Contamination 

Black water carries viruses, bacteria, and other harmful pathogens that can cause diseases and infections. The most common waterborne diseases include hepatitis, gastroenteritis, leptospirosis, and cryptosporidiosis. Campylobacteriosis, which is among the most common diarrheal diseases in the U.S., can also be caused by exposure to highly contaminated water. 

Finally, wading in black water when you have a cut or open wound can also result in serious wound infections. 


Common Causes of Black Water

Black water can come from various sources, the most common being groundwater flooding and sewage backups. 

During widespread floods, water carries everything in the area – from chemical contaminants like lead, heavy metals, fertilizers, and pesticides to biological contaminants such as viruses, bacteria, and parasites.  

On the other hand, toilet overflows and sewage backups often contain human waste that can easily cause illnesses. 

It also helps to note that kitchen sinks can be breeding grounds for highly contaminated water. This is because grease, oil, and food debris can carry germs when they decay. 


How To Deal With Black Water Damage

Water damage involving black water must be addressed immediately, as it will only lead to further complications the longer you put it off. Here are some key pointers to remember if you face black water in Chicago North Shore. 

  • Keep yourself, your loved ones, and your pets safe by staying away from the affected area. 
  • If you must enter a contaminated area or room submerged in contaminated water, wear protective clothing such as waterproof boots and gloves. 
  • Cover wounds or open cuts with a waterproof bandage to prevent infections. 
  • If you come in contact with black water, wash your hands and body with soap thoroughly and immediately. 
  • Call your local restoration company for water restoration in Chicago North Shore. Black water damage involves high risks of extensive contamination and property damage, and trying to clean it up on your own will only spread the contaminants to other parts of your property. 


Get Help From Professionals Specializing in Black Water in Chicago North Shore

Cleaning up the mess after black water damage and restoring affected items require industry-approved processes and specialized equipment. As such, the best course of action is to keep everyone out of the affected area and get help from a local water restoration team. 

Professional water damage restoration companies are trained in handling different categories of water damage. They also have the proper protective gear and equipment to remove excess water, sanitize all surfaces, and dry your building. Most importantly, they use advanced cleaning products to restore as many of your salvageable possessions as possible.  

By enlisting professional water restoration in Chicago North Shore, you can rest assured knowing that your property can be safe, clean, and healthy environment again. 

Restoration 1 is an IICRC-certified restoration company offering flood damage and sewage backup cleanup services. If you are dealing with black water in Chicago North Shore, don’t hesitate to contact us immediately. We’ll be there to restore your home and eliminate the threat of contamination as soon as possible.