What Is Category 3 Water Damage

Though it’s not always as awful as it seems, finding water damage in your property can be alarming. Yes, all water damage needs to be restored, however certain types of damage, such as Category 1 and 2, are milder and can be restored with less effort. Hiring a water damage restoration service as soon as you see any indication of Category 3 water damage is important because improperly handled or ignored water damage can result in irreversible structural damage to your property.

It’s also necessary to recognize that Category 3 water damage or black water, is the most serious of them all.  Continue reading to find out what is Category 3 water damage, how to recognize it and how to handle it.

What is Category 3 Water Damage?

Most homeowners are confused about what is Category 3 water damage. This water is extremely unhygienic and contains bacteria that come from sewage or other contaminated sources. If individuals consume it or come into contact with it, they could get sick or uncomfortable. Blackwater, commonly referred to as Category 3 water damage, is the result of sewage and other tainted water sources getting into or affecting an interior space. If the water in Category 2 is not quickly removed from the structure, it can be categorized as Category 3 sooner. 

category 3 water in sewage

Regardless of the colour or visible content, toilet backflows that start outside the toilet trap are regarded as contaminated black water.

Category 3 water damage initially occurs from:

  •       Contaminated water
  •       Damaged sewer pipes
  •       Hurricane-related floods
  •       Nonstop rainfall
  •       Overflowing toilets
  •       Sewage and rainwater
  •       Sewer main backups
  •       Subsurface Water
  •       Sudden floods
  •       Water rising from streams or rivers

Black waters are produced by these water sources carrying particles and organic waste into structures. You should always get professional assistance in restoring the damage for safety reasons. A professional team will do an inspection and damage assessment as soon as you call them for water damage restoration.

What is Category 3 Water Damage Negative Impact?

Toxic odours and black and white mould can thrive in a situation of Category 3 water damage. This can cause high mould concentrations, reoccur asthma attacks, and worsen allergy reactions.

polluted water

Due to its highly contaminated nature, Category 3 water damage is the most severe type of water damage and presents serious health hazards.

After exposure to Category 3 water damage, the following conditions may arise:

  •       Dysentery
  •       Infectious Hepatitis, such as hepatitis B and hepatitis C
  •       HIV/AIDS
  •       Infections in wounds
  •       Norovirus and intestinal illnesses
  •       Rashes on the skin
  •       Respiratory illnesses
  •       Symptoms related to the upper respiratory tract
  •       Tetanus
  •       Tuberculosis
  •       West Nile virus

If your property has blackwater, get professional restoration services who have the tools and experience to safely and successfully restore the area.

Can I Clean Category 3 Water Damage?

Yes, you can. When cleaning up Category 3 water damage—especially in cases of heavy flooding—it’s important to use the appropriate products and adhere to basic instructions. You need to be very cautious and aware to complete the task properly because Category 3 water damage is believed to offer the ideal conditions for infections and mould colonies to grow.

Even though what you see appears to be dry, mould can remain and take the form of ashy grey to brown stains or stand around corners intact, giving the impression that they are not there.

Taking care of Category 3 water damage can be challenging. Professionals say that even after a thorough cleaning, mould can still grow back despite your best efforts. If you are having difficulties with cleaning Category 3 water damage, you might want to consider contacting water damage professionals right away so they can help you with extensive cleanups.

Ways To Recognize Category 3 Water Damage

Category 3 water damage can be recognized by looking for a few important indicators.

Category 3 Water Damage

  •       Flooding from rivers or streams, sewage backups, or water left stagnant for long periods are common causes of Category 3 damage. Usually murky and smelling bad, the water can also have visible waste particles or debris in it.
  •       In items like drywall, carpets, or insulation, look for signs of moisture. Besides being moist these materials may show indications of fungal growth or discoloration as the result of the pathogens and pollutants in the water.
  •       Keep an eye on your health. Keep an eye out for any unfavourable health effects,  such as respiratory problems or allergic reactions, as these can be signs of hazardous chemicals or bacteria in the environment.

Dealing with Category 3 water damage should always involve consulting with a professional restoration service. The situation can only be handled safely and successfully by a professional team, as they have the necessary equipment and skills.

Category 3 Water Damage Professional Restoration Process

Here’s a basic process of how most restoration services handle Category 3 water damage:

1.    Inspection and Assessment of Damage

Professionals conduct a comprehensive assessment as soon as they arrive to assess the damage and create a plan of action. This will entail classifying the types of contamination and determining the water’s sources.

Starting from this process, all the professionals will wear personal protective equipment (PPE).

2.    Water Extraction / Removal

The professionals will quickly remove tainted water by using strong pumps and vacuums, which helps to stop mould growth and further water damage.

3.    Drying and Dehumidification

The professionals will use industrial-grade dehumidifiers and air movers to dry the area. To prevent the growth of mould, the affected area needs to be made as dry as possible.

4.    Cleaning and Sanitizing

The professionals will clean all of the structures and repairable objects that suffered damage. They will also use air purifiers and fogging equipment to get rid of the odors, and then apply antibacterial treatments to sanitize.

5.    Restoration

It can include small repairs like hanging new carpet and fixing drywall, or it can involve large upgrades like rebuilding different rooms or sections of a property or firm.


Every member of the household needs to know what is Category 3 water damage. It is advisable to leave Category 3 water damage to the professionals because it is hazardous. They’ll determine the degree of contamination promptly and provide you with advice on the safest course of action.


Serving South Central Pennsylvania and Northern Maryland
PA# 019590 MD# 108211
We also do : Water Damage Restoration, Drying & Dehumidification, Fire, Smoke & Soot Clean Up, Sump Pump Failures, Restoration and Mitigation, Crime Scene Clean Up, Pack Outs, Biohazard, Puff-back Cleanup, Mold Remediation, Sewage Clean Up, Water Extraction and General Contracting

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1214 East Market Street
York, PA 17403



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