What is water damage?

There are 3 classifications of water damage used by all emergency services organisations. Knowing and understanding these categories helps you and the restoration professional know what precautions may need to be taken on the Jobsite. Not all water damages are the same and it is important to know that water will not remain in the same category; as time passes, it will become more contaminated slowly turning into a “Category 3 “situation.

Categories of water

Category 1 Water Damage

Category 1 water originates from a sanitary water source and does not pose substantial risk from dermal (skin), ingestion (drinking), or inhalation exposure.

Examples of Category 1 water can include:

Broken water supply lines, tub or sink overflows without contaminants, appliance malfunctions involving water-supply lines, melting ice or snow, falling rainwater that does not contact any other surface, broken toilet cisterns.

Category 2 Water Damage

Category 2 water contains significant contamination and has the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if contacted or consumed by humans.

Category 2 water can contain potentially unsafe levels of microorganisms or nutrients for microorganisms, as well as 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 no feces, seepage due to hydrostatic pressure, water flowing through a hole in a roof, passing through the ceiling insulation and building materials

Cleanliness of Category 1 or 2water can potentially deteriorate for many reasons, including, but not limited to: contact with building materials, systems, and contents:
mixing with soils and other contaminants.

Factors that influence the potential organic and inorganic load in a structure include the age and history of the structure, previous water losses, general housekeeping, the type of use of the structure, and elevated temperatures or elapsed time since the water intrusion. These can move to advanced categories.

Category 3 Water Damage

Category 3 water is grossly contaminated and can contain pathogenic, toxigenic or other harmful agents.

Examples of Category 3 water can include, but are not limited to:

Sewage, waste line backflows that originate from beyond any trap regardless of visible colour or content, ground surface water and rising water from rivers or streams, all forms of flooding from seawater, other contaminated water entering or affecting the indoor environment as: wind-driven rain from hurricanes, tropical storms, weather-related events, above sources carrying silt, organic matter, pesticides, heavy metals, regulated materials, or toxic organic substances. After remediation, an IEP (indoor environmental professional) may be necessary to assess contamination levels, evaluate and determine if safe to occupy.

Classes of water intrusion

Classes of water loss refer to the amount of water and the anticipated rate of evaporation based on the amount and type of wet materials in a property. There are four classes of water loss:

Class 1: Slow Rate of Evaporation

A class one water loss affects only part of a room with low-permeance or low-porosity materials such as particleboard, plywood, structural wood, vinyl composition tile, and concrete.

Class 2: Fast Rate of Evaporation

Class two water losses affect the whole room and materials such as carpet and cushion. Seepage of water up walls is less than 24 inches, and moisture remains in structural materials. Learn more.

Class 3: Fastest Rate of Evaporation

Class three water losses typically come from overhead, saturating insulation, ceilings, walls, carpet, cushion, and subfloor in virtually the entire area.

Class 4: Specialty Drying Situations

Specialty drying situations involve wet materials with very low permeance or low porosity. Examples include hardwood, plaster, brick, concrete, stone, sub-floors, and crawlspaces.

Download our 25 point plan which will help you during an emergency.

Tell Us About Your Situation

We are available 24/7 Australia-wide to respond to your emergency.

Hi there,

I would just like to pass on some feedback on both Levi & Eric who attended my damaged home in Werribee.

They both were outstanding and efficient with a great work ethic. I had taken time off work to assist as they dismantled my kitchen and brought all of the associated crockery, glassware, etc. outside for me to store away.

Levi constantly provided information, answered all of my questions and nothing was too much trouble for him. Eric was an outstanding worker from go-to-whoa and has a wonderful attitude as well. This combination is often hard to find.

They both ensured that a difficult time for us was just that little bit easier to handle. I manage a number of Delivery teams in my job, and people are often quick to complain, but slow to praise when a job is done well, so I thought I’d pass on some feedback for you.

Thanks again for all of your help.


Your Title Goes Here

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.


It is not often I feel compelled to write an email to a company but on this occasion, it is well deserved. From the moment Josh came to inspect our water damage and Aaron overseeing the job at our property and then knocking out walls, floors, ceiling insulation, and more, their work has been exemplary.
Your team's professionalism, high standard of work, getting in and getting the job done, (no mucking about) I am truly grateful for. I must add also calling the reception, the girls there know exactly who you are, and what your job entails, fantastic. So wish all the team at FRA A HUGE THANK YOU!!.
Laura A. - Catering company in Launceston

Page id is => 13