Water damage at your home is one of the most frustrating and annoying things you will have to deal with as a homeowner. Not only can water be destructive, it can also cause a mold infestation, which is a whole new level of problem.

However, not all water damage is the same – a burst toilet pipe is not the same as a leaky water pipe. The difference is in the water contamination. There are generally three levels of water contamination: clean water, gray water and black water.

We reached out to experts to tell us more about gray water and whether water damage with gray water poses a more severe problem.

What Is Gray Water, Exactly?

Simply put, gray water is any water that has been used in your home, except the toilet. Water coming from the toilet is likely contaminated with fecal matter, making it black water. Gray water comes from all of your sinks, appliances and showers.

It is also known as sullage. This type of water may contain some pathogens and be somewhat contaminated, and may be considered a risk to humans and animals. However, the degree of risk depends on the source of the water, as well as the amount of it.

Why Is Gray Water Considered Dangerous?

If you have a flood at your home caused by gray water, you should be aware of the contents of that water. For the most part, it contains additives such as soap and other cleaning products, but can also contain things like dead skin cells, hair, and food residue.

This makes gray water a suitable habitat for pathogen growth. That being said, it is important to note that pathogen growth typically requires time and warmth. That means that if you act quickly and resolve the gray water damage at your home, the chances of further health risks are drastically reduced.

How to Approach Gray Water Damage in Your Home?

If you experience gray water damage in your home, the most important thing to do is to act quickly. Follow the guidelines set by your insurance company, but also make sure to have a remediation company there as soon as possible.

Even though each case of gray water damage will be slightly different (due to the wide definition of gray water), there are certain basic things that will always be the same.

First of all, the source of the water needs to be handled. If that is a burst pipe, it will need to be resolved before moving on to the most important task – getting rid of water. Professional water damage companies have equipment that can help speed up this process.

Keeping or Discarding Water-Damaged Items?

Once the house is dried, you will need to assess the amount of damage done to your things. Generally, cleaning your furniture and floors thoroughly with strong detergents with disinfecting properties should be enough to make them usable and safe again, but the decision about such things is up to you.

One thing that you should pay attention to, however, are the porous materials such as drywall, some types of wood furniture, and carpets are perhaps best replaced, as they likely absorbed a lot of moisture and they present a mold growth hazard in the future.

In order to ensure that you get the best service from your water damage company, make sure to