If your home has recently suffered water damage or a water related disaster, determining the classes of water loss is an important step in beginning water damage restoration. Identifying the classes of water loss enables restoration professionals to formulate a plan based on your home’s specific needs. The IICRC (Institute of International Cleaning and Restoration Certification) is an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards developer. They produce standards for the cleaning and restoration Industry. The current standard that addresses water damage restoration is the S500 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration (S500).
There are four classes of water loss:
Class 1 Water Loss
A class 1 water loss affects only part of a room with low-permeance or low-porosity materials. In a class 1 loss, the materials most likely affected include: • Plywood • Particle board • Structural wood • VCT (vinyl composition tile) • Concrete
Damage sustained in class 1 water loss In this class, there is little damage to carpet or cushioning material, the damage was confined to a small area, or the area was only wet for a short period of time. With class 1 damage, minimum moisture is absorbed by these materials, which release moisture slowly.
Class 2 Water Loss
Class 2 water loss affects the entire room. Damaged materials in class 2 water loss typically include: • Carpet • Cushion • Plywood • Particle board • Structural wood • VCT (vinyl composition tile) • Concrete
Damage seen in class 2 water loss In this class, the water loss affects the entire room including carpet and cushion. In addition, moisture remains in structural materials such as plywood, particle board, structural wood, VCT, and concrete, and water seepage is seen up to 24 inches up the walls.
Class 3 Water Loss
The signs of class 3 water loss Those with class 3 water loss have suffered the greatest amount of water invasion into their homes, covering nearly the entire area. Damaged materials may include: • Ceilings • Walls • Drywall • Insulation • Subfloor • Carpet • Cushion • Plywood • Particle board • Structural wood • VCT (vinyl composition tile) • Concrete
Damage seen in class 3 water loss In class 3 water loss, damage typically invades your home from overhead, virtually saturating the entire area.
Class 4 Water Loss
Those with class 4 water loss have suffered extensive water damage, saturating very low permeance and porosity materials such as: • Hardwoods • Subfloors • Plaster • Brick • Concrete • Stone • Crawlspaces • And other materials seen in subsequent classes of water loss
Damage seen in class 4 water loss Damage seen in class 4 water loss involves deep pockets of saturation, which require a very low specific humidity in order to dry, longer drying times, and often special equipment.