Sudden flooding can impact your home in many ways. Because most floods are usually difficult to predict, the resulting damage can happen quickly, especially in the case of Category 3 water. This contaminated or “black water” can come from several sources, and it is important to understand how it differs from other types of floods before you move forward with any cleaning efforts.

1. Outdoor Floods

Flood waters fall into three categories: Category 1, which comes from a sterile source, such as a burst kitchen pipe, Category 2, which may contain rinse water and detergent residue from a washing machine or dishwasher and Category 3, water that carries human and animal feces, chemical waste and other hazards. Outdoor floods that occur as the result of heavy rainstorms or other weather events are almost always Category 3, as rushing waters can pick up a variety of contaminants before they enter your home.

2. Sewer Malfunctions

Heavy rain and localized flooding can cause your neighborhood’s sewers to backup and overflow out of your sinks and toilets. This can cause feces, used toilet paper and other sewer contents to spill into your home. While you might be able to stem the flood temporarily by closing doors and stuffing the bottoms of the bathroom doors with towels, the condition of the water makes its removal by a qualified flood damage and restoration service a must.

3. Clogged Toilets

Toilet clogs are usually caused by a blockage, a broken underground pipe or a sewer problem. When a toilet overflows and the flood cannot be contained, the resulting water damage can be considerable because of the toxins and chemicals that are present in the water. The cleanup of these floods is best left to professionals who have the know-how and materials to handle them properly.

Category 3 flooding and its sources can be troublesome for you as a homeowner. Understanding the potential dangers and how to handle the cleanup can help the process go smoothly.