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Water Intrusion Basics

While it is not uncommon to think of water damage following natural severe weather events and fires, the fact is that water damage occurs every day. There are many other sources of water damage that can be just as destructive as any natural event. Following are some of the most common sources of water damage:

  • Roof leaks and condensation forming above ceilings
  • Pipe breaks
  • Malfunctioning appliances or fixtures
  • Sewer line back-ups
  • Flooding from outside of the building
  • Moisture intrusion through the building envelope

Water causing damage in a structure falls into categories depending on its source and level of chemical or biological contamination it contains. According to the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), the categories follow:

  • Category 1: Clean water from a sink overflow, broken water or steam line, or rainwater infiltration. Water in category 1 represents the lowest health risk to building occupants and clean-up crews. Building materials and property damaged by category 1 water have the best potential for being saved.


  • Category 2: Water in the large range between clean and contaminated. This water has a higher degree of contamination due to its source, from microbial growth, or from contamination after the initial release. Sources of category 2 water damage may be storm drain backups, cooling water, some surface water, fire suppression systems, and discharges from equipment. Category 1 water can become category 2 water within 24-48 hours. Materials damaged by category 2 water are much more difficult to salvage.


  • Category 3: Water that is from sewers, rivers, seawater, and surface water that is highly contaminated. This water can contain infectious viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It has the likelihood of causing disease or infection from direct or even indirect contact. This water may also contain toxic and allergenic materials.

Following a water intrusion event, it is not uncommon for mold to grow, potentially causing more damage and leading to illness.

At CED Technologies we have civil, structural and construction experts who can investigate the root cause of water intrusion in residential and commercial buildings.  If you have a claim or case involving water intrusion or water damage, click here to speak with one of our experts.Click Here To See Our Full List of Experts Click Here To Submit an Inquiry about a possible Claim or Case.

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