Category 3 water damage is classified as such because of the high level of contamination due to pollutants like fungi and bacteria, which can lead to severe illness and infection. Due to this level of contamination and risk, insurance companies tend to be very specific about their coverage options. For example, your average homeowners insurance policy likely won’t cover black water damage due to the source of the damage, which typically stems from groundwater flooding or a sewer backup. These types of damage usually require separate, specific policies. If you opt to pay for these additional policies, then you’re covered for category three water damage. It’s best to speak with your insurance provider and a local restoration company as soon as possible, though.
You likely know by now that a backed-up sewage line creates a sickening mess within the home or office. It’s not the only source of contaminated flooding, though. If your area experiences a flash flood, the resulting water can bring chemicals and contaminants into your home. Even a heavy downpour that persists for days can raise water tables and allow contamination into your property.
Speaking plainly, category 3 water damage, otherwise known as black water damage, is highly contaminated water that soaks into porous materials around the house. Most often, black water stems from sewage water. Common occurrences of black water damage include:
Just about every type of water damage poses a health risk, but black water damage, or category three, is the worst of all. The high level of contamination often exposes you to contaminants that lead to serious illness, including:
Unfortunately, a sewer backup does not fall under the covered forms of water damage. You see, the insurance company will not cover a homeowner if the issue could have been resolved via regular maintenance. The sewer line attached to your home requires regular maintenance, therefore the insurance company claims you are responsible for keeping the sewer line running efficiently. A backup means the line was overlooked.
It is unfortunate, too. With black water damage, the cost of water damage restoration and cleanup can be quite extensive. Besides removing the standing water, the restoration team will need to address the contamination by sanitizing the entire area and disposing of affected contents around the home. It’s a lengthy, costly process that would benefit from insurance assistance.