Recognizing the Signs and Colors of Water Damage

October 27, 2014

We probably all know someone who had a water damage situation happen in their home and/or place of business but we know this wil never happen to us – right?

Well, what if you become someone that gets added to this unwanted list? Read through this blog post to find out some important information on this subject that one day you might need but we seriously hope you do not. Go ahead, read on, you will definitely learn something. 


 Water damage and other emergency services are some of the most destructive problems that can occur in homes and businesses. If ignored, the problem worsens, causing even worse problems. If you own a home or business, it’s critical to recognize the signs and categories of this sort of disaster so that you can find and properly mitigate the problem. Here are some of the causes and symptoms.

Common Causes of Water Damage:

Can be caused from many sources. Some of the most typical ones are:

  • Washing machine overflowing
  • Clogged toilets
  • Broken pipes
  • Dishwasher leakage
  • Overflowing sinks
  • Leaking roofs
  • Hot water heater busting

Signs of Water Damage:

  • Standing water—Of course, this the most obvious clue. It’s also the most threatening and necessitates prompt treatment before matters get worse.
  • Water stains and discolorations—These stains are typically dark or brownish in color. When you find them on ceilings, walls or floors, suspect that you have water damage.  As soon as you see an unexpected stain, always look for water leaks in the immediate area first. These stains usually occur in kitchens and bathrooms or around water sources such as sinks, dishwashers and refrigerators.
  • Odors—Moldy, mildew smells when opening a cabinet or coming into a room can suggest a water leak.
  • Peeling walls—When water attacks a wall, it can cause the wall’s paint to peel or blister.
  • Fuzzy, stained growths on your walls—This can indicate mold that’s growing and can not grow without some sort of water source. 

Water Damage Categories:

You can usually identify the category of water damage by the color of the water.

Category 1— As this type of water damage comes from a sanitary source, it’s considered as “clean water,” meaning it doesn’t pose much threat to our health. Common examples of Category 1 water damage include a sink or tub overflowing; broken water supply lines and malfunctioning appliances related to water supply lines. Other causes may include falling rainwater and melting snow or ice.

Category 2— This category of water damage involves water sources that have considerable chemical, physical or biological contaminants which can result in illness when consumed or even exposed. Category 2 water damage, which is referred to as gray water, has microorganisms or microorganism nutrients. Some examples are water discharged from appliances such as dishwashers, broken waterbeds and fractured aquariums.

Category 3— This is the category involving the most contamination, Category 3 water contains the most harmful ingredients. Examples are those such as toilet backflow, sewage, seawater flooding and outdoor water invading the interior of a house or building. These dangerous contaminants may include silt, heavy metals, pesticides and others non wanted ingredients that can definitely affect your health if not properly treated in a timely manner. The color of water from Category 3 is black.


  • If you notice your floors curving on the edges (cupping), cracking or buckling, you may have water damage.
  • Water damage in crawl spaces and basements often goes undetected. Although the symptoms are small at first, they can eventually result in expensive structural damage.
  • Never use a home vacuum to get rid of water because this can cause significant damage to your equipment and still not properly address the problem at hand. 
  • Don’t walk on a carpet affected by a water damage as doing so can spread the damage to other areas. 

Rather than fixing the problem yourself, it’s typically best to hire a water damage mitigation specialist. The Service Technicians at ServiceMaster Quality Services in Houma, La. are cleaning professionals that are IICRC certified, ServiceMaster Clean certified, and certified Mold Remediation Specialists in the State of Louisiana that provide both residential and commercial services, including non-disaster type services. Besides water damage mitigation, we also offer emergency services for fire, smoke, sewage, mold, trama and other types of damages to your property. 





 Hopefully you learned at least one good piece of information from this blog because that was the overall intent. If you did then we hope that you would consider subscribing to our updates (see signup on left side of this blog) on this, and other, matters of cleaning that we know can help you out. We would at least love for you to contact us so we can have a chat with you to see how we could further help. Hope to hear from you soon!


By: Gene Rhodes


Topics: Disaster Restoration Services