Classes designate water-damaged environments by their relative degree of saturation, which is then used to determine the approximate initial amount of dehumidification equipment necessary for an efficient drying system. Note that Class of water is combined with volume (ft) in the formulas below to determine initial dehumidification requirements. The relevant factor, however, is not only the air volume in ft in the affected area, it is the quantity and type of wet materials in the affected space. Areas that are divided into separate rooms, and thus have more square feet (ft) of wall surface, generally require more dehumidification capacity than large open spaces of the same volume and Class, which may have comparatively fewer wet or less-absorbent materials.
The term “Class of water” also is the initial determination of the amount of water and the likely or anticipated rate of evaporation. It is used to determine the initial dehumidification capacity necessary to handle the potential amount of water that will be evaporated within an affected area.
- Class 1 (least amount of water, absorption and evaporation): Water losses that affect only part of a room or area, or larger areas containing materials that have absorbed minimal moisture. Little or no wet carpet and/or cushion is present.
- Class 2 (large amount of water, absorption and evaporation): Water losses that affect at least an entire room of carpet and cushion (pad). Water has wicked up walls less than 24 inches. There is moisture remaining in structural materials; e.g., plywood, particle board, structural wood, VCT, concrete and substructure soil.
- Class 3 (greatest amount of water, absorption and evaporation): Water may have come from overhead. Ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet, cushion and subfloor in virtually the entire area are saturated.
- Class 4: (specialty drying situations): These consist of wet materials with very low permeance/porosity (e.g., hardwood, plaster, brick, concrete, light weight concrete and stone). Typically, there are deep pockets of saturation, which require very low specific humidity. These types of losses may require longer drying times and special methods.
If you have questions about the class of water damage, call Dririte of Tampa today at (813) 283-2202!