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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Cleaning Clothing With a Black Water Damage

1/14/2018 (Permalink)

We use hydraulic pressure, which is a gentle way to push detergent laden water through the textile and rid it of contaminants.

Cleaning Clothing With a Black Water Damage

Imagine flipping your house upside down. Anything that falls off the house and does not break when it lands are called textiles.  Textile examples include clothes, stuffed animals, blankets, shoes, and towels.

When we’re called to a water damage, we often see the homeowner has tried to stop the spread of the water by putting towels or laundry on the floor.  This is a common reaction.

Other times, the homeowner has no choice in what gets wet.  When a leak or flooding is substantial, the water spreads to many rooms.  Clothing, shoes, pillows, etcetera are on the floor and impacted.

The category of water affects how these affected textiles are cleaned.  While many items can be cleaned at home using a traditional washer and dryer, there are other instances when specialized cleaning techniques have to be used to sanitize clothing and make it safe to wear again.

Water Category

Category 1 Water

When the water that wets the textiles is clean, that’s considered Category 1 Water.  

Examples of Category 1 Water include:

  • Tub overflow
  • Sink overflow
  • Broken water supply lines
  • Falling rain water
  • Broken toilet tanks without added chemicals such as bleach tablets

For Cat 1 affected textiles, throwing them into a laundry machine at home is an acceptable way to get them clean.  Cat 2 and Cat 3 water damages are a different story.

Category 2 Water

Category 2 Water is called Gray Water.  This water carries waste products and is not clean, but it also does not contain human waste.

Examples of Category 2 Water include:

  • Toilet leak
  • Washing machine leak
  • Dishwasher leak

These leaks are considered Category 2 because of the chemicals used inside of them.  

Category 3 Water

Cat 3 Water is called Black Water.  This water is considered to be grossly contaminated and poses a significant health risk.  Examples of black water include sewage or rising flood waters. These clothes need to be sanitized before they’re safe to handle again.

Examples of Category 3 Water include:

  • Sewage
  • Toilet leak that originates from the toilet trap (contains human waste)
  • Flooding

Flooding is considered Category 3 because the water mixes with contaminants on the ground.  Think about everything the falling rainwater can come into contact before it rises and enters your home.  Contaminants usually include oil, salts, and trash from the roadways. It can also contain pesticides and other poisons that are used on your garden.

Cleaning Category 2 or 3 Wet Textiles

Many times, homeowners throw away textiles that have been affected by Category 2 or Category 3 Water -- Gray Water or Black Water.  We see this often during storm related events when the number of people in need of emergency services. During Hurricane Harvey, we saw many families, unfortunately, throw away almost all of their home’s textiles.  

But they don’t have to be.  We restore damaged textiles in our Esporta Wash System, which sanitizes items and make them safe to wear and handle again.

For a thorough explanation of water categories and classifications, please read our article “Classification of Water and Water Category.”

Esporta Wash System

Unlike home washing machines or traditional dry cleaning, Esporta is a wet wash system.  Our machine uses a combination of up to six environmentally friendly detergents according to the type of damage the clothing contains.  

Textiles are placed inside the machine, where they spin in detergent-laden water while staying in place.  Since the items don’t move inside the machine, the textiles are by hydraulic pressure instead of agitation.  This makes the Esporta system gentle on all fabrics, even as contaminants are literally pushed out of the fabric by the detergent water.

The end result is textiles that are near neutral pH and food grade clean.

We are one of the few Esporta certified firms in North Texas.  Our business has the unique capability of packing your damaged clothing and taking it back to our in house cleaning facility.  Our Esporta cleaning technicians have cleaned thousands of pieces of clothing with a success rate of over 85%. This rate of success is among the highest in the clothing cleaning industry.

ATP Testing to Scientifically Prove Results

We prove the results of our wash system by using ATP testing.  We take ATP tests of the textiles before washing and after. Pre testing proves to your insurance company that your item was contaminated enough to need our professional cleaning services.  Post testing gives our customers the peace of mind that their clothing is safe to wear again.

The Textile Cleaning Process

If you have a water damage with affected textiles, trust us to clean them.  While our crews are performing water remediation services, they will also collect all affected textiles from your home.  We’ll pack your items and take them back to our cleaning facility.

If you have filed an insurance claim, we will contact your insurance adjuster and ask for permission to clean your textiles.  In most cases, textile cleaning is approved. Immediately upon approval, your clothing will be washed.

When your clothing is clean, it can be placed in long term storage.  Otherwise, it will be delivered back to you at your convenience.

The entire process is usually completed within two weeks of pick up.  If you have items that you need ASAP, we can clean select clothing and return it to you within 72 hours.    

Esporta uses hydraulic pressure, which is a gentle way to push detergent laden water through the textile and rid it of contaminants.

Trusted Leader in Water Damage Restoration and Fire Damage Restoration in Collin County, North Texas

SERVPRO of Richardson is a water damage restoration and fire and smoke damage restoration company on the border of Richardson and Plano Texas.  We have performed work in Dallas, Plano, Grapevine, McKinney, Frisco, Allen, and other North Texas communities in Collin County for over 30 years.  We also have a Texas Mold Remediation Contractor License and offer free mold inspections.

Our crews are available dispatch for 24 hour emergencies every day of the year.  We can be reached 24/7 at (972) 690-1414.  Call us any time!

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