To-do list in case of water damage

Black, grey or clear water?

Did you know that approximately 80% of damages are caused by water? If you are faced with it, you are not alone!

There are three types of water determined by their source: clean water, grey water and black water*. Identifying the type of water is essential while analyzing water damage because it allows you to adapt the cleaning and drying methods and determines if demolition is necessary.

What distinguishes each water category and what can we do to minimize the damages? We have made a short guide with the measures to take according to the type of water you are dealing with in order to help you assess the situation.

*The terms “grey water” and “black water” do not refer to the colour of the water itself, but rather to the degree of contamination.

If it's clean or grey water

Grey water refers to low-pollution domestic water. It is non-potable. Wastewater from showers and dishwashers, for example, is grey water.

Clean water, on the other hand, has not been in contact with contaminants. It comes, for example, from bath or sink overflows, without soap, from melting snow, a leak in a pipe, etc. It is odourless and considered drinking water.

Note that clear or grey water may change category if it is not properly cleaned and dried within a reasonable time.

What to do

What not to do

  • Stay clear of any danger from electricity.
  • If possible, turn off the water at the source of the spill or shut off the main water supply to the house to prevent any other water leak.
  • Try to limit damage to contents as much as possible near the flood.
  • Protect the structure and your property from any further damage.
  • Remove as much water as possible using a wet vac or absorbent rags.
  • Call GUS. We’ll put you in touch with your insurance agent or broker. We have agreements with all Quebec insurers and we adhere to their standards and policies. Please be ready to disclose any important details about the emergency as well as your insurance policy number.
  • Try to dry the area out yourself. There is a risk of mold if it isn’t done properly.
  • Turn off the fans set up by the post-disaster cleaning company.
  • Move the fans.
  • Shut off the dehumidifiers.

If it's black water

Wastewater from toilets, drains or sinks is called black water and contains grease, oil, urine, etc. Needless to say, this water category hoards bacteria, viruses, and other toxic allergens and must undergo intensive treatment before it can be reused.

What to do

What not to do

  • Avoid coming into contact with the water because it is most likely contaminated.
  • Turn off all heating and ventilation systems.
  • Call GUS. We’ll put you in touch with your insurance agent or broker. We have agreements with all Quebec insurers and we adhere to their standards and policies. Please be ready to disclose any important details about the emergency as well as your insurance policy number.
  • Touch the water.
  • Turn on the ventilation system or set up fans. That would spread the contamination to the rest of the residence.
  • Try to salvage contents.

We're here for you

Each claim is unique and there are several factors to consider when dealing with the claim. Always contact GUS when in doubt, and above all, stay out of danger. We are here to accompany you at every step of your water damage.