At DryHero, 24/7 emergency water damage restoration service is our business! We specialize in mitigating flooded, water damaged residential and commercial properties. If you have a flooded basement, crawl space, attic or rental property it’s important that you act quickly to remove the moisture and suspend the water damage. DryHero is in your corner and we work as your advocate to preserve and protect your water damaged property. We can work directly with your insurance company to document your damage and submit the billing directly to them.


The type of water damage and how to mitigate it depends on the category of flood water. According to the IICRC S500 Standards and Reference Guide for Water Damages, water damage is defined by one of the three following categories:

Category 1 Water Damage

Also known as Clean Water Damage, this is water that is uncontaminated at the source and as such does not pose a threat if exposed to or consumed by humans or animals. Broken water lines or overflowing tubs or sinks would be examples of Clean Water Damage.

Examples of clean water sources may include, but are not necessarily limited to the following:

  • Broken domestic water supply lines;
  • Tub or sink overflows with no contaminants;
  • Appliance malfunctions involving domestic water supply lines;
  • Melting ice or snow;
  • Falling rainwater; and
  • Broken toilet tanks and toilet bowls that do not contain contaminants or additives.

Category 2 Water Damage

Also known as Grey Water Damage, this water may contain some varying degrees of contaminants at the source and may cause discomfort or illness if exposed to or consumed by humans or animals. Somewhat common type of water damage in Nebraska. Examples of Grey Water would include toilet water with urine present, sump pump failures, and discharge from dishwashers or washing machines.

Examples of gray water sources may include, but are not necessarily limited to the following:

  • Discharge from dishwashers or washing machines;
  • Overflows from toilet bowls with some urine (no feces)
  • Sump pump failures;
  • Seepage due to hydrostatic pressure;
  • Chilled and condensate water; and
  • Fire Protection Sprinkler Water.

Category 3 Water Damage

Also known as Black Water Damage, this refers to water that is highly contaminated at the source and may cause serious illness or even death if consumed by humans or animals. Very serious situation! This water contains grossly unsanitary agents, harmful bacteria and fungi, and is usually the result of sewage based spills. Other sources may include seawater, rising water from rivers or streams, ground surface water or standing water.

Keep in mind that, with time, the Category of water can worsen or degrade. For instance, Category 1 Water may become Category 2 Water if left untreated long enough. Likewise, Category 2 Water should be considered Category 3 if left standing and stagnant for more the 72 hours. Water damage containing Category 2 or 3 water is best handled by a professional in order to avoid potential health issues.


Classes of water damage are determined by the amount of water remaining in the structure after physical extraction.

Class 1

Slow Rate of Evaporation – (least amount of water, usually very small losses, target drying temperature of 70 degrees) Water losses that could affect only part of a room or area; or even large losses containing low permeance/porosity materials (i.e., plywood, particle board, structural wood, VCT, concrete). Little or now wet carpet and/or cushion is present. Minimum amount of moisture can be held in the remaining structural materials.

Class 2

Fast Rate of Evaporation – (more water than class 1, target drying temp 90 degrees) Water losses that affect the entire room of carpet and cushion or several rooms of a large structure with carpet and pad. Water has wicked up the walls as much as 24 inches. There is moisture remaining in structural materials (i.e., plywood, particle board, structural wood, VCT, concrete). Due to the amount of water held in dirt or mud, Crawlspaces, in most circumstances, will also fit under a Class 2 water loss.

Class 3

Fastest Rate of Evaporation – (most amount of water, target drying temperature 90 degrees) Large, infrequent losses where the entire structure is involved. Water may have come from overhead. Everything is wet. Must have carpet and pad involved. Ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet, cushion and sub-floor in virtually the entire area are saturated. Will not run into this type of loss often.

Class 4

Specialty Drying Situations – (same amount of water as Class 1, target temperature 70 degrees) These losses involve wet materials with very low permeance/porosity (i.e., hardwoods, sub-floors, plaster, brick, concrete, stone). Class 4 differs from a Class 1 due to the deep pockets of saturation that require the use of a desiccant or low grain dehumidifier to achieve very low specific humidity and time. Even then, the Class 4 drying job will take more time (longer to dry) than a typical Class 1.


In the world of water damage restoration, the goal of the entire process is to return everything to “normal moisture content”. In doing so, you accomplish two important objectives: 1) stabilizing the structural materials and 2) impeding microbial growth. Materials must be completely dried out before repairs can begin. Time is your enemy because the excess water can continue to cause damage to wet materials.

Water damage restoration is a methodical process. Water detection and mapping is crucial because not all water damage is visible. Inexperienced homeowners and even contractors may not always know where to look for hidden problems. It really is best to trust this to a professional. DryHero provides this service for free in Lincoln and Omaha.

The basics of water damage restoration can be broken down into the following three steps:

1) Water Removal & Extraction

This is the process of removing the bulk water by any effective means possible. Vacuums, pumps, flood extractors, gas powered submersible pumps and even squeegees can be used. Electric pumps and normal vacuums are to be approached with caution due to electrical hazards.

2) Structure Drying

Once the bulk, easy water removal is complete, the real water damage mitigation begins. Without sensitive water
detection instrumentation it can be difficult, if not impossible, to determine if a material is wet. Surfaces may appear dry but in reality be quite wet.

By creating an environment conducive to significant evaporation, hygroscopic materials can be effectively dried. Industrial low grain refrigerant dehumidifiers, airmovers, fans, blowers, air scrubbers and auxiliary heat sources help us accomplish that. This drying process can take from a single day to several to complete, depending on the types of materials being dried and how long the water damage went untreated.

Evaporation – Once excess water is removed, remaining water must be changed from a liquid to a vapor by promoting evaporation. Normally, this is accomplished efficiently with specialized air-moving equipment.

Dehumidification – Once moisture is evaporated from structural materials and contents into the air, the moisture must be removed from the air through dehumidification, or it must be externally exhausted. Failure to dehumidify may result in substantial secondary damage and present a significant health hazard.

Temperature Control – Both evaporation and dehumidification are greatly enhanced by controlling the temperature in a confined environment. Additionally, microorganisms’ growth is temperature related. Thus, temperature modification and control is an important basic principle for safe, effective drying.

Monitoring – The damaged structure must be monitored starting with the initial assessment and evaluation, and continuing throughout the restoration process. Monitoring procedures may include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Temperature and humidity readings;
  2. Updating drying progress status; and
  3. Checking the moisture content of structural wood and other materials with a moisture meter.

3) Repair, Reconstruction & Restoration

This is the process of thoroughly restoring your home to its pre-loss condition (per most homeowners insurance
policies). This comprises of the repair and reconstruction of the property. Includes such activities as cleaning, repair, and disinfecting of all items or structures that were damaged by the water.

The reconstruction and repair phase can be significant. Carpet and carpet pad can require substantial treatment. Electrical devices may need to be inspected by a qualified electrician before further use. Restoration may also involve the repair or replacing of drywall, flooring, or ceilings, as well as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in the home.

DryHero services all of eastern Nebraska, including: Lincoln, Omaha, Beatrice, Crete, Waverly, York, Nebraska City, Syracuse, Tecumseh, Plattsmouth, Bellevue, Ralston, Gretna, Fremont, Columbus, Fairbury, Ceresco, Wahoo, Papillon, Beatrice, Auburn, York, Elkhorn, Crete, Firth, Hickman, Wilber, Seward, Valparaiso and Ceresco.

189 thoughts on “Water Damage Restoration

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