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El Nino concerns and water damage classifications

With many people talking about El Nino impacting weather patterns in Southern California, many home and business owners might be concerned with the increased risks of water damage to homes. During flash flooding and other water events, water issues can be unavoidable. Other times, construction flaws or failure to follow laws or best practices during renovations or building can compound the risks and issues associated with weather-related water damage.

When evaluating water damage for possible repairs, several categories of damage exist. The first category, known as Class 1, relates to minimal damage. In a Class 1 situation, materials in or around the building don't absorb much of the water. There is less likelihood of rot, structural damage or mold buildup if water is removed quickly and the area is cleaned.

In a Class 2 situation, water infiltrates materials, but it has a fast evaporation, which means it doesn't sit for a lengthy period of time. Wood and other harder surfaces can be dried out and usually don't have to be replaced in a Class 2 damage situation. However, it's possible you might need to replace some small areas. Carpets, cushions and fabric often has to be replaced when damage reaches Class 2.

Class 3 damage usually means that water has soaked into walls. Water damage in the wall doesn't always require gutting, but it could require industrial dehumidifiers and fans to remove moisture. Some portions of the wall might need repair or replacement, and wall paper and paint usually has to be redone. The worst damage comes in Class 4 situation; such situations requires professionals remove water from the area and damage can even extend to surfaces such as concrete floors.

The costs of water damage range from minor to extraordinary. Homeowners insurance doesn't cover all costs associated with flooding, but if construction flaws are at fault for the damage or extent of the damage, you might be able to seek compensation from the construction firm.

Source: TheWaterPage.com, "Effects of Water Damage," accessed Dec. 03, 2015

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