An ounce of prevention…

Thursday September 27, 2018

Water is Public Enemy #1.

An Ounce of Prevention…

There was a time when fire was by far the most feared peril for property owners and insurers alike. In fact, fire was one of the main driving forces leading to the creation of property insurance to help protect the interests of building owners and creditors. These days, fire detection systems, fire suppression systems, better construction methods and safer materials all combine to reduce both the frequency and severity of fire damage in most commercial and multi-unit buildings.

Water is Public Enemy #1..

Just think about it for a moment: domestic water lines travel throughout your building to a myriad of sinks, toilets, tubs and showers. Hot water from boilers or hot water tanks is being constantly circulated (because nobody wants to wait for hot water). Washing machines and dishwashers are turned on before residents leave for work or play while sprinkler lines and sprinkler heads keep watch, just waiting for an excuse to rain on your parade. And then, there is an entire other system to get rid of used water from your building and the water nature drops on and around your property. It is no wonder the vast majority of claims in multi unit buildings are due to water.

  • Pipes leak and cause damage. The important thing is to track down the leak as soon as possible. Find out why there is a leak and make sure corrective measures are in place to prevent further leaks. Clamping the pipe is not taking care of the problem: it’s only delaying the inevitable.  
  • Braided metal supply lines perform better than other materials; so why not make sure all supply lines to sinks, toilets and appliances are of a good quality?
  • Boiler systems and hot water tanks do not last forever. Yearly maintenance inspections identify wear and tear issues before they become a bigger problem.
  • Make sure all shut off valves are clearly identified and that building residents and staff know where the valves are located. Turning water off quickly makes a big difference in the extent of water damage.
  • Do people hang art work and laundry from sprinkler heads? Unfortunately, they often do! Inform residents that they may be liable for damages due to mishandling of sprinkler heads and consider installation of protective cages.
  • Let everybody in the building know in advance when the water supply is being shut off and remind them again on the shut down day to make sure they remember.
  • Many tub and shower enclosures are finished with ceramic tile. Grout wears off and, if not properly maintained, will allow water to seep into walls where mold loves to grow.
  • To be continued…
Back to the news list