Water damage is the number one source of property claims for owners of high-rise residences, hotels, office buildings, retail establishments and other commercial structures. What often starts out as a small, undetected leak can quickly spread down through a building, travelling the route of least resistance and at a great distance from its original source, making detection extremely difficult.
Water entering a building generally comes from one of three sources, each with their
own specific types of exposures:
1. Rain/surface water
• The roof on a building acts as a large water collector, and inferior designs of
valleys, gullies and downpipes can result in leaks.
• Poor maintenance of roof rainwater services can lead to blockages and
overflows, which can often escape back into the building.
• Severe storms and flooding from seasonal weather patterns can test even the
most well-designed and well-maintained roof and building.
2. Grey/foul water
• Today’s high-tech residential and commercial appliances (washing machines,
refrigerators with ice machines, coffee machines, water coolers, etc.) require
more sophisticated plumbing hook-ups, and if installed wrong, can cause leaks.
• Grey/foul waters tend to present intermittent leaks, which can slowly build up
over time, as these types of appliances are not in constant use.
• Sprinkler piping and pump sets operate at high pressures, so any break in a line
can give rise to rapid loss of large volumes of water.
3. Facility systems/services water
• Plant rooms, boiler rooms and HVAC installations bring additional large
volumes of water into a building, so any leak in these systems can result in
extensive water flow throughout multiple floors, especially if these systems are
located on the top floor or roof.
• Feed water installations off municipal mains are often pumped, requiring
proper operation and maintenance.
• The stability of water supply is an issue, as any loss of water supply is likely to
lead to faucets accidentally left in the open position.
• Unoccupied properties are prone to freezing and subsequent burst pipes
leading to large-scale water damage.
• The water supplies in some areas contain certain minerals, which can increase
the corrosion rate of the water