Water Damage Prevention

· March 14, 2013 · 2:39 pm

Benefits of a water damage mitigation program Water damages can affect many physical, operational and financial aspects of your property operations. Beyond the obvious damages to the building’s structure and electrical/HVAC systems, a water-related incident can negatively affect your tenants, operations as well.

If your tenants experience business disruptions, you will most likely be required to offer rent reductions or waivers. Managing the remediation process itself can be time-consuming for your building staff. In the worst case, conflicts can arise that lead to expensive lawsuits and can put your reputation as a landlord at risk.

Property owners and managers can reduce the possibility of extensive losses through a comprehensive water damage mitigation program. The program should be developed based on detailed checklists that are specific to your facility. This detailed analysis gives your organization’s risk managers, safety managers, building engineers and other professionals more control over these potentially paralyzing situations.

A typical checklist assesses procedures and practices such as:
• Are small leaks promptly repaired?
• Is the cause of any leak analyzed to determine if it was an isolated occurrence,
or a symptom of a system-wide problem?
• Are housekeeping personnel instructed to immediately notify maintenance when
any type of dripping, leakage or clogged drains is found?
• Is there close monitoring of the work of outside contractors and vendors that may
affect piping systems (sprinklers, water, etc.)?
• Are there any liquid storage tanks or vessels (hot water, condensate, boilers, fuel
oil, etc.) inside the building, mechanical penthouse, or on the roof?
• Are pipe diagrams or prints up to date, and showing the location of valves for all
liquid carrying systems?
• Are shut off valves “exercised” (closed and reopened, lubricated as needed)
at least annually to verify they can be quickly closed during an emergency?
• Is someone available on all shifts trained to respond immediately to any leak?
• Is someone immediately available at all times with authorization
(24 hours x 7 days) to call and bring in the professional clean up and restoration companies?

This is just a short list of issues to be analyzed when developing a comprehensive water damage mitigation program.