Nobody likes water damage. But the fact of the matter is, sometimes water damage just happens.
In the past five years, all 50 states have experienced flash flooding. Maybe an old pipe bursts, or a system of extreme weather rolls through the area, leading to water damage at your properties.
Water damage is the second most common insurance claim in the United States. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, just a few inches of water from a flood can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage, leading to mold growth, structural damage to the roof or foundation, damaged appliances and carpeting, and even compromised tenant property.
If water damage happens, act fast to clean and repair your properties by following these tips:
➀ Thoroughly document the damage to your property as soon as possible, in order to ensure you get the maximum settlement if you file an insurance claim.
➁If the water damage is the result of a plumbing malfunction, turn off the water at the property or instruct tenants to do so.
➂ Depending on the extent of the damage, you may need to help your tenants secure and evacuate the property.
➃ Hire professionals to investigate the extent of the damage and restore your property as soon as possible. A professional restoration company will be able to make complete repairs to water damage and use special drying techniques that offer long-term solutions.
After you’ve restored your property, minimize the chances that water damage won’t happen again by following these preventive measures:
➀ Regular maintenance inspections. Having the interiors and exteriors your properties regularly inspected by professionals will go a long way in preventing water damage. Areas to inspect include: exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms; condensation in windows; water stains on ceilings and walls; gutters and spouts; sinks; roofing; HVAC units; basements.
➁ Educate your tenants. When new tenants move in, be sure to educate them on signs of water damage, prevention tips and what to do if they notice signs of damage.
➂ Finally, it’s a good idea to develop a plan for how you’ll be conducting business in the event of water damage. Things to consider are updating your insurance policy, researching professional restoration companies in your area, and plans for moving tenants back into their residences after the damage has been restored.
Again, nobody likes water damage. But if it does happen, the manner and speed with which you approach correcting the problem can make all the difference in the world to the health of your business.