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  • Writer's picturePerceptive Things Team

8 Tips for Avoiding Water Damage



Water damage is one of a property manager’s worst nightmares and costliest insurance claims. It can be a serious problem if left unaddressed!


It may only be a matter of time before you experience it in your building or property. That is why it is important to take action to avoid damage in the first place. You do not want to be a sitting duck sitting in a pond of water in your building!


Luckily, there are many easy things you can do to protect your building or home from water damage.


This post shares our top 8 tips you can employ to help you avoid water damage and keep your building safe and dry.


Eight tips for avoiding water damage

  1. Regularly check and maintain your plumbing system

  2. Install a water leak detection system

  3. Keep gutters and downspouts clean

  4. Inspect and maintain your roof

  5. Install proper drainage systems

  6. Don’t ignore small leaks

  7. Use water-resistant materials

  8. Be careful with appliances

Regularly check and maintain your plumbing system

Every part of your plumbing system must function optimally. If not, water can leak between floors or inside walls, leading to water damage in your building or home.


According to Property Casualty 360, " In 2020 alone, nearly 2,700 water damage claims were registered in North America, mostly as a result of a bursting or leaking water pipe. The highest individual damage amounts to almost $5 million."


It is recommended to always keep your plumbing system in good working condition by checking for leaks, cracks, and corrosion in the pipes, faucets, and hoses and fixing any issues accordingly.


Install a water leak detection system


Early water leak detection with the help of a leak detector can reduce the water damage done to your home.


A leak detector alerts you to leaks so that you can take action in real-time. It is important to install leak detectors in the right places, depending on whether it is a commercial or multi-family building.


There are many leak detectors, but some of our most popular ones are Droplet Duo™ and Droplet Pro™. You may want to check out our post on the best water leak detectors to learn more about them!




Keep gutters and downspouts clean

Like plumbing pipes in your home, downspouts and gutters are exterior pipe systems that move water off the roof and well away from the foundation.


When water spills over packed gutters, it erodes soil adjacent to your multi-family home, which may compromise the foundation. As a result, water can leak through the foundation, causing extensive damage to the floors and walls.


Cleaning your downspouts and gutters regularly (once or twice a year) is the best way to prevent water from backing up and causing damage to your multi-family building’s foundation.


Inspect and maintain your roof

Without a weather-tight roof, your multi-family building will suffer from water damage.


A water-damaged roof can create massive leaks that can even damage buildings beyond repair.


Before inclement weather sets in, check your roof for damaged shingles or tiles that may permit water to flow into your multi-family building and repair or replace them accordingly.


You should also check for any damage from fallen tree limbs and overgrown moss under the shingles.


Install proper drainage systems


Ensuring a proper drainage system is essential to direct built-up water away from your home and prevent potential water damage. To ensure easy water flow, it is crucial to keep all nearby drainage systems clean and unclogged.


Additionally, it's essential to check that the yard or lawn slopes away from the foundation of your multi-family building. This natural slope prevents water from accumulating along the sides of your building.


If water collects around your multi-family building, it can seep down the foundation, potentially causing water damage to the sides of your building. In many cases, this can lead to warping of patios, which can result in extensive and costly repairs.


Don't ignore small leaks

Ignoring small leaks in your home, whether in the basement, pipelines, roof, or elsewhere, can lead to significant water damage incidents.


In fact, most water damage incidents in a building or home start out as small leaks!


When left unattended, small leaks can worsen over time until water damage becomes inevitable. Therefore, it's crucial to address leaks promptly by identifying the source and fixing them as soon as possible to avoid costly water damage.


Early maintenance and repairs can prevent water leaks and damage in your building. Additionally, checking for leaks can also help you identify clogged pipes before they burst, saving you from the inconvenience and high cost of dealing with a burst pipe.


Don't overlook the importance of addressing small leaks in your home. Take action promptly to prevent potential water damage and protect your property.


Use water-resistant materials

When it comes to renovation or new construction, using water-resistant materials is essential in areas prone to water damage, such as bathrooms, kitchens, and basements.


This precautionary measure will help prevent water damage from occurring and save you from costly repairs in the future.


For example, you can choose to replace copper water pipes with corrosion-free plastic PEX or PVC pipes to avoid pinhole leaks that may damage your building or home. Additionally, installing water-resistant drywall, moisture-resistant sub-flooring, and waterproof membranes around showers and bathtubs can help prevent water damage from occurring.


It is also essential to consider the type of flooring you install in areas prone to water damage. Using tile, vinyl, or waterproof laminate flooring in bathrooms, kitchens, and basements can help prevent water damage from occurring.


Be careful with appliances


Appliances that use water, such as refrigerators, washing machines, and dishwashers, are the most common in-home water damage. We recommend checking and maintaining them regularly for leaks and damages according to the manufacturer’s directions.


You should pay particular attention to the state of your refrigerator and washing machine. They may malfunction and dump water on the floor, which increases the chances of water damage.


When these appliances become brittle and old, they usually become leaky, making them one of the most common causes of water damage for homeowners.


Final thoughts on how to avoid water damage

In conclusion, preventing water damage is crucial for the safety and longevity of your property. By implementing the tips and precautions mentioned in this article, you can prevent potential water damage incidents and save yourself from costly repairs.


Regular maintenance of your plumbing and drainage systems, addressing leaks promptly, and using water-resistant materials during renovations and new construction are simple yet effective ways to avoid water damage. It's also important to have adequate insurance coverage to protect your property in case of water damage.


Remember, prevention is always better than cure when it comes to water damage. Take the necessary steps to protect your property today and enjoy peace of mind knowing that you've done everything possible to prevent water damage incidents.


Do you have unanswered questions about avoiding water damage? Or need any professional assistance preventing your building from water damage? We would love to know via the comments section below!


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