• Alan Plott

How do property managers handle water damage?




From plumbing leaks to un-sealed windows, water damage can easily diminish the value of a property managers rental properties and create health hazards to your tenants. Letting minor water damage go can result in expensive property damage restoration later. A Property Managers properties are serious investments and handling water damage goes a long way in maintaining the health of your property, your home or office rental business, and your tenants happiness.


If you want to keep tenants happy and your property management costs down you should have a water or flood damage prevention plan in place for the properties you manage. It is nearly impossible to be at all of your managed properties all of the time, so you may ask, how do I prevent little water damage issues from turning into costly flood damage restoration projects?

Water Damage Prevention Plan

To start with the best resource you have is your people. Start by recruiting the people that spend the most time at the property. Talk to the tenants and regular maintenance crews. Hire a water damage prevention team to keep an eye out. Include them all in your prevention plan by implementing the following:


Implementing a Water Damage Prevention Plan

If you have a water damage flood prevention plan for your residential and commercial properties make sure that it includes areas that will optimize the prevention of flood or small water damage and eliminate the need for extensive property damage restoration. Things to add to a your water damage prevention plan include:

  • Monthly Property Maintenance Inspections: Some tenants may not notice or tell you about water damage right away. A routine monthly maintenance inspection of the interior and exterior of the properties will allow you to find water leaks or potential water damage areas before they cause extensive flood damage.

  • Main areas to inspect include:

  • Exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms to ensure that they work

  • Window frames and windows for condensation and water intrusion

  • Ceilings and walls for water stains

  • Expansion joints

  • Sealants and flashing

  • Gutters and downspouts

  • Kitchen and bathroom sink cabinets

  • Attic

  • Roof

  • Walls and flooring around appliances such as water heaters, dishwashers, laundry machines and HVAC units

  • HVAC drain lines and drip trays

  • Ductwork

  • Crawlspaces and basements

  • Tenant Education: When you acquire new tenants, provide them with information about:

  • The signs of water damage

  • Water damage prevention tips

  • What to do when they notice water damage

  • How to care for their property when there is a flood warning or water damage occurs

  • Inspection and maintenance dates

  • Specifics about how the property management can help

  • Water Damage Operations Plan: In your water damage flood preparedness plan, outline how you plan to resume operations. When your building has water damage some factors to consider include:

  • Making sure your commercial insurance policy covers the types of water damage that may occur

  • Finding experts that can assist with the restoration process

  • Moving tenants back into the building or finding new tenants


The consequences of water damage are varied and can include:

  • Mold growth and damage: Mold may go unnoticed until its too late and you need significant property damage restoration. This may compromise the structural integrity of your building. Mold lowers the quality of air and can pose serious health risks to tenants.

  • Foundation damage: When downspouts or landscaping gradients don’t divert water away from your building, the excess moisture can flood basements or hurt the foundation.

  • Roof damage: Sticks and debris on a roof, and clogged gutters can cause water to pool or linger for long periods. This will ruin shingles and promote the growth of moss or mold.

  • Damage to building materials: Water moisture will corrode materials and create rust or rot. When this happen your building becomes vulnerable to water damage intrusion.

  • Property losses: Leaky pipes and flooding will result in property losses. You may compromise your property for tenants and loose rent. Water damage can destroy items like carpeting or appliances that you may have provided.


Property Damage Restoration Tips for Water Damage

  • Document the damage: Its important to take pictures and document any water damage you notice immediately. This documentation will help you receive the maximum insurance settlement to which you are entitled when you need to file a claim.

  • Help tenants: You may need to help affected tenants secure their property and evacuate the building.

  • Immediate property damage restoration: Investigate the extent of water damage with the help of a professional. A reputable water damage restoration company will help with the inspection process, as well as make complete repairs and use special drying techniques that offer long-term solutions.

Water damage prevention and business continuity are important factors to add to your organization’s disaster preparedness plan. If you’re not sure about how to implement these elements into your own plan, CAT Recovery Services will help. When you work with CAT Recovery Services, an expert will help you create a preparedness and recovery plan that includes water damage-related considerations. If you sign up for our monthly water damage prevention services, you’ll receive priority attention. When one of your properties has any water damage we will be there anytime 24/7 365 days a year.


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