Water damage in a commercial or residential property is one of the most common causes for an insurance claim. It can be caused by everything from a natural flooding event or indoor plumbing leak to a sewer backup.
Water can damage or destroy building materials, furnishing and belongings, and even lead to structural damage. Depending on the source of water, it may contain bacteria, fungi (mold), viruses and chemical contaminants. Even water damage due to clean water can result in the growth of mold indoors in less than 48 hours. Mold is a known allergen, respiratory irritant and asthma trigger. Some molds produce toxins, known as mycotoxins, and some can cause infections in people, especially anyone with a weakened immune system.
While there may be few things property owners can do in flood prone areas to prevent a natural flood, aside from having flood insurance coverage, there are precautions that can be taken to prevent water damage from sources already inside the property. They include the following:
• Regularly check washing machine hoses and be sure to replace them if there are any signs of cracking or bulging.
• Inspect ice maker connections for signs of damage and replace when necessary.
• The water heater should be regularly inspected for signs of leaks and corrosion. Drip pans installed below the water heater that drain to the outside can prevent costly damage. Check the life expectancy of the water heater and consider replacing it at the end of its useful life.
• If the property has an air conditioner, be sure the drain lines are not clogged.
• Check under sinks, garbage disposals and around tubs and showers for any signs of leaks.
• Inspect around drinking fountains and toilets and check the toilet’s internal components for any signs of leaks, wear or damage.
• Check basements and crawl spaces for signs of leaks, moisture and elevated humidity levels.
• Inspect any exposed plumbing for signs of condensation, corrosion and leaks.
• Consider having the property’s sewer line inspected for any signs of failure and existing blockages to prevent a sewer backup.
These are just a few things to consider regarding common interior sources of water damage in properties and associated indoor environmental concerns. To learn more about this or other property damage, indoor air quality, health and safety, occupational or environmental issues, please visit the websites shown below.
Clark Seif Clark http://www.csceng.com
EMSL Analytical, Inc. http://www.emsl.com
Indoor Environmental Consultants, Inc. http://www.iecinc.net
LA Testing http://www.latesting.com
Zimmetry Environmental http://www.zimmetry.com
Healthy Indoors Magazine http://www.iaq.net
Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters http://HudsonDouglasPublicAdjusters.com