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Water A Hi-Rise Nightmare

Here is an article from our friends up North - Canada - from a few years back.

It is getting increasingly worse - water damage can be HUGE.

Taken from BFL CANADA


Water is virtually everywhere on this planet. Enough of it to fill three Olympic swimming pools flows over Niagara Falls every second. The human body processes 2.3 liters of water per day. Per person consumption in Canada reaches roughly 300 liters every day. With all this water moving about, it is little wonder there are so many leaks. And believe me, there are lots of leaks! Water damage now outranks fire as the leading source of claims among residential insurers. Commonly quoted claims statistics put water damage at approximately 44% of total claims dollars, well ahead of an average fire claims rate of 30%. Aviva, a major Canadian insurer, shows water claims escalating at a rapid rate. Average per incident water claims rose 37% from $11,709 in 2004 to $16,070 in 2014. All the damage comes from a variety of effects. Direct erosion, swelling and peeling of finishes being one result. Biological contamination occurs easily from gray water, sanitary lines and even from fire sprinkler discharge due to stagnant, foul water in those systems. Mold, a spore common to every interior surface, rapidly grows in the presence of moisture and warm air on almost every type of wall and floor finish. Restoration is obviously possible following a loss; however, prevention and mitigation of water incidents is the key to a good claims history. Water damage protection systems are plentiful. There are elaborate digital control systems with interlocks to detect leaks and isolate water supplies. Moisture detection with local alarms can be installed around water tanks. Mechanical overflow protectors for water lines (toilets, washing machine) are common and quite cheap. Multi-layer braided water hoses are available at every hardware store. So then what’s the problem? Most often the issue is the lack of forethought and planning. Million dollar condos are constructed while washing machines are hooked up with dollar store quality rubber hoses that last 5-7 years and burst catastrophically at the connection point. Heat pump systems are installed with no way to check or clear the condensate drain pan. Water isolation valves are hidden behind wall panels and covered with full length mirrors to be completely forgotten. None of these things are even a passing consideration for the average homeowner until 2 AM on Christmas Eve when the washer line explodes, flooding three floors of apartments. So what can be done by the average owner/property manager/strata council member? First off, have a plan. Imagine various scenarios in your building: sprinklers have been hit in the gym and are spraying wildly; your toilet is broken (don’t ask me how, but it happens) and water is pooling in your bathroom; a pinhole leak in your copper piping has burst and water is coming out of the wall. What can you do? What valves or isolation points are needed to turn the water off? Where are these valves? Who do you tell about the damage? Who is going to call restoration services to begin fixing the damage? If you don’t have definitive answers to all of these questions, please don’t worry about web enabled, Wi-Fi controlled, water flow detection and interlock systems. Please figure out where your condo unit isolation valve is so that at 2:02 AM you can leap from bed and deftly close a single valve, avert major damage, save Christmas and become a hero to the seven condo owners below you."

What to do? You are in the right place to get ahead of the problem and mitigate your exposure. Fill out the contact form - or call 941.350.1227

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