Water Damage Happens: Do You Have a Plan to Fight It?

Spring is a wet and rainy season for most parts of the U.S., and that makes it a good time to make sure your business is protected against losses due to water damage. Most water damage arises from three sources:

1. rain or surface water runoff

2. gray or foul water from ice machines, cafeterias, coffee machines or lavatories

3. water from facility systems like HVAC, boiler rooms or connections to city supplies.

The first step in preventing damage is assessing where damage is most likely to occur. Touring the property and making a list of potential entry points for water can provide you with the information you need to develop a risk mitigation plan.

After identifying potential sources of water damage, create a checklist that can help ensure a consistent review. Keep in mind, checklists should be updated when new features are added or whenever construction takes place that could affect your facility's risk of damage.

ü  Here are a few potential questions for your checklist:

ü  Is a system in place to surveil for small leaks on a regular basis?

ü  Are small leaks being repaired promptly?

ü  When a leak occurs, is it evaluated to determine if it poses any future risk or if it's a one-time occurrence?

ü  Are facility diagrams updated with recent plumbing changes and all shutoff valves?

ü  Are shutoff valves regularly checked for proper operation?

ü  Are all storage tanks (including boilers and hot water tanks) regularly checked for leaks?

ü  Is a leak response plan in place and do key personnel understand the protocol for handling leaks?

ü  Who is authorized to call in repair personnel or outside contractors on an emergency basis when leaks are identified?

ü  When outside contractors are called in, is there a process for monitoring them to ensure systems are maintained?

This brief list can serve as a jump-off point for your own checklist, based on your specific facility. Even if your business is not in a moisture-prone area, spring is a great time to develop a water damage mitigation plan.

Need help? Ask your insurance agent for some tips and guidance. 

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