The Threat of Water

November 2021

Water is the new fire!  Costs of water damage are on the rise and exceed those of fire.  Combatting this growing threat requires a change in focus.

Communities have largely ignored increases in water-related damages and claims.  Many have remained complacent until problems are upon them at which time it is too late.  The cost is paid in higher maintenance, repair and insurance costs.  Taking protective measures today ensures being prepared for what we know is coming.

Water poses a triple threat to high-rise communities.  From the outside, weather is a major threat.  Water enters buildings from the roof or through walls which have degraded over time or become damaged.  It then flows downward causing damage in suites and throughout common areas.  Nearly all external water leaks can be prevented or their impact reduced.

Inside a building, water travels through pipes which deteriorate over time.  Deterioration starts on the inside of a pipe and works its way to the outside making advance detection of problems, which can occur as early as five years from installation, unlikely.  A portion of pipe becomes so thin that a small stream of water is released – a pinhole leak.  A single pinhole leak is rare.  More likely is that many more pinhole leaks exist and have gone unnoticed, and that more pinhole leaks may soon arise.

Finally, water leaks arise in suites when pipes or appliances are not adequately maintained.

Measures to minimize water damage require a two-step solution.  Identify leaks and moisture problems sooner.  BuildingLink Aware, Triple+ and WATERSHIELD offer a variety of water detection systems for high-rise communities.  Once identified, repair leaks to prevent ongoing problemsLEaC Shield and Hytec Water Management specialize in identification and repair of pinhole leaks.  A third step, highly recommended, is to undertake an annual physical inspection of each suite.  Look for signs of water damage or leaks on walls, ceilings and below sinks.  Take note of visible problems and advise owners to undertake repairs.  Owners failing to repair deficiencies could be held responsible should problems subsequently extend to other suites or common areas.

Many communities choose not to take proactive steps to prevent or minimize the impact of water leaks.  When that eventual water leak occurs and damages common areas or units, RespondPlus specializes in halting and containing damage so it doesn’t spread through your building.

Monitoring the frequency and location of water leaks allows a community to better understand when water problems are worsening and repair costs likely to increase.  They have more time to take proactive measures before many residents are impacted or costs become unmanageable.  Communities that utilize condo management software and require that service requests be submitted electronically find tracking of water – and all other internal – issues to be simple and crucial to their operations.  They become aware of growing water-related issues much sooner and able to take proactive measures before many are impacted.  They know to be on the lookout for necessary internal infrastructure maintenance or repairs.

Water problems that go unnoticed will worsen and continue to cause damage until detected and addressed.  Late detection of water problems increases the likelihood of costly maintenance or repairs to internal infrastructure.