Ever wondered who is legally responsible for the cost of clean-up and repair of damage caused by water leaks in a condominium building? Sometimes it is the association’s responsibility, sometimes it is the owner’s responsibility and sometimes it is either or both of these parties insurance companies less deductibles but here are some tips to greatly assist you in preventing water leaks to avoid the expensive damages the leaks can cause. First, it was found that most of the water leaks in condominium buildings are caused by owners not proactively maintaining and timely replacing their appliances and related hardware; thereby, causing the leaks to occur. The dilemma, however, is that even though this issue of preventative maintenance or replacement may cause the leak usually does not rise to the level of provable legal negligence which, if found, could place the entire cost of clean-up and repair on the owner. Instead, the usual result is that the association and other owners living in units below or next to the leak are having to pay for the costly cleanup and repairs of the damage to the common elements and the other owners’ units caused by the leak.
Following are the items unit owners should consider to prevent the water leaks:
- Contract for ongoing air-conditioning maintenance service, which includes periodic inspection of the system on at least an annual basis, addition of chlorine tablets or other products to keep the lines clear and periodic blowout of the lines.
- Replace unit water heaters after they have been in service for ten (10) years (normal life expectancy of a water heater before probable leaking).
- Replace dishwashers after they have been in service for fourteen (14) years (normal life expectancy of a dishwasher before probable leaking).
- Replace all washing machine hoses with steel lined hoses.
- Turn off main water valve to the unit if the unit will be unoccupied for 48 hours or more.
- Replace the wax-ring, seal and flange every six (6) years or when such activities occur including: toilet beginning to rock, toilet has been lifted or shifted, water leaking from underneath the base after flushing or when the odor of sewer gases has developed.
It is so much better to prevent the water leaks in multifamily buildings up front rather than have to cover the great expense of cleanup and damage repair later. A dry building makes for happy owners and tenants.
Keeping your home safe from flooding isn’t always foolproof, but the more you know and the more cautious you are, the better chance you have to protect your investment. For an added layer of protection, keep up-to-date with the latest technology and Water Security System at the Enolgas USA blog, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and YouTube. With everything you learn, you can keep flooding damage to a minimum and have peace of mind. You can’t put a price on that.