Do’s and Don’ts When Dealing With Water Damage
June 14, 2023
Water damage can pose huge risks to property managers by diminishing the value of their properties and making them uninhabitable for tenants. When handled incorrectly, water damage can even cause dangerous mold growth and structural issues. Read on to learn some of the do’s and don’ts of dealing with water damage in your residential or commercial properties.
When initially discovering the damage
If you receive a call from your tenant about a leak or flooding, make haste. Keep a constant line of communication with your tenant to help ease their worries and build trust. The priority at this step is to remedy the situation as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
Do: Document everything. Take lots of photos and videos, especially if your tenants’ belongings are affected. Depending on the water damage severity, you will most likely need insurance to help cover repairs. By being as detailed as possible, you increase your chances of receiving the maximum settlement. Send the evidence to a property claim adjuster right away to jumpstart the restoration process.
Don’t: Wait to take action. Shut off the water to the property and identify the source of the leak. Call in a reputable restoration company immediately. The longer you wait, the more damage can occur. A trusted company like DRYmedic Restoration Services has a 24/7 response time and will be there in a moment’s notice with the necessary equipment and training to mitigate damage and provide restoration to the property and its contents.
During the restoration process
Now that the restoration company is on the scene beginning the cleanup process, it’s important to check in with your tenants and make a plan for their next steps.
Do: Consult the lease. If the damage has displaced your tenants by making the property uninhabitable, discuss what is outlined in the lease for their accommodations. Questions concerning temporary housing, continuing to pay rent, or breaking the lease all need to be addressed. Hopefully, these should have already been agreed on upon signing the lease, but if not, don’t hesitate to make an amendment. This builds goodwill with your tenants and protects both parties.
Don’t: Allow tenants on the property until it is safe. Oftentimes tenants will want to go retrieve items and inspect damage to their property, but in many cases, it is illegal for them to do so if the local authorities have determined it uninhabitable. Not to mention it could be very dangerous if mold growth or electrical damages have occurred.
After the fact
Now that the urgency has subsided, it is time to figure out where responsibility lies as well as make prevention plans to reduce the likelihood of future water damage.
Do: Determine fault. If the water damage was caused by the property manager’s negligence by not keeping the pipes and plumbing in working order, then repairs and tenant accommodations are their responsibility. Conversely, if the tenant has done something to cause a leak, like flushing something insoluble down the toilet, then they would assume responsibility. This is important to determine whose shoulders the restoration falls on. If natural phenomena have caused the damage and neither is at fault, then the property manager and tenant should work together to handle the damage.
Don’t: Forget to schedule routine maintenance. Once the damage has been remedied, the work doesn’t stop there. Check back frequently to make sure the problem does not persist and that no new issues have arisen from the damage.
While water damage can be stressful for property managers and tenants alike, there is no need to stress over who to call for restoration. The DRYmedic Restoration team is at your service 24/7 to bring peace of mind back to you and your tenants.