What You Need to Know About Water Damage Claims – Part 2

Before you learn how to prevent water damage claims, do you understand the different components that make up a water damage claim?

Preventing Water Damage Claims

Now that you understand the basic components of water damage claims, we will share our top five causes of water damage claims and discuss measures you can take to prevent it. The best way to avoid a declined claim or increasing premiums or excess is to prevent the claim from happening in the first place.

FAILED WATERPROOFING MEMBRANES IN SHOWER RECESSES

The first cause is failed waterproofing membranes in shower recesses. Shower recesses are normally built on a suspended timber frame with a waterproofing membrane applied to prevent water from damaging the sub-floor below.

If it has been properly applied, its lifespan can start from 25 years until the shower membrane fails and causes damage. If it hasn’t been properly applied, the shower membrane can start to fail within several years of the shower recess being built.

To minimize damage from a failed waterproofing membrane, we recommend speaking to your plumber about the following preventative measures:

  • Bathrooms are not designed to last forever. Owners should consider renovating their bathroom every 25 years to replace all tiles and waterproofing membranes.
  • Owners can repair damaged grout, apply new silicone seals and a spray on water membrane over tiles.

BURST PIPES

The second cause is burst pipes. If a lot owner is not home to tend to a burst pipe, they can cause major damage to properties and its contents. If this occurs in a multi-storey building, a burst pipe can cause extensive damage to multiple floors.

To minimize damage from a burst pipe, we recommend speaking to your plumber about the following preventative measures:

  • Install water sensors. They can detect water leaks in its infancy stage and send an alert to our chosen security devices if you have a monitored alarm. They are also designed for high risk appliances such as plumbed in fridges, water filters, dishwashers, and washing machines.
  • Install water shut-off devices. These devices constantly monitor the flow of water and operate on time-based parameters, meaning they can shut off the water at the mains once water flow reaches a pre-set time. They also have home and away modes to maximize protection when the building is unattended and can give owners a peace of mind when they travel away.

FLEXIBLE BRAIDED HOSE

The third cause is flexible braided hoses. These are becoming a growing issue for many properties as it can lead to an inundation of 1,500L of water per hour to a property. Flexi-hoses should last for 10 years but they can fail before their warranty if it hasn’t been installed correctly.

To minimize damage from a flexi-hose, we recommend the following preventative measures:

  • Regularly check flexible braided hoses that connect plumbing fixtures such as tapware and cisterns to the main water supply. Look out for any bulging, rust spots, fraying or kinking.
  • Conduct inspections of plumbed in appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, and refrigerators to ensure their flexi-hoses and any associated plumbing is in order and is functioning well.
  • Flexible braided hoses usually burst once they have come to the end of their life. Once they are out of warranty, we recommend you engage a licensed plumber to replace them. Ensure that all new hoses come with a warranty and are installed correctly.

ROOF LEAKS

The fourth cause is roof leaks. In most cases, leaking roofs can cause damage to internal ceilings. In severe cases, ceilings can collapse, and water can damage floors, skirting and cabinetry. The most common cause of roof leaks are from broken and slipped tiles, flashings not being installed properly, blocked gutters, and iron roofs screws or seals coming loose.

We recommend implementing the following maintenance plan:

  • Gutters on all roofs annually (or more if needed).
  • Iron roofs every 5 to 10 years.
  • Tiled roofs on smaller properties every 5 years.
  • Tiled roofs on larger properties annually.

When engaging a roofing contractor to inspect your tiled roof, ensure that they replace any cracked tiles or realign slipped tiles.

TOILET BLOCKS

The fifth and last cause is toilet blocks. Sewerage water that arises from toilets can be a safety hazard to property occupiers. If you live in a multi-storey building, we recommend that you provide a memo, post a sign, or remind unit occupiers not to flush wipes, sanitary products or any other foreign objects down the toilet.

Do get in early. The sooner a damage is fixed, the lower a claim expense can be. When it comes to water damage, if left unattended, it can exacerbate at an unpredictable rate. A strata insurance policy is designed to cover unforeseen events and insurers do have a preference to insure properties that are maintained with a proactive approach over properties that aren’t.

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Tyrone

Tyrone Shandiman
Strata Insurance Solutions
LINK, Level 1, 57 Berwick St,
Fortitude Valley QLD 4006
Ph: 1300 554 165
E: tshandiman@iaa.net.au

This information is of a general nature only and neither represents nor is intended to be personal advice on any particular matter. Shandit Pty Ltd T/as Strata Insurance Solutions strongly suggests that no person should act specifically on the basis of the information in this document, but should obtain appropriate professional advice based on their own personal circumstances. Shandit Pty Ltd T/As Strata Insurance Solutions is a Corporate Authorised Representative (No. 404246) of Insurance Advisernet Australia AFSL No 240549, ABN 15 003 886 687.

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