Owning and renting properties can be a lucrative business, but one that comes with many responsibilities. One that is often overlooked is the risk of water damage due to flooding. Preventing water damage (or treating it once it occurs) protects the integrity of your property and the safety of your residents. Let’s take a closer look at why water damage is so risky and what you can do to prevent it from occurring.
The consequences of water damage range from destroying property to affecting people’s health. The basic risks include:
Building damage: If excess moisture pools on roofs, in walls or near metals, the materials will degrade over time—some faster than others. These damages can grow quickly and can be quite pricey to repair.
Property damage: Carpeting, kitchen appliances and other furnishing inside the building may be damaged as well if it’s submerged extensively.
Mold and mildew: Certain molds and mildews can compromise the air quality and even sicken residents if left unchecked.
Preventing water damage involves regular inspections and educating your residents.
Inspections: Because residents may not inform you of water damage right away, routine inspections of the property (especially after nasty storms) are a prudent choice. Catching a problem early can save you a lot of money down the road.
Education: When new residents move in, provide them information about preventing and noticing the signs of water damage. They should also know what to do if they notice water damage and how to prepare before a predicted flood or storm.
In the event that water damage does affect your property, you can refer to your disaster preparedness plan (which you should always make in advance of an actual disaster) and begin the claims process with your independent insurance agent.
After speaking with your agent, document the damages immediately to help with the settlement decision. Hire professionals to assist with the cleanup and restoration process; be sure to save all receipts for your insurance provider’s records. During this time, you may also need to help residents evacuate the building. Cleaning up after a flood is a big job, so don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Is your business covered? Call Texas Insurance Agency at (713) 675-2626 for more information on Houston flood insurance.