When you experience flooding or other water damage, is it necessary to restore your property?

We often associate water damage with flooding, especially since the 2013 Calgary Flood remains fresh in the minds of many Calgarians. However, leaks can be more common than you think. Even a small leak can cause large issues, especially if you’re living in a condo building. 

Condo Buildings and Water Leaks

One of the main perks of renting in a condo building is that you can personally avoid dealing with any property upkeep, construction or renovation costs your building takes on. You will likely contribute financially for it indirectly through rent or condo fees, but usually someone else coordinates the maintenance and repair of your building envelope and common spaces.

How quickly will water damage start to affect my property?

Be aware that any water damage can result in the growth of mold. Mold can begin to form within the first 24 hours of the water damage so it’s important to take action and notify someone whether you notice water damage inside or outside of your unit. If water damage is left unattended, it can detrimentally impact the structure of the property, or produce other complications, including mold and mildew that pose a health risk to those residing on the property.

Does water damage have to be repaired?

Because each situation is unique, it is best to have a professional assess the situation. In many cases, if the leak or flood is caught right away, steps and actions can be taken to reduce the affects of the water damage and ideally maintain the integrity of your building. Again, because each situation is totally unique, in many cases, it will not be possible to just “dry it out” and leave the water damage untouched. If it is left unaddressed, your building can be put at risk for safety and health. If in doubt, there are experts who see and deal with water damage every day and can offer professional advice on your best next steps. 

Do you know who is responsible if unexpected water damage occurs to your unit or building? 

If you are a renter, it’s important to double check the details of your lease and have a thorough understanding of what you are agreeing to and what is covered when you sign your lease. Many landlords recommend tenant insurance to cover any damage to your personal belongings while occupying their building. While it’s up to the renter to contact the landlord if any issues occur in their unit, it’s up to the landlord to make sure their unit is liveable. This includes any upkeep and maintenance such as plumbing repairs due to leaks. We believe everyone deserves to live in a building that is properly maintained and therefore a healthy and safe place to live. 

calgary apartment condo

What should I do if I notice water damage in my condo building?

Regardless of whether you rent or own the unit in the building, condo associations maintain insurance and financial surpluses to cover unexpected and planned maintenance of common areas of the building complex. Often, individual condo unit insurance policies are responsible when covering the ceilings, floors, walls and contents of the unit. It’s best to contact your condo association or landlord if you notice any water damage occurring outside of your unit such as a ceiling leak, or an overflowing washing machine in a communal area.

When it comes to water damage in your unit,the area of responsibility can become a little murky. Determining the cause of the water damage will come into play when deciding who is liable for the repair.  If water damage in your unit occurred due to a toilet overflow or a bathroom pipe burst, it is likely that the claim will go through your personal insurance. If you are the victim of water damage caused by an adjoining unit, your insurance company will make the decision of determining who becomes liable. When damage is to the building envelope such as unplanned damage to the roof, it is likely that the condo board or building owner will handle the situation. The bottom line is that the situation is unique every time, depending on the source of the damage, whether or not an insurance claim will be made, what the repair entails, and much more. 

Is water damage more likely or less likely in a condo or apartment building?

When living in a multi-dwelling building, more water is used than living in a single-family house, therefore it puts more people at risk of water damage to the building. To avoid any water troubles, property owners need to maintain their buildings and seek professional help at the first sign of water damage.

If you become the victim of water damage at your property, Streamside Property Restoration can help. Our expert technicians and inspectors are trained to immediately respond to water damage emergencies, develop a recovery plan, then if necessary, reconstruct and restore your property back to its pre-loss condition.