water damage in rentals

Properties frequently experience sudden and unexpected water damage. Homeowners and landlords encounter this issue occasionally, and dealing with it can prove to be stressful and at times costly. Renters in those properties face additional stress as they wonder who is responsible for repairing the damage, whether their insurance will cover it, and where they will stay while the issue is fixed.

Here we discuss how to deal with water damage in rentals and how to stop water damage from occurring to your property in the future.

Protecting your Rentals from Water Damage

Inspect Your Gutters

Over time, an accumulation of dirt in the gutters can result in clogs and overflow problems. Standing water is left to build up and eventually overflow as a result. The foundation and the walls may then sustain damage from the gushing water. 

At the very least, sweep up debris and plant growth from rain gutters at least once a year or after major storm events. Also, you’ll want to make sure your gutters are angled downward, if at all possible. As a result, water can drain off your land instead of collecting at the margins and seeping into the foundations of your buildings.

Assess the Yard’s Grading

Water can easily accumulate on level ground during downpours, endangering your home. Effective water drainage can be made possible for rental properties with naturally sloping yards. Water damage can be avoided by having a correctly graded yard. Stagnant water can harm your renters’ health and cause structural problems.

looking at the yard's grading

Negative and positive yard grading is the recommended grading options. If your yard is located at the lowest point of your plot, it’s said to have negative grading. Numerous problems will arise as a result of water collecting close to the foundation of your house. The ideal yard grade is positive. Water will drain away from your home’s foundation when it rains.

Perform Routine Plumbing Inspections

To be sure that they are in good working order, all appliances and fittings should undergo routine inspections. This will ensure you are always aware of the condition of your home’s pipes.

When you first bring on a new renter, conduct a move-in inspection and solicit their consent to perform a yearly inspection. You can also instruct tenants on how to prevent water damage and what to do if it happens. Battling water damage doesn’t have to be a responsibility you bear alone. Enlist your tenant’s assistance. 

Install Sump Pumps in the Basement

Particularly in places with frequent urban floods, basements are susceptible to water damage. The best option is to install a sump pump to remove extra water from your basement. After utilizing a sump pump to remove the water, you should repair any damage to the basement to return it to its original condition. 

While the sump pump does a fantastic job of pumping water out of your basement, it will also leave behind a chilly, musty space that a professional must treat because leaving it untreated could encourage the growth of dangerous germs and mold.

basement sump pumps

Examine the Chimney, Roof, and Attic

Homeowners may concentrate on water damage resulting from leaks in the house or underground pipes. Property owners frequently forget that water damage can also come from above the house since snow or rain can harm the roof, attic, and chimney. 

Assessing these areas of the property every two years. Inspections just after a particularly big weather event are preferable. You may need to repair or replace the roof, attic, or chimney if they are not in good shape. Old or improperly maintained chimneys and attics can also leak, especially during the colder months. Make sure the gutters are clean while you are on the roof.

Get Insurance

Purchasing insurance helps lower the cost of property damage. Ask your tenant to purchase renter’s insurance and update your insurance to include all probable damages. Knowing what your insurance coverage covers in terms of water damage to your rental property is essential. Additionally, you have the option of requiring renters insurance from your tenants. 

This will shield them from having to pay a significant repair bill for the water damage they negligently caused. They can save money by having renter insurance. Additionally, it implies that your money is secure.

Encourage Good Communication with Tenants

A good tenant is your best ally in the battle against water leaks. Your tenants will be more likely to inform you of small problems, that you might want to investigate if you establish a solid relationship and communicate effectively with them.

communicating with tenants

You should ask your tenants to keep you informed of any potential problems, such as roof leaks, mold that may indicate water damage, flooding, or moisture in the basement, and to let you know if they notice anything that might be a plumbing issue, like a leaky faucet or an increase in their water bill.

Setting up a Catch Basin

A catch basin is a smart solution for homes where water collects around the foundation. By doing this, water will be diverted away from the foundation and basement, protecting the house’s structural integrity. You can easily direct the water away from the house by laying PVC pipes underground near the locations where this pooling happens.

Bottom Line

Protecting your property and tenants from the dangers of water damage is very important. By following the advice above, you’re in a better position to care for your units. If you would like help maintaining and managing your rentals, consider reaching out to an expert. Haas Properties can assist you with any property management needs you may have. 

Whether you own a single condominium or a large portfolio with hundreds of units, our services are effective and affordable for owners of rental properties. We can assist you with various needs, such as property maintenance and tenant management, in addition to helping you fill vacant rentals and collect rent. We would be delighted to serve as your property management firm and assist you with your needs!