What to do if there’s a flood in your unit

By Realestate Condos Team on February 22nd, 2019

Whether you live on the ground floor or the penthouse, your condo unit can still fall victim to flooding and water damage.

Owning a condo can often result in a false sense of security when it comes to the potential for any flooding. Heavy rainfall can back up drains, rupture pipes and push leaks into condo units, regardless of their distance from the ground.

Further, there’s always the possibility that your neighbour’s unit floods and leaks into yours.

In this post we’ll explain the essential steps to take in the event you experience flooding in your unit.

Cut power

Whenever there is an uncontrollable amount of water taking over your unit, you’re going to want to treat it as an emergency and act right away.

You need to assess whether the water damage has or will come into contact with any electrical equipment, including appliances. To be ready in this event, know where your unit’s break panel is located, even if you're renting.

Always make sure electrical equipment and panelling is safe to touch before you disconnect power. If you’re noticing that wall outlets or light fixtures are wet, call maintenance immediately and stay away from the water.

Stop flow of water

If you can go ahead without any danger of electrical shock, you need to find and stop the flow of water flooding your unit, if possible.

Know where you water main is and shut it off. If the water source is a neighbouring unit, you need to call the condo’s maintenance team right away and/or talk to your neighbour about the steps they’re taking to shut the water off.

Save anything you can

You’ll have to move quickly if there’s standing water in your unit. First, snap some quick photos with your smartphone to document the damage, then remove everything you can from the water to mitigate against further damage.

The documented damage will help you with your insurance claim.

Once you’ve gotten all the evidence you need and important items out of standing water, you can start trying to dry your unit up.

If you have a shop vac, fan or dehumidifier, get it going. If your plumbing isn’t backed up, use a bucket or bowl to transport water to drains.

Does insurance cover flooding?

In a condo building, there are two different types of insurance policies to understand.

First, there is your condo board’s shared insurance policy, which protects the building’s shared features. Most commonly, these features are items such as lobbies, group amenities, elevators, etc.

If the water damage came from a neighbour’s unit, the hallway, or a maintenance issue, you’re going to want to know how far your condo association policy will go to cover these different damage claims