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Prevent water damage to your building and facilities

Water damage is one of the most common reasons why organizations of all kinds need to submit insurance claims. It doesn’t take long before water can cause thousands of dollars in damage—and potentially destroy property, including irreplaceable artifacts in your building and facilities.

Some of the most common causes of water damage include:

  1. Wind-driven rain – Even the slightest amount of wind can cause water to seep into a building.

  2. Gaps in windows or doors – These gaps can occur because of maintenance problems, poor workmanship, age, rot, damaged weather stripping or structure shifting.

  3. Poor weatherproofing – Over time, weatherproofing material becomes frail or cracked, or chewed upon by rodents. Consequently, the wood rot and water damage could attract termites and other insects.

  4. Poor grading – When you don’t have the proper slope on the ground surface around your building, water will pond and drain into the building’s foundation, which could cause damage to the floor or basement. Water ponding can also reach high levels, causing water to enter the building through weep holes or doorways.

  5. Poor building maintenance - As buildings age and seasons pass, building materials tend to shrink, shift and deteriorate, and weatherproofing materials lose their effectiveness.

Take action!

There are a number of proactive steps you can take to protect your building and facilities from water damage. Review the following list of potential solutions and consider how you might take action before a small issue becomes a big problem.

  1. Caulking – You can use caulking to fill in minor cracks and openings that are less than 3/8 inch. Larger cracks will require expanding foam. If a crack is too large to fill with caulking or foam, you should consider hiring a contractor to complete the job.

  2. Adhesive weather stripping – Use this to seal around doors and windows. You can also fill gaps in doors with door sweeps, threshold seals and rubber fillers.

  3. Staying up to date with your painting – Paint plays a huge part in weatherproofing—it protects surfaces against water damage, rust, ultraviolet rays and wood shrinkage. If you see signs of paint peeling, bubbling, dusting, shrinking or scaling, it’s time to repaint the surface and, probably, the whole building.

  4. Performing regular inspections – Set a routine schedule to inspect your building inside and out. After a major weather event, make a checklist of items to review and walk through your building to check on them. Have a list of contractors available to contact in case of an emergency or major damage to your building.

As the age-old proverb goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Make it a priority to walk through your building and facilities on a recurring basis or schedule an annual inspection to make sure you’re doing everything you can to ensure water damage isn’t something you have to worry about.

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