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Damage caused by water may easily become one of the biggest expenses you could face as a condominium owner. The reason why this type of damage is so costly is that it is so often not taken seriously until it poses a real threat to the structure of the building or to the health of the inhabitants. To properly prepare yourself for the various problems that serious water damage can cause, be sure to keep yourself informed about why it takes place, how it can be prevented and what you can do about it when does occur.

What causes water damage?

Water is any structure's worst enemy. This type of damage could cost thousands of dollars to repair right away, and tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair if let go for too long. There are numerous causes of water damage, but some are more common than others.

Condensation due to the use of air conditioning units can lead to significant damage to your condo unit's structure. To prevent excess condensation from building up and becoming an expensive nuisance, be sure to clean out your drain lines with each season.

Masonry and plumbing issues that go neglected are also a major cause of water damage. Many condo owners and boards do not like to spend the money it costs to repair leaky pipes or areas of a building that are susceptible to flooding, but the fact remains that any water leak progressively does more damage the longer it's left unaddressed. When it comes to fixing damage caused by excess water, you will spend a great deal more money repairing major issues caused to your condo later than you will spend making small repairs and performing regular maintenance now.

How do you handle water damage?

Although prevention is key, water damage is sometimes inevitable. As a condo unit owner, it's important that you determine who is responsible for the damage in question before you file an insurance claim. Your condo property management provider will examine that damage, and then likely call on a restoration specialist to determine who or what was at fault. A professional restoration provider will be able to assist the property manager, condo board and unit owner with remediating the damage.

All condo owners should also review their individual insurance coverage plans and determine what is and is not covered. If the water damage was caused in your own bathroom by a burst pipe, the claim will most likely be covered by your own insurance. 

If an issue in your neighbour's unit caused the damage, your condo corporation may need to get involved to determine the next steps.If you notice any water damage in your condo or any common areas of the building, you should notify your condo board or property manager right away to inform them of the situation. Remember, toxic mould can start forming within just 48 hours, and it can be seriously hazardous to your health and the health of other residents. Be aware of any leaks or condensation issues in your building and have them addressed as soon as possible.