In the MJ Sorority Program, 55 percent of the property claims are due to water damage to your building and your contents. The top three areas of water damage events are the following: water pipes bursting, frozen pipes thawing, and backup of sewers and drains. Burst pipes, roof leaks, overflowing toilets and leaking appliances can cause significant damage. These types of water damage can also result in business interruption, relocation costs, lost rents and can negatively impact your reputation as a business.
Water damage claims can be very disruptive to your operations, especially in today’s environment with the shortage of building materials and construction supplies. Though you do have very broad water damage insurance protection, as the property owner, you should consider all types of tools to help you prevent water damage events and/or reduce the impact of a water claim.
One of the best things that you can do to reduce and prevent water damage is to install a flow-based water leak detection device. The most comprehensive tool available is a leak protection system, which includes both a flow-based monitoring system along with leak detectors or water sensors.
How does a flow-based water shut-off device work?
Installed by a plumber directly onto your water line, a flow-based water leak detection device monitors the flow of water throughout your sorority chapter house. If an unusual activity or flow of water is detected – probably caused by a leak somewhere in your plumbing or pipes – the device will alert you first and then shut off your water supply to help minimize damage.
How do water sensors work?
The water sensors can detect the presence of water, often by measuring the electrical conductivity of the water present and completing a circuit to send a signal to either an email or text.
Where should water sensors be placed?
In addition to washing machines, hot water heaters, dishwashers, damaged supply lines to automatic ice makers and overflowing toilets are some areas where water damage inside the home can occur, often without advanced warning. Performing regular maintenance and checking for rusty, corroded, or damaged water supply lines and other potential problems before you have a leak is one of the best ways to help prevent water damage.
You might want to install water sensors in areas near:
- Washing machines
- Refrigerators with ice makers and water dispensers
- Hot water heaters
- Around exposed pipes
- Furnaces connected to water systems, including hot air system humidifiers
If you are having a professional plumber install your detectors, they will be able to provide advice on how many to install and where to install.
Additional Tips to Consider
Choose a flow-based leak detection device
While individual sensors that simply detect the pressure of water are acceptable, they cannot test for microleaks, monitor water usage, or detect burst pipes in walls or under foundations. The flow-based devices provide enhanced protection, functionality, durability, reliability, accuracy, and great value for the cost.
Speaking of cost, we have had several clients install the flow-based devices and the costs for a typical sorority chapter house range from $2,500-$4,000 a location. When leak detection and flow monitors are installed, your property will be eligible for a five percent discount to our property insurance premium.
Select a device that automatically shuts off the water when a pipe ruptures or in an unattended water anomaly. These preferred flow-based devices not only detect trouble, but also help mitigate the problem itself.
Hire a plumber to professionally install your flow-based leak detection device – it should be installed on your domestic water main pipe near where it enters your chapter house. These devices will need access to a power outlet and a wi-fi router signal.
Consider using one of these best-in-class leak detection devices recommended by Travelers Insurance Company, who they have partnered with for preferred pricing of their products:
Other leak detection companies that we have researched include the following:
Determine your water main pipe size to order the right produce size – ask your licensed plumber, contractor or the product vendor to assist you in picking out the best device for your chapter house.
As we mentioned in above, roughly 55 percent of the property claims are water damage-related. Any preventive action will certainly reduce, not only the amount of damage, but, as importantly, the disruption that might arise with a large water damage claim. Even when the claim is handled expediently and thoroughly, it often requires your member residents to have to relocate to other lodging for a time, which obviously impacts their member experience and causes additional headaches for the House Corporation volunteers and/or property managers.