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Self-Inspect to Protect: Preventing Water Damage

Potential water damage isn’t a common thought crossing church official minds. However, while it may not seem like a pressing issue, an unexpected situation could cause significant destruction to your building. The best way to combat water damage is to be proactive and implement a maintenance program, which should consist of regular self-inspections in order to identify potential problems. In creating your maintenance program, consider the following items for interior and exterior inspection:

Building Interior

  • Water Lines – Water supply and drain lines should be checked annually for proper connections, leaks and damage. If concerns are found, be sure to contact a qualified plumber. Additionally, hoses and water supply lines on appliances should be inspected for leaks, bulges, cracks, etc. on a regular basis. Due to the constant pressure on these lines, a leak could result in a major discharge of water.

  • Physical Appearance – Look for signs of current or past water damage, such as rotten wood, damaged walls or floors, stained ceiling panels, dampness or standing water in the basement. In addition, caulking around toilets and sinks also should be checked.

  • Clogging – Air conditioning units should have clean drip pans and the drain lines clear of any deposits that could present a clog.

  • Leak Detection – Consider installing a leak detection system. There are several types on the market. To determine the best system to install, contact a qualified plumber.

Building Exterior

  • Downspouts – Make sure downspouts are extended at least six feet from the building. This will prevent water from draining down to the foundation tile and causing flooding in the basement. Also, keep gutters, downspouts and eaves clear of debris to allow for proper drainage. These should be cleaned every spring and fall.

  • Physical Appearance – Check the exterior of the building for cracks in walls, damaged siding, deteriorated trim, loose caulking around windows and doors and peeling paint. Additionally, mortar joints should be inspected for any damage.

  • Soil Grade – Check the soil grade around the building’s foundation to ensure adequate fall away space. This will allow for water to be directed away from the foundation. Fill in any low spots, and maintain the appropriate grade for your building.

Water damage is unpredictable, so it is highly recommended to perform regular inspections on your facility. Making proactive measures a top priority can lessen the likelihood your organization will suffer a loss.

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