Preventing water damage


Summary of the main prevention tips presented at the conference given by Albert Arduini, T.P., PAA , Manager, Building Inspection and Expertise, SCM Risk Management Services.

Preventing water damage from inside the building

  • Always have repairs, modifications and improvements done by a qualified plumber with an RBQ1 licence and member of the CMMTQ2
  • Regularly inspect water hoses on appliances, including washing machines and dishwashers
  • Replace hot water tanks if you notice deterioration or before they reach life expectancy—around 10 years
  • Replace compression shut-off valves with ball shut-off valves
  • Install a backwater valve, even if it's not required by municipal regulations
  • Inspect the seals around bath tubs and showers every year and re-caulk them if necessary
  • Consider replacing rubber washing machine hoses with stainless steel braided hoses
  • Consider installing water leak detectors (e.g., Nowa)
  • Get your condo owners on board by encouraging prevention

Preventing water damage from outside the building

  • Always have repairs, replacements and improvements done by a contractor with an RBQ1 licence
  • Inspect the roof for damage every year Expect to replace the roofing every 20 years
  • Remove snow from the roof in winter. It's important to avoid a build-up of more than 20 inches of compacted snow or 9 inches of a mixture of snow, ice and water
  • Inspect the caulking on all doors and windows yearly and replace it if necessary
  • Expect to replace all the caulking on doors and windows every 5 years
  • Clean out the eavestroughs every year
  • Make sure downspouts carry water at least 1.8 m from the foundation
  • Make sure the ground slopes away from the building, so water flows away from the foundation but not onto neighbouring properties

1 Régie du bâtiment du Québec (Quebec Building Control Board)

2 Corporation des maîtres mécaniciens de tuyauterie du Québec (Quebec Plumbers' Association)