Who’s Responsible for Water Damage: Tenants or Landlords?

who's responsible for water damage

Water may cause serious damage in a rental property. Both tenants and landlords are sometimes confused over the responsibility for such damages. The question being: who exactly should pay for the trouble?

In this article by professionals of Dawson PM, we’ll take a closer look at the main responsibilities of tenants and landlords concerning water damage. While you should check for state-specific legal differences, these general guidelines will help you understand the whole situation a bit better.

How to spot signs of water damage?

Damage doesn’t always result from water violently gushing from broken pipes. Sometimes water damages accumulate slowly and subtle signs grow into something more serious.

Brown spots are typical symptoms of water making its way into places where it shouldn’t be. The discoloring results from the brown surfactant that’s used to bind paint. Water releases this surfactant, making the damaged areas look ugly.

Also, you could easily smell strange odors or spot changes in the surface textures. The smell comes from mold growth. And the texture changes can be anything from cracks and bubbles to bends and warps.

When you start noticing subtle signs of water damage appearing in the rental space, then contact your landlord immediately and try to work out the root causes.

The devil is in the details

responsible for water damage

Having detailed contracts will help minimize endless arguments. When your rental contract isn’t covering enough of the possible risks and situations, then turning to the law is the next step.

This route is always more costly compared to ensuring clear agreements starting from the beginning. At the same time, it’s inevitable that you won’t be able to define every circumstance in the contract. Most problems need common sense and knowledge about the local laws regarding landlords’ and tenants’ responsibilities.

When are the landlords responsible for water damage?

All landlords need to make their rental spaces habitable and safe. Pipes, plumbing, and roof leaks are all part of the rental space. Any lack of maintenance invites trouble. Of course, your landlord is responsible for the proper maintenance in order to lower the risks of potential water damage.

As you can see, these are very broad principles. That’s why we need to analyze a few cases to see how this responsibility works out in real life. You should keep in mind that there are circumstances that

minimize or completely remove the landlord’s responsibility. Keeping this risk in mind allows you to make better decisions when faced with an unexpected water emergency.

Shared responsibilities

While the landlord is accountable for keeping the rooms habitable, the tenant should do everything to prevent additional damage. One of the pipes starts to leak? Yes, it was the landlord’s responsibility to keep the pipe system properly maintained so this wouldn’t happen.

Still, part of that responsibility is passed on to the tenant when the water emergency situation unfolds. You need to immediately alert the landlord and keep any of your personal possessions from getting further damage. Taking a passive approach would mean a significant risk that the landlord wouldn’t have to reimburse the damage to your personal belongings.

When are the tenants responsible for water damage?

Not all water emergencies have anything to do with the landlord’s neglect. Imagine that you are away on a trip aboard and one of your relatives leaves the bathtub faucet on for so long that the water flows all over the floor.

When he discovers the accident, a few hours have passed and the water has even damaged the ceiling below. In this case, the landlord assumes absolutely zero responsibility and the tenant must pay for the damages.

Overflowing toilets are common culprits for water damage. But who pays for the consequences? In these cases, you have to understand why the toilet started to overflow.

If the pipes were in a bad state, then the landlord must pay up. When the tenant just clogged the toilet by flushing facial tissues, condoms, or tampons, then the landlord isn’t held accountable for the resulting expenses.

Insurance might help

Renter’s insurance provides a nice backup strategy. Typically, this insurance isn’t an actual requirement, but it can make your life easier. In some circumstances, the landlord has the right not to pay for anything if they can prove the damage occurred because of the tenant’s negligence.

Having a good renter’s insurance plan lessens worries about unexpected accidents that might make a serious dent in your wallet.

So, Who’s Responsible for Water Damage: Tenants or Landlords?

Serious water damage wrecks properties and all the possessions inside. More subtle cases need attention as well: mold, brown spots, and strange smells need to be sorted out.

Landlords need to keep the place habitable and safe. This principle covers proper maintenance to remove the risk of extensive water damage. That said, accidents happen, and tenants might find themselves in situations where they have to cover the costs.

Renter’s insurance is a smart way to lower these risks. And even if the landlord is responsible for the water damage, it’s up to the tenant to immediately alert about the issue.

Drying Hardwood Floors In Your Home

When attempting to dry your hardwood floors in your home, the most important factor is time. If you arrive home shortly after a dishwasher leak, and the water hasn’t been sitting on your wood floors for too long, then there is a good chance we can save your floors. However, if you arrive home to find extensive damage to your wood floors to the point of cupping or crowning, your floors are likely no longer salvageable. Time is of the essence when it comes to water damage on your wood floors. So if you arrive home to find water on your floors but decide not to do anything for a lengthy period of time, you are putting all your wood floors at risk.

hardwood floor cupping

How The Woodfloor Drying Process Works

The first step in saving your hardwood floors is to remove any standing water on the floors.

After all standing water is removed, now we have to remove the water that has seeped into the floorboards and subfloor. This can be very difficult, luckily Professional Restoration Services has specialty drying equipment designed to dry hardwood floors.

To remove the water trapped in the floorboards and below you place the special floor mats of the Injectidry System on the affected wood floor and connect the floor mats with a hose to the “vacuum” like machine. This system will use a suction-like process to draw the water droplets from the subfloor through the floorboards and eventually removing all excess water in your wood floors bringing it back to its dry standard.

water damage injectidry raleigh nc

Commercial Flood Water Damage Restoration Hurricane Matthew Raleigh NC

Many Businesses in Raleigh received a tremendous amount of water damage on Saturday, October 8, 2016. As of October 9, many are still without power. Rivers, creeks, and streams in Raleigh overflowed with water, unable to drain the water away fast enough. Raleigh received 8.5″ inches of rain and there was even more in Wendell.

Flood Damage Experts

We are one of the few water restoration companies in the area with a North Carolina State Contractor’s License. This means we can tackle larger jobs and commercial jobs, even where there is over $10,000 in damage. We are also locally owned and operated and our primary job is removing water from triangle area homes and businesses.

For more information call our 24hr hotline or feel free to check out our Raleigh water damage page.

If you received water damage near Crabtree Mall, Glenwood Ave, Creedmore Rd, Gorman Street contact us today.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Damage from Hurricane Matthew in the Triangle? hurricane-1712066_640

Homeowners in Raleigh, Cary, Holly Springs, Apex, Durham and Chapel Hill have been calling in to as about damage from the latest storm to roll through central North Carolina, Hurricane Matthew.

Many people in the area have moderate home damage.

If you have wind or water damage contact us today, especially if you have water damage which will only get worse as time goes on. Our 24hr hotline is 919-467-1991.

Will insurance cover this?

This depends. Most homeowners policies will cover wind and water damage. However, you have a deductible that you will need to take care of as well.

If you have water damage that may merit a claim contact us today.

If you have wind damage which may merit a claim contact us today.

Alternately, some homeowners call their insurance company first. This is usually how we meet you- after the insurance company dispatches us. This is because we work with almost every carrier in the area. There are, however, often benefits to contact us first. Feel free to call with any questions which you may have.

Minor damage

If you do not have major damage to your home you may be better off simply contacting someone who does basic home repairs and home improvements. This Raleigh home improvement company does basic siding repairs

Damage around the triangle

Much of the reports we have so far are from downed limbs and water damage. Raleigh experienced wind gusts up to 65MPH and received about 8in of rain. The damage was not as bad as it was in Fayetteville NC but was still extensive.

Water Damage In Duplex Homes in Raleigh, Durham, or Chapel Hill

If you have water damage to your duplex home and are located in or around Raleigh, Durham, or Chapel Hill please visit our water damage page today.

Restoring water damage to a multi-family home presents an added challenge over a stand-alone home. Not only does the home need to be thoroughly dried and repaired, but it needs to be done while disturbing the neighbors as little as possible.

Our trained and certified restoration professionals will not only clean and restore your water damaged the home, but they will do so in a quick and orderly fashion. Attempts to keep noise to a minimum will be made, but some of the equipment used, especially those that move large amounts of air, may still be heard by neighbors. Understanding this, we will use our experience and knowledge of water damage restoration to make the most efficient use of our equipment so that we get maximum results from minimal use.

We’re available 24 hours a day, and 7 days a week, which means that we can respond to water damage emergencies immediately, no matter when they happen. But some cases allow for small amounts of flexibility, and even though starting sooner is usually better, waiting until neighbors are at work, or at least awake may be a better approach. This strategy isn’t always an option but should be assessed on a case by case basis.

Many duplexes and multi-family homes are also rental properties, which can make these situations even more complicated. While the people living in the homes want fast and professional service, the owner may only be interested in whichever company offers the cheapest service, even at the cost of quality workmanship. Fortunately, we are well versed in dealing with insurance companies and can make sure that the as much of the repair as possible is paid for through insurance, and that out of pocket costs are kept to an absolute minimum. That way the residents get the best quality water damage restoration available, and the property owner isn’t going to object to paying any more than needed.

In addition to being water damage restoration professionals, were also licensed, contractors. We can easily transition from tearing out any severely damaged parts of your home into rebuilding and replacing them, making sure we leave it just as good, if not better than it was before the flood or leak.

If your home or property has been damaged by water, contact us immediately. We’ll come out and assess the damage, and begin working to restore the home.

How Can I Prevent Sewage From Backing Up Into My Home?

If you have water damage to your home and are located in or around Raleigh, Durham, or Chapel Hill please visit our water damage page today.

There are many different home emergencies that homeowners fear, but a sewer backup is potentially the scariest property disaster. In addition to the health hazards posed when families are exposed to harmful, bacteria-ridden waste, sewage floods can cost a lot of money to clean up, as well.

Unfortunately, most homeowners don’t think about this until there is a major issue, such as an overflowing toilet that’s covering the bathroom floor with sewage. Our hope is that with the advice below, more homeowners will be better prepared should their worst plumbing nightmares come true.

  1. The first and most obvious bit of advice is to never use the toilet to dispose of anything other than what it’s meant for. Things that you should avoid flushing include disposable diapers, moist towelettes or baby wipes, cotton swabs and cotton balls, paper towels, cat litter, bandages, cigarette butts, or prescription medications. Many of these items don’t break down in water and can collect and form a clog, which backs up water and makes a mess on your bathroom floor.
  2. Many people overestimate the capabilities of their under-sink garbage disposal units. It’s best not to dispose of large quantities of vegetable peelings or other food refuse, as, since that can overwhelm the machine and cause it to fail. The same goes for very hard materials, like coffee grounds and animal bones, which can dull or damage the blades. Fibrous foods such as corn husks and celery stalks can jam the disposal, as well as form a clog further down through the plumbing. Hot grease may be tempting to pour down the drain, but once it cools off and hardens it will form a solid plug, impeding proper drainage.
  3. Over-the-counter drain cleaners should be used sparingly, and only under the right circumstances. These types of products can break up some types of clogs, they aren’t meant for all situations, and are made of harsh chemicals that can damage your pipes over time.
  4. Older homes sometimes have sewer lines made of clay or cast iron, which degrade over time. Eventually, they may crack, and then collapse. This is even more likely if the underground pipes come in contact with tree roots, which can cause serious amounts of damage to underground plumbing. Homeowners that own older houses should have a sewer inspection performed every few years, potentially saving a lot of money by catching a problem before it gets too serious. Some people buying a new home get a sewer inspection.

If you ever experience a sewage back up in your home, it’s recommended that you contact PRS today. We’re available 24/7 through our emergency hot-line at 919-467-1991. Our trained and certified professionals will be able to determine the severity of the damage and work with your insurance company to keep your out of pocket costs to a minimum.

Restoring Water Damaged Homes In Holly Springs

If you have water damage to your home and are located in or around Holly Springs please visit our water damage page today.

If your home has serious damage due to fire, wind, or water, call us immediately at 919-467-1991. We will show up fast and start working immediately to stop any further damage and begin the restoration process. We can work with your insurance company to make sure your out of pocket costs are as low as possible. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Water leaks can be found almost anywhere in a home. There are appliances and water lines in places that most people don’t usually think about, like in basements, closets, garages, and attics. No matter where the leak originates, every drop of water that escapes is going to work its way down through your home, soaking into and ruining the wood, insulation, drywall, paint, carpet, and even flooring.

The leak may exist for day, weeks, or even longer before it’s discovered, and by that point, the damage could be rather extensive. To make matters worse, some places like crawl spaces and attics are difficult to access, which makes fixing the leak harder than you might think. Carrying bags of heavy tools up steep ladders, squeezing through tight access hatches, and working in the dark while trying to find and stop a leak is even less fun than it sounds.

But stopping the leak is only the beginning. The restoration process comes next, and can sometimes be a very large task. Anywhere the water has soaked in is vulnerable to mold, mildew, and other microbes. If left unchecked, these growths can compromise the structural integrity of the wooden beams and may lead to structural damage. Wood becomes very weak once mold sets in, and will need to be replaced. Mold not only smells horrible, but is a major health risk as well, so drywall, carpeting, and more all need to be dried properly, or ripped out and replaced.

As restoration service professionals and licensed general contractors, we can help. We’re available 24/7 to anyone living in Holly Springs. We’ll not only stop the leak, but assess the damage, work with your insurance company, and begin the process of repairing your home. Call our emergency hot-line at 919-467-1991.

Water Damage Caused By Clogged Gutters

If you have water damage to your home and are located in or around Raleigh please visit our water damage page today.

If the rain gutters on your home collect too much plant debris, like leaves, twigs, and pine needles, then the water may not be able to drain properly and could spill over the sides. When the water pools around your home, instead of draining away, it can slowly seep in and cause damage to the foundation and wooden structure.

As water soaks into the tiny cracks in the concrete foundation, it can make the cracks larger, especially when it gets cold enough to freeze. As the cracks grow and multiply, the structural integrity of the foundation is compromised, and it can lead to a serious shift in your home, or even it’s collapse. Aside from the obvious safety concerns, this is an incredibly expensive problem to repair, and one that can go unnoticed for years, as it’s underneath the house. Once the obvious signs begin to appear, the damage is done, and simply drying the foundation won’t fix the issue.

It’s a similar story for the wooden structures on the underside of the house, as well. As the wood absorbs the water, it can begin to rot and grow mold. Just like the cracks in the foundation, this is a problem that will continue to worsen, and drastically weakens the strength of the wooden beams. Not many people regularly look at their home for this type of problem, and it can slowly but steadily deteriorate your home.

The best course of action to prevent either of these issues is to address the root of the issue as soon as you can. The source of the water should be stopped, and in this case, that means making sure that the gutters are clean and clear, and that rainwater can flow freely towards its intended destination. There are several different approaches that you can take to solve this issue. Climbing up a ladder and cleaning them by hand every year is a great way to save money but at the cost of manual labor and personal risk. Alternatively, there are gutter protection systems that stop any debris from entering your gutters at all, keeping them clean all year round for you. The downside here is that these systems can be costly, and may need to be replaced every few decades.

If your home is suffering from water damage due to clogged or overflowing gutters, it’s recommended that you contact PRS today. We’re available 24/7 through our emergency hot-line at 919-467-1991. Our trained and certified professionals will be able to determine the severity of the damage and work with your insurance company to keep your out of pocket costs to a minimum.

As a preventative measure, you could always get protection from your gutters from a company like this: Raleigh gutter guard protection.

Choosing The Right Restoration Services Professional

When water damage occurs in your home ore business, you’re going to be faced with a serious mess that requires professional attention in order to be cleaned up thoroughly and properly. Choosing the right restoration professionals can be challenging, but with a little research, you can learn what to look for in order to make sure everything is fully restored quickly, and with as little out of pocket costs as possible.

After a flood or water leak, timing is critical. The drying and clean up process needs to start quickly, as the longer it sits, the worse the damage gets, and the more difficult and expensive it will become to repair. In situations where water damage occurred while putting out a fire, the mixture of ash and water can be very corrosive, and will begin to eat away at anything it touches within minutes, including wood, metal, and even glass. This damage is irreversible, and would require the total replacement of anything that’s affected.

The drying and restoration process can be rather intricate and detailed. It’s a job that is best done by professional technicians who experience and expertise with the equipment needed to properly rehabilitate your home or business.

You have choices in the field of restoration professionals, but not all will be able to provide an adequate level of experience and professionalism. PRS is a reputable restoration company that has provided the triangle area with dedicated service for many years. Our certified and licensed technicians are the best in the business, and take pride in returning a home to it’s condition from before the damage, or even better in some cases. As licensed contractors, we can not only strip out the damages parts of your home or business, but rebuild it to the specification you choose.

Beware of businesses without proper credentials. Our techs have received all the necessary training and safety education in order to carry the best certification the industry has to offer. As that type of training can cost quite a lot of money, some businesses prefer to cut corners. This only results in poor service for the end customer, who will likely end up paying more in the long run when the job isn’t don’t properly the first time.

If there’s every any kind of water damage to your home or business, it’s recommended that you contact PRS today. We’re available 24/7 through our emergency hot-line at 919-467-1991. Our trained and certified professionals will be able to determine the severity of the damage, and work with your insurance company to keep your out of pocket costs to a minimum.

What Does It Mean When Water Smells Bad?

If you’ve ever turned on the tap and thought that the water coming out smelled bad, you’re not alone. Many people have this problem in their homes, but few know what it means, and what to do about it.  Sometimes, the issue at hand can be identified by the type of smell that’s emitted when the faucet is turned on, and how long the odor persists.

First, as a test, turn on the tap, fill a glass of water, and then walk away with it. Smell the water from the other side of the kitchen. If it still has an odor, there is a problem with the water itself, but if the smell is gone, it may be an issue with the drain or sink. Try cleaning them both with drain cleaner and bleach, and with some like the smell will go away.

If the water smells like rotten eggs, it may be an issue with the hot water heater, but if cold water has the same odor, then hydrogen sulfide contamination may be the problem. This is usually only an issue found with well water and can be solved with activated carbon filters, installed either at the faucet or in line with the main water supply to the house. They will need to be replaced periodically but can last anywhere from months to years, depending on the style.

When the sulfur odor only comes from hot water, then there is likely a problem with the hot water heater. On the inside of the heater, there is a magnesium rod, which is used as an anode to help minimize corrosion to household pipes. When the magnesium reacts with aluminum, it created hydrogen sulfide gas, which is then dissolved into the water and smells like rotten eggs. Checking to make sure that the gas is being properly vented from the water heater can prevent it from ending up in the water as it flows from the tank to your faucet.

Water that has a musty smell is indicative of decaying organic matter leeching into the water. This can be an issue for those with well water, or even city water if there is a break somewhere in the water line. Even a small amount of rotting plant matter making it into the water supply can cause a terrible odor, and some significant health risks, as well. As with the sulfur issue, a filter can be installed for those with well water, but those with city water should investigate where the organic material is entering the water line, and attempt to fix the problem.

An odor of oil or gasoline means there is likely a leak somewhere near by, and that those products are seeping into the ground water. Leaking storage tanks, industrial dumping, or improper disposal are all possible sources for this kind of contamination. This is one of the most serious forms of water contamination, and it means the water is no longer safe to drink or use until the issue is rectified. Contact a professional to come inspect your plumbing and water source, and rely on either bottled or boiled water until notified otherwise.

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