The costs of water damage are affected by several factors. The main one is precisely the extent of the damage.
The timeliness of the survey also helps to quantify the costs of water damage. Early discovery usually helps keep repair costs down.
Among the useful information to determine the costs of water damage we can also include:
- what kind of water damage has been done and which event is causing it;
- the total amount of water escaped;
- what type of water has leaked (the costs due to damage from gray water or black water can be the double of the ones from drinking water);
- the surface of the affected area;
- the type of space affected by the water damage and any objects it contains;
- ease of access to the damaged area.
Below we will see how the costs of water damage differ for individuals, companies and condominiums and what are the possible solutions.
Costs for the private individual
According to a 2017 European survey, 71% of Italian private individuals has to cope with some form of water damage, mainly due to broken pipes.
The disbursements generated by these damages include:
- repair costs (higher if the damage is caused by gray or black water), including any waterproofing and renovation costs;
- drying operations (which also includes electricity costs for drying devices);
- any costs for the repair/replacement of damaged items;
- any redevelopment and compliance operations.
To quantify the costs of water damage, it is also essential to know any insurance coverage, with the relative deductibles. According to the aforementioned survey, the average cost of water damage suffered by Italian families was € 2,857, of which € 1,800 was reimbursed by insurance companies.
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Costs for companies
Calculating the costs of water damage for companies is a bit more complex. In fact, in most cases it is necessary to take into account three types of costs:
Direct costs relate to repairs and replacement materials. To these we must also add the costs related to the loss of water and any refunds for damage caused to properties.
The possible indirect costs include any loss of income caused by the stop of the activity due to water problems, and damage indirectly caused to infrastructure deteriorated by the loss of water.
Finally, the social costs include all costs that cause inconvenience to the customers and to anyone who has been affected or limited by the loss of water. These costs include the lack of service but also the blocking of traffic and production activities.
Costs for condominiums
The classification of costs for condominiums in case of water damage is similar to that for private individuals. Only one question complicates the situation: in case of water damage in an apartment building, who has to take care of it?
According to art. 2051 of the Civil Code, with respect to water damage, the owner of the property (apartment, office) from which they come is objectively responsible, as the “guardian of the property”.
Instead, the costs for water damage in the common parts of the building must be paid by the condominium.
The tenants of the individual housing units are liable for water damage from things that are under their direct responsibility (for example any flexible pipes outside the walls).
The first solution to cope with the costs of water damage is to take out insurance, which guarantees extensive and detailed coverage.
However, prevention is the best and most effective form of water damage insurance. Therefore, pay attention to the correct planning of buildings and systems and to their timely maintenance.
Finally, to help contain any costs arising from water damage, it may be useful to install a water flow monitoring device, capable of detecting any anomalies and blocking the passage of water.
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