21 Dec Sewer Flooding
Sewer flooding is just one of many places flood damage can come from in a rental property. Nevertheless, whether it is caused by a backup in the city pipes, water damage can have devastating consequences on your rental property. Regardless of the reason, apartment units can become shallow water pools if they are not properly maintained. Even something as simple as a worn out washer hose can flood an apartment. To make matters worse, wet surfaces are fertile environments for mold, which can further damage the apartment and create substantial health hazards. No matter how the sewer flooding started, the damage can be insidious and pervasive. While floods are probably best known for causing extensive water damage to apartment units, they can also cause sewage from sanitary sewer lines to back up. These backups not only cause damage that is difficult and expensive to repair, but also create health hazards.
Preventing Sewer Flooding
The sewerage system for every rental property is connected to the City sewer main through a sewer lateral. And, the property owner is responsible for the maintenance of that lateral from the property all the way to the connection with the sewer main. According to The City of San Diego, the leading causes of public sewer spills are roots and cooking grease. In addition, they are also the leading causes of lateral spills on private properties. The important thing to to point out here is that by maintaining your sewer lateral, you can save a great deal of time and money. In fact, keeping your sewer lateral clean and open is one of the most important things you can do.
Keeping Your Sewer Lateral in Good Shape
- Never Pour: cooking grease down the drain
- Freeze it in a suitable non-recyclable container
- And dispose of it in the trash
- If any cooking oil or grease gets in your drain
- Immediately flush the drain with cold water
- Never Flush: non-soluble objects down your toilet
- This includes food, tampons, sanitary napkins, cleaning rags, diaper wipes, etc
- Root Infiltration: if you are having problems with roots infiltrating your sewer lateral
- Use one of the commercially available rooticides available at most home improvement stores
- Property Clean-out: f you have a property clean-out
- Flush your lateral through the cleanout using a high pressure hose at least once a year
For more information on sewer laterals download The City of San Diego’s fact sheet here.
Flood damage can come from many places in a rental property. An upstairs tenant accidentally leaves a sink on, and the downstairs tenant has a flood. A pipe bursts in a rental unit, rendering the apartment below unusable. For this reason, protecting your rental property from flooding is important. Although it can involve a variety of actions, from inspecting and maintaining the building to installing protective devices. And, when it comes to responsibilities, it is the landlord’s responsibility to take care of and maintain the property. Because it helps to ensure you keep your tenants feeling safe and content. Maintaining the property includes keeping up with health and safety codes as well as maintenance and repairs. While no one can predict exactly when a rental property may flood, it’s important to prepare as much as possible.
Understanding the Scope of the Problem:
- Mold & Mildew Growth: left unrestored water damage can lead to
- Damage To Building’s Foundation: on an apartment building’s exterior
- Clogged gutters or damaged downspouts
- Can direct too much water back toward the foundation
- Requiring extensive water damage restoration to improve structural stability
- Rooftop Damage: ponding water on flat roofs can cause water infiltration
- Moss on shingles can break down shingles’ water resistance
- Damage Within Walls: leaking pipes or inter-floor flooding
- Can damage electrical lines
- Destroy drywall and rot wood
Like with many things, prevention can keep your units from becoming a water park…
Protect Your Property and Save Money
For rental property owners, preventive maintenance has the added bonus of decreasing the likelihood of emergency repair calls. No landlord wants a call about flooding!
How to Prevent Flooding in your Rental Property
Accidents happen! And, not all water damage can be prevented, but a thoughtful prevention plan can help:
- Provide information on recognizing signs of mold and mildew
- The important of keeping bathrooms and kitchens ventilated and dry
- And, promptly informing you or your property management company if water damage is suspected
- Careful Maintenance:
- Pay attention to areas likely to suffer the greatest water damage
- Internal pipes
- HVAC equipment
- While respecting tenants’ privacy
- Check individual kitchens and bathrooms
- Next check common areas such as crawl spaces and hallways
- Exterior roofs gutters and downspouts
When In Doubt
Regular inspections are a great way to protect your investment. Whether you are interested in changing property managers, or simply looking to hire a property management company for the first time, Rancho Mesa Properties can help. We take care of all types of residential rental properties including homes, condos, multiplexes such as duplex and triplexes, and even small apartment buildings. Let us manage your rental properties, so you can enjoy your life! Call us today at (858) 576-2176. We will save you time, money, and the stress that comes along with managing your own rentals.