A roof leak, damaged piping, weather, unintentional sprinkler activation, or sewage backup are all major contributors to severe property damage. Repairs, remediation, and tenant property reimbursement can add up quickly. While the potential for water damage can’t be eliminated completely, proper preventative maintenance and contingency planning can greatly reduce the risk of it happening. Nobody wants to be rained on indoors or use their couch as a kayak, so let’s review some basics to help leave the weather outside.

Preventative Maintenance

When’s the last time you remember seeing property inspection reports? Could you provide an up-to-date inspection record of your property? Regular preventative maintenance for building plumbing, sewage, drainage, and fire protection systems can save time and money in the long run.

Reviewing your preventative maintenance plans annually will help to ensure your organization is both compliant with regulatory requirements, as well as applying best maintenance practices to other property components. Specific areas of property inspections should include but not be limited to roofs, gutters, drains, parking lots and other drainage inlets.

Contingency Planning

Think quick— a delivery worker hits a fire sprinkler head on his way into the building causing a sprinkler activation. What do you do? If you had to think hard, or couldn’t come up with an answer at all, it might be time to review your company’s contingency plan for water damage events.

Minimizing the amount of time water is actively released into your property is very important. It could make the difference between a major loss and minor remediation. Does your organization have a response plan to minimize the extent of water damage? A response plan should be in place for high risk scenarios such as unintentional sprinkler activation, plumbing rupture, sewage backup/release, major weather event, or other large-scale water release.

Planning for extreme weather events, such as major storms or hurricanes, can make the difference between minor and major loss. Designate personnel to monitor the weather, especially major storm events, and provide applicable alerts to tenants.


A plan only works if it’s known! Once developed, communicate your contingency plans, preventative maintenance expectations, and inspection requirements to all applicable personnel and review these items on a regular basis. A good time to start reviewing and communicating your plan is prior to any seasonal changes.

Review our Water Damage Flyer for more information or contact a Marsh McLennan Agency (MMA) advisor with any questions.

Related insights