Water does more than just hydrate

Leaking pipe

In a health club setting, water also causes damage to equipment and contributes to slip and fall accidents. There are a variety of loss prevention strategies a club can take to reduce the likelihood of either occurring.

Most water damage losses involving equipment are due to unexpected and unplanned events. Early notification of water intrusion can reduce the surprise factor associated with finding the damage hours after it occurs and can help reduce the severity of the damage.  While this is not an endorsement of any product, there are a variety of water intrusion alert systems on the market. Along with technology, these devises can alert you as soon as water is detected. In the case of toilet

Preventing losses from water damage

To further help prevent water damage, you can take these additional precautions:


  • Check plumbing

    Look for leaking fixtures, dripping pipes, (including fire sprinkler systems), clogged drains, and defective water-drainage systems. Closing procedures should include an inspection of sinks, toilets, showers, and water fountains to make sure that they are not running. This will not only prevent potentially significant water damage, but additional water use expense. During periods of cold winter weather, verify that all areas where water lines and sprinkler pipes are located on outer walls, above ceilings, etc. remain at temperatures above freezing to prevent damage and water leaks. Consider contacting a sprinkler system contractor to inspect your system for deteriorating pipes that might burst.

  • Inspect foundations and exterior walls

    Look for cracks in walls and gaps in expansion joints (material between bricks, pipes and other building materials that absorbs movement). Have a professional building contractor inspect significant gaps or cracks.

  • Check interior walls and ceilings

    Water stains on the ceiling or running down walls may be the sign of a much greater problem behind the drywall. If left untreated, the ceiling or wall may collapse.

  • Inspect flashing and sealants around windows, roofs and doors

    Check sealants and caulking. If they are brittle or there are noticeable gaps in spaces, reseal or apply new caulk to the area.

  • Check roof drainage systems and ventilations systems

    Ensure roof drains and gutters are free of debris, and that water drains away from buildings. If the roof is in poor condition, you may need to replace it. Make sure ventilation systems have appropriate hoods and are in good condition. Check heating and air conditioning systems for excessive condensation or leaks in water lines. You may need to contact a professional contractor to inspect these areas properly.

  • Raise or flood-proof HVAC equipment

    Floodwaters can extensively damage heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC) equipment. The extent of the damage depends on the depth of flooding and how long the equipment is underwater. A good way to protect the HVAC equipment is to have a contractor move it to an upper floor or build a flood-proof wall around the equipment.

  • Direct water away from building

    Make sure your property grading (slope) directs water away from the building.

  • Install sewer backflow valves

    Flooding in some areas can cause sewage from sanitary sewer lines to back up through drain pipes. Backflow valves are designed to block drain pipes temporarily and prevent return flow.

Learn more about protecting your business from water damage at The Institute for Business & Home Safety.

Don’t forget to protect small electronic equipment from water damage too. It is recommended to keep computer equipment above ground or floor level. Dust covers for computers, telephone switchboards, and other sensitive electronics provide protection should a roof leak or pipe burst.  Always cover equipment before you leave for the night.

Leaking pipe
The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as all encompassing, or suitable for all situations, conditions, and environments. Please contact us at losscontrol@markel.com or your attorney if you have any questions. The article may not be linked to, copied, reproduced, republished, posted, or distributed in any way by non-policyholders of Markel®, without permission.