Flooded apartment? Here are the steps you need to take immediately


Flooded apartment? Here are the steps you need to take immediately

Plumbing emergencies are among the most common problems faced by residents of apartment buildings. In these cases, flooding often occurs not only in the apartment where the accident occurred, but also in the apartments of neighbours below. Dainius Kaminskas, works manager at Civinity Namai, a multi-family administration and maintenance company, explains what to do if you notice water leaking through the ceiling or walls of your flat from a neighbouring flat.

The most common cause of accidents is faulty plumbing

Plumbing accidents are one of the most frequent problems that apartment building residents turn to the building administrator for year after year. Although these accidents occur in flats that are not supervised by the building manager, it is usually the building manager who deals with these accidents.

According to Mr Kaminskas, these types of accidents are most often caused by poor-quality water pipes, faulty or improperly installed plumbing hoses, or by a burst plumbing connection.

“Old, rusty metal pipes and valves, poor quality plumbing hoses, fittings and rough cleaning filters are some of the main causes of plumbing accidents in people’s apartments. There are also cases where apartments are flooded due to unprofessional work of technicians,” says a Civinity Namai specialist.

The first thing to do is to switch off the electricity and stop the water supply

If you notice water accumulating on the ceiling, walls or in the corners of your apartment, you should react immediately and, first of all, switch off the electricity. Running water can damage electrical networks and cause short circuits which can lead to fire.

“The electricity supply to the apartment shall be shut off by turning off the automatic electrical switches, with all handles down. Such switches can usually be found in the electrical panel in the stairwell or in the apartment,” says D. Kaminskas

Another equally important step is to turn off the water supply in the apartment where the water is coming from.

“In many apartment blocks, the water can be turned off in the apartment by the residents themselves. This is done by turning the water valves, turning the knobs clockwise until the water stops flowing. The valves that regulate the water supply to the flats are fitted to the water meters, which are usually located in the bathroom or toilet or in the kitchen under the sink in apartment blocks,” says a Civinity Namai representative.

It is important to inform the administrator immediately

The building manager should be informed immediately of the accident so that they can carry out the necessary remedial work and remove the causes of the accident.

When informing the administrator, you should also state whether the property is insured, so that the administrator can provide you with the necessary information about the accident and its circumstances.

Recommends that preventive measures be taken

Even with new plumbing in the apartment, water emergencies cannot be prevented 100%. It is therefore recommended that all apartment owners take preventive measures to avoid damage to their property and that of their neighbours.

First of all, it is important to find out where the automatic electrical switches and water valves belonging to the apartment are installed. “Civinity Namai advises to find out where they are beforehand and to inform all family members about them, so that in the event of an emergency, you don’t have to waste time looking for them.

It is important not only to know where the water valves are, but also to check them regularly.

“As a precautionary measure, at least twice a year, water valves should be exercised by closing and reopening them to ensure that the resident can turn off the water properly if needed,” says Kaminskas

Plumbing emergencies in flats very often occur during working hours, when residents are usually not at home. So water that starts leaking out of place at the wrong time is not noticed. To avoid this, it is recommended to install plumbing fixtures with a sensor that detects water leaks and automatically shuts off the water supply.

“If it is not possible to install smart devices at home, it is important to regularly inspect the plumbing in the apartment to make sure there are no leaks, and to pay attention to the plumbing hoses to make sure they are tight, not broken or otherwise damaged,” recommends a Civinity Namai specialist.

Special tips for those leaving home for longer periods of time

According to Kaminskas, in the event of an emergency when the occupants are away from home, it is important to find them as soon as possible so that emergency responders can enter the apartment. For this reason, it is recommended to make sure that the building manager and neighbours have your contact telephone number. If you are away from home for an extended period of time, for example for a holiday, it is advisable to turn off the water in your apartment and to make sure that the spare keys to your apartment are in the possession of someone you trust who can enter the premises if you ask.

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