Water damage is a leading cause of losses incurred by construction business owners while a site is under erection. This water flooding is often in melted snow water, a leak in the plumbing systems, or rainwater entering a construction site. Whatever the reason is, business owners need to implement specific measures to avoid such damages. Even if the losses get covered by insurance, construction business owners may suffer financial costs if water damage occurs. Such expenses can significantly reduce the profit margin and also result in delays in the construction schedules.
Adopting a preventive approach is ideal to avoid water damages. Businesses should focus on reducing construction defects to minimize the risks of water losses. Such costs can come from debris removal, delay costs, re-work expenses, property damage, and the eventual spoiling of reputation. Prevention is better than cure, they say. And in construction works, prevention even costs less than making up for damages later. You can prevent water damages by focusing on quality and implementing systematic planning and testing during the entire construction project.
- Sources Of Water Damage To Construction Sites:
To prevent water damage to your site, you should first know the possible sources of such damages. If we speak about water leakages’ internal sources, we can mention fire protection systems, mechanical systems, drainage systems, and plumbing systems. If these are broken or defected, water may leak through and flood your construction site.
External water damages are often through roof drains, groundwater, and rain flooding. Certain construction defects may also be responsible for water infiltration. These can include cracks and separations in waterproofing structures, flooded excavations, roofs, gutter flashings, etc.
Here we have a few of the ways you can adopt to avoid water damage to your construction site:
- Before Starting The Construction Project:
Before initiating the project, you should chalk out a thorough quality assurance plan. Additional reviews are required to ensure the adequacy of the construction plan and the specifications. You should evaluate the site and the contractual agreements to assess whether the site is susceptible to potential water infiltration. You should also ensure that any water drainage systems are kept far away from the building structure and excavation site. In this planning phase, you should also define disaster management requirements, such as the need for submersible water pumps to evacuate flood water.
The team should ensure that a detailed risk assessment should get conducted to rule out potential risks and possible water damage sources. The team should consider the site vulnerability to water infiltration, the mitigating factors, safeguarding features, and any history of losses associated with the site.
A thorough review is needed of all construction specifications before work commences. These may include reviewing site conditions, code compliance, materials, techniques, quality control, and standards. Installations and testing of all piping systems should get done early on in the project to avoid any risks of water damage later on. Since most of the work has not started in this phase, it will immensely reduce losses.
- Utilizing Water Leak Detection Systems:
One of the most effective ways to minimize water damage is to install a water leak detection system on site. Such an approach is attached to the main water supply and detects the amount of water pumps that can flow through at any given time —10 gallons of water per half hour. Likewise, when a pipe bursts or there is any leak, the system would detect the increased water flow volume and automatically shut off the main water supply! Ingenious, right?
- During The Construction Work:
While the construction team is at work, you should assign a site representative to handle on-site monitoring. They should have the responsibility of guaranteeing that the quality assurance plan gets strictly followed. The responsible individual should ensure that constant reviews and standards get updated according to the changing requirements. They should also conduct regular inspections and meetings and keep thorough documentation of all details.
Some further steps to ensure a preventive approach is adopted on-site are:
- Monitor problems and devise solutions.
- Assign a water prevention team on-site.
- Inform workers about the quality standards.
- Inspect all risky waterproofing systems.
- Frequent testing of the systems, and immediate repairs if problems are detected.
- Never close a job with unfinished waterworks.
It would help if you also designate a team for disaster management in case of an emergency. The team should have adequate training relating to the actions required whenever there is a failure or flooding. They should have a thorough understanding of all the possible scenarios and the subsequent required courses of action.
- After Construction is Completed:
Before you approach the end of your construction project, draw out a checklist of items that you need to ensure before labeling the job as done. The list should consider any water drainage failure, site drainage problems, structural deficiencies, unsecured building openings, or other drainage problems.
Devising plans and systems to prevent water damage is a vital aspect of a project. If neglected, water damage ration on-site can cause massive losses to the business owners. Regardless of insurance covering the damage, certain losses will fall upon the project holders. It is why following the above-mentioned preventive measures can prove extremely helpful. Just remember to conduct a thorough risk assessment of the site and equip your workers to deal with any mishaps immediately.