July 2007

Water damage prevention | Safe Solutions

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Water damage prevention

by Leslie Kazmierowski, CPCU
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One Sunday morning, Sam, Magic Roofing's owner, received a call he had always dreaded. He recognized the voice of Harvey Greene, manager of the Ocean Hotel, which Magic Roofing was in the process of reroofing. There had been a major rainstorm with high winds Saturday night and into the early hours of Sunday morning, and Harvey was calling to inform Sam of leaks in the roof that were damaging multiple rooms on the hotel's upper floors. Sam told Harvey he was on his way to the hotel.

Before leaving for the job site, Sam called Magic Roofing's insurance company to report the possible claim. The insurance company advised him to try to mitigate any damage and not to offer reasons for damage, accept any blame or commit to any liability until a thorough investigation had been completed.

After surveying the job site, Sam discovered the leaks were caused by improperly sealed flashings that were on the roof before Magic Roofing started the job—something his project manager had overlooked during the pre-job planning stage. Other damage included roof insulation that was stored on the roof and covered by tarps that weren't secured tightly enough to withstand high winds.

The next day, Sam met with Kevin, the insurance company's risk-control representative. Kevin told him documented water damage prevention procedures are critical to a roofing contractor's risk management success and should be part of a company's culture. Kevin went on to say all Sam's employees should be made aware of the company's water damage prevention procedures and their personal responsibilities...

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