When a pipe bursts in a commercial building, it can unleash a deluge of water, causing immense damage and potentially disrupting business operations. The immediate question that needs answering is – who’s responsible for dealing with the aftermath?

Understanding the financial and operational implications of such an event is crucial for tenants and property managers. We’ll examine the risks associated with burst pipes in commercial settings and outline effective solutions to manage and mitigate these emergencies. Knowing how to respond quickly to this situation can save considerable time and money, preventing a minor mishap from becoming a disaster.

Understanding Lease Responsibilities

When a pipe bursts in your commercial space, you need to check your lease agreement. That’s because, in many commercial leases, the tenant is responsible for the cost of plumbing maintenance and any necessary fit-outs. This typically falls under “outgoings”, which are expenses paid by tenants that often include management fees, repairs, maintenance, council rates, and taxes. Given that outgoings can constitute a significant expense for commercial tenants, especially in larger properties, it’s essential that you understand who’s responsible for plumbing repairs.

Engaging with Landlords and Insurance Companies

If a burst pipe affects more than your tenancy, the situation can get complicated very quickly. Nevertheless, you need to contact your landlord and your insurance provider right away. This will ensure that everyone affected by the burst pipe can work together to repair and manage the damage. As an aside, it pays to ensure that your insurance covers damage caused by burst pipes. Otherwise, you may be left to pay for some or all of the damages.

Addressing Secondary Damage

A burst pipe doesn’t just leave everything wet; it can lead to serious secondary damage. Immediate concerns include the potential collapse of ceilings or walls that may require the attention of a structural engineer. Also, when water comes into contact with electrical systems, it increases the risk of short circuits, potential fires, and even electrocution. This makes it imperative to call an electrician to ensure the building’s electrical systems are safe before resuming normal operations. Not forgetting that you need an expert plumber to identify the cause of the burst pipe and conduct repairs.

Practical Solutions for Burst Pipes

nce the area has been deemed safe, here are five steps for managing a burst pipe in a commercial space that minimises damage and keeps everyone safe.

  1. Shut Off The Water: Locate and close the main water shut-off valve to stop the flow of water.
  2. Document The Damage: Take photos and make detailed notes of the damage for your insurance claim.
  3. Remove Standing Water: Quickly remove any standing water; this may require professional water extraction services to avoid excessive damage.
  4. Dry The Area: Use industrial fans or dehumidifiers to accelerate drying of the area.
  5. Repair The Damage: Once the area is safe and dry, and you have contacted your insurance provider, you’re ready to repair the damage caused by the burst pipe.

Preparing for the Unexpected

Understanding the risks and preparing for the possibility of burst pipes in commercial buildings can significantly reduce the potential for damage and your recovery time. This preparation involves ensuring your insurance policy covers all the damage caused by burst water pipes, performing regular inspections and maintenance of the building’s plumbing, and having a clear and accessible emergency response plan ready in case it actually does happen. Toscano Plumbing have extensive experience with emergency repairs, so if your building needs plumbing repairs give us a call now!