On a Tight Budget? How Can Your Association Deal With a Plumbing Emergency?

Sewer line back-ups, overflowing toilets, flooded bathrooms, leaking water heaters or condensate lines? There are a number of pipes within associations that over time have the potential to fail. These emergency situations can often leave property managers and board of directors reeling from the repair costs. After you turn off the water and assess the damage is often followed by, “how are we going to pay for this?”

Most associations have an emergency maintenance budget and typically that’s where the money for emergency plumbing repairs comes from. It’s important that plumbing repairs are built into that budget especially if your buildings are older than 25 years because the likelihood of failing pipelines increases with age. Normally, it’s recommended to set aside at least 2% of the total value of the property for maintenance and repair costs. However, if your association does not have an emergency repair budget you could find yourself paying for the repairs from your general maintenance budget. This does take care of the immediate problem of payment however, you may find yourself short of funds by the end of the year. To prevent from being short at years end it’s crucial to set aside money specifically designed to handle building maintenance emergencies such as plumbing problems.

Beyond setting aside money for plumbing repairs – waiting for a plumbing problem to occur can be even more detrimental than not setting aside funds. Plumbing systems run 247 and like most operating systems repairs will be needed to keep the system running smoothly. Pipe systems operate the same way. To lessen the chances of being blindsided by a plumbing failure such as a backed-up toilet or a leak inspecting your plumbing pipes beforehand can identify those problem areas. A camera is fed through your buildings’ plumbing, which can determine the condition of your pipes, corrosion build-up, leaks, or cracks and even the age of your pipes. Knowing the condition of your plumbing system will help your association plan for future repairs while addressing any immediate problems that could lead to emergency plumbing situations often forgoing major repair costs.

Before your association is blind-sided by a plumbing failure be prepared by having an appropriate emergency maintenance budget that includes plumbing repairs. Emergency situations are bound to pop-up eventually, however, budgeting for those repairs can help your association handle these stressful situations with ease.

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