Water Is the New Fire in Toronto Condos – Keep Your Balcony Door Closed on Freezing Days!

According to TD Insurance, more than 40% of Condo Insurance Claims have been due to Flooding In Condos in recent years. A few years ago, a flooding incident happened in a prominent high-rise condo building in downtown Toronto. Here is the story:

The Story 

These days, we are experiencing colder days in Toronto & GTA. A few years ago, a Toronto Condo Resident In North York reached out to us in the middle of a chilly Saturday afternoon, saying that his Fan Coil unit is currently flooding and water is coming out from her fan coil system. In an emergency, the building supervisor or maintenance staff are responsible for immediately shutting off the water from the suite or the mechanical room. Fortunately, the building manager quickly shut the water before more suites got damaged.

Condo Management Investigation

Soon after this incident, the Condo Management invited Home Trade Standards to provide an official report as a building HVAC & Plumber Contractor to report their investigation.

Property Management Response 

Management took a few days to provide the resident with a written answer. The finding was that “the fan coil unit ruptured due to freezing, which was caused by your balcony door being left open by your tenants. The outside freezing temperature caused the coil to freeze.”

Collection of Payment Notice

At this point, the letter goes on, and the condo management is asking “the landlord to pay $442.11 plus HST for 2.5 Hours of The Emergency Service Call for the investigation process plus $10,000 in damage costs for the insurance deductible. 

So How Did This Incident Happen?

Toronto Condo Flood Due To HVAC Failure.
Damaged Floor Due To Fan Coil Pipe Freezing

So How Did This Incident Happen?

Leaving the balcony door open on a freezing day can quickly drop the temperature inside the condominium units. Due to limited and compact space in most modern condominiums, some fan coil units are installed near windows & balcony doors, which can easily be exposed to freezing temperatures inside your unit.

In condos, there is cold and hot water flow across the common element plumbing system of the building throughout 365 days of the year. These pipes carry hot and cold water from mechanical rooms branching off to each unit’s fan coils to supply heating and cooling. Freezing water can cause leaks inside the loop and water copper piping connected to the coils.

10 Tips For Condo Owners & Property Managers – How To Mitigate Water Damage Incidents:

Old Fan Coil In Toronto. Needs To Be replaced.

Condo Water damages are devastating to the building. Not only does your property get damaged, but it will also have repercussions such as resident displacement, infrastructure degradation, financial damage, and health and safety issues. To Mitigate the risk of water damage incidents, condo owners & property managers are recommended to do the following:

  1. Close Your Balcony Door During Cold Freezing Days In Winter
  2. Ask Your Condo Management To Shutt of Your Unit Water Valves During Long Term Absence
  3. Annual Condo HVAC Maintenance Is Highly Recommended To Ensure Proper & Safe Operation
  4. Retrofit Older Fan Coils For Buildings Over 20 Years Old. New Fan Coils Are Equipped With Freezestat Sensors & Alarms To Prevent Flood Incidents.
  5. Inspect your 2-Way or 3-Way Valve, Cartridge, Actuator & Service Valve Annually to Ensure They Are In a Safe Condition.
  6. Use Glycol & Anti Freeze In The Building Water Supply
  7. Insulating Copper Piping To Protect From Freezing
  8. Educate Your Tenant Regarding Fan Coil Freezing
  9. Use Cautionary signs/stickers on fan coil systems to raise awareness among residents.
  10. Annual Fan Coil Maintenance should take place to minimize the risk of fan coil unit failures, such as ensuring that the in-suite supply & return shut-off valves are operational during the emergency. 
Older Fan Coils have no tempreture sensor or alarm. Shut-off valves are rusty and seized.

Fan Coil Freezing Concern – Older Buildings Are More In Danger:

Buildings over 20 years old are more prone to fan coil flood risks. Annual Fan Coil Maintenance is essential in older homes because a professional fan coil technician can detect corrosion and rust inside the units and report necessary recommendations to the management. Most Condo Managements provide HVAC Maintenance twice a year before the heating & cooling season.

Know Your Insurance Coverage

I want to tell you that learning more about your insurance coverage when you live in a condo is essential. Water damage protection plans come as an add-on for most home insurance policies. Insurance Companies will hold you liable for flood damage if you don’t have proper coverage.

Flooding and damage inside your unit may be more devastating since water can damage all floors below you.

Condo HVAC Repair & Maintenance Are the Individual Owner’s Responsibility

In older condominium buildings, the water piping leading to your unit fan coil system could be at risk due to rust and corrosion. In addition, because of mechanical wear and tear, these pipes are less durable than they once used to be. Hence, homeowners & landlords can easily be exposed to condo flooding risk problems if the fan coil pipes are not upgraded when their life is reached.

Fan Coil 3 Way Valve Body Leaking. It had To Be Replaced.

Fan Coil 3 Way Valve Body Leaking. It had To Be Replaced.

About The Author – Who Is Home Trade Standards?

Home Trade Standards is a Trusted Condo HVAC Company Offering In-Suite Heating, Air Conditioning & Ventilation Services in Toronto & GTA Area. Our Services Are Used by Condo Boards, Property Managers, Superintendents, Landlords & Tenants. Our HVAC Experts Provide The Following HVAC Services in High Rise & Low Rise Buildings. 

Need an Annual Maintenance Quote For Your Building? You can learn more about our services by visiting our website.

Contact Information:

Kevin Moeini – Business Development Manager

Home Trade Standards – Condo HVAC Specialists – Serving Toronto & GTA

Email: [email protected] | Tel: 416-736-7001

Visit Our Website: https://www.hometradestandards.com/

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