What To Do In The Event Of Water Damage to My Elevators?

July 28, 2020

From the Desk of Ron Welts – Area Manager, San Francisco

What do I do in the event of Water Damage or Flooding to my Elevators due to a broken Water Pipe in my building? 

Water and Elevators just do not mix. So, when you have a water intrusion situation within your building, VDA suggests that you take swift and immediate action to implement the following, as quickly as possible: 

  1. Safety First – secure any elevator exposed to water. BE AWARE OF ELECTRICAL HAZARDS!
  2. Divert water away from elevator Hall door entrances if possible. Elevators are often low points in a lobby. Limiting the amount of water that falls into a hoistway can reduce the damage.
  3. Photographs – We cannot emphasize this enough. A client should insist on pictures of any component exposed to water.  
  4. Documentation – Record what was happening.  Were all elevators in service? Was passenger traffic-heavy, or were all cars parked in the lobby or above the water intrusion? 
  5. Take notes from Witnesses including the Elevator Mechanic.
  6. Have an Independent Consultant review your on-site conditions as soon as possible.  Don’t wait for days or weeks, as this can make it difficult to determine what components were actually exposed to water. Time is of the essence. 
  7. Insist on itemized Repair Proposal with “Material and Labor” fully detailed, identifying material, hours, and billing rate. 
  8. Carefully review the proposed Repair Work. 
    1. Is the scope complete?
    2. Will there be an opportunity for additional proposals down the road? 
    3. Is the proposed component actually susceptible to water damage?
    4. Was there evidence that the component was exposed, or is the Elevator Company assuming it was exposed?
    5. Are the proposed hours considered reasonable for the scope of the repair? 
    6. Is the schedule considered reasonable and efficiently planned?
    7. Is Corrosion/Rust mitigation included in the repair? Often the water in the pit will cause long term corrosion concerns to pit equipment and steel elements. Is the elevator company taking measures to dry and prevent future corrosion such as cleaning rails or painting steel in the pit?
  9. How will my Elevator Equipment be affected by my current Maintenance Agreement, as a result of this Water Intrusion? 

Let VDA help you navigate this difficult situation. VDA Elevator Consultants can work with Insurance Investigators and Elevator Companies to reduce costs and accelerate repairs. Our Elevator Professional will help you avoid unnecessary costs, and make sure that your system is returned to the reliable condition that you desire.  

Click here to find a VDA Consultant in your area.

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Ron Welts

Area Manager - San Francisco