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Five maintenance tips to avoid claim rejection on buildings

The devastating floods experienced in KZN this April have highlighted the need to ensure our home and company buildings are regularly maintained to avoid a claim being rejected by insurers due to poor maintenance.

 

Here are some tips for maintaining your buildings:

  1. Ensure all gutters and drains are cleared of any build-up of leaves and or other debris
    Gutters and drains filled with leaves and debris are at a much greater risk of overflowing and flooding, which can cause substantial structural damage to your roof, walls and drains located around your property. Rainwater that is not directed away from your property via your gutters and drains could also affect your buildings’ foundations and result in ground heave or collapse.
  2. Check your ceilings and walls for any leaks or cracks
    Checking ceilings and walls for leaks or cracks will enable you to spot issues before heavy rains strike, helping you to avoid water damage in your home. Many wall cracks are harmless and are due to the natural movement of the property over time; however, large cracks over 3mm in width, deep cracks, cracks where the wall meets the ceiling, or a large number of cracks can be cause for concern, and it is a good idea to have them assessed.
  3. Check plumbing and any external pipes
    Detecting damages, clogs, and leaks early can help prevent significant damage in pipelines and plumbing at a later stage. Minor damages can become worse and more costly if left undetected.
  4. Remove or cut back any trees or foliage that could compromise your retaining and boundary walls
    Generally, trees should not be planted too close to retaining or boundary walls as branches, swelling trunks, and surface roots can cause structural damage.
  5. Ensure all retaining and boundary walls have been built to spec
    Part K, section 4.2.4 of South African National Standards 10400 covers the free-standing boundary, garden, and retaining walls that must conform to the SABS standards to ensure they are safe and stable. If you begin building a wall, you have to follow the regulations to avoid the possibility of having to redesign or rebuild the wall in question or the chance of not being paid out by an insurer in the case of a claim.