There are a couple of things rental property owners need to know about sewer backups. Many times, they are not covered by your insurance policy, so you want to contact them and make sure you have a black water backup rider on your policy.
Black Water Rider Policy
Damage created by sewer backups can get very expensive, and because of the sewage that’s in the water, when there’s a backup it can carry disease, bacteria, and filth. You don’t want to miss that rider policy because you’ll spend a lot of money out of pocket to clean and repair your property. We have seen costs that range from $1,000 to $10,000 or $20,000, depending on the affected area, how long the sewage stayed there, and if your drywall was impacted.
Using an Experienced Restoration Company
If you ever do have a black water backup, hire a restoration company that is experienced in this type of cleanup. Do not attempt to do it on your own. I am a big proponent of removing liability from yourself as a landlord. Just by owning the property, we take on a lot of liability. It’s better to shift that liability to people who know what they’re doing. Yes, it’s expensive to get it right, but it’s more expensive to do it wrong. If you don’t get everything cleaned up completely and there is mold or disease that causes someone to get sick or even die in your rental property, you have exposed yourself and your family and your assets to huge lawsuits. It’s not worth it. Find a company that’s experienced, do your due diligence, and get it done quickly and completely. The longer the sewer water stays, the more damage it does. It can seep into carpet and drywall and create a lot of problems.
Get a black water backup rider and a groundwater rider as well. If rain water destroys your basement, you could be writing checks for thousands of dollars if you don’t have coverage. Don’t be cheap with this; get the coverage that is most important to you and will give you the ability to rebuild your property or fix the problems that are created.