Skip to Content

Avoid water damage

Apart from a fire, water damage is one of the most destructive incidents that can happen in a building. The most common problems are those related to the building's pipes and sewers. Putting out a fire may also cause water damage. Damage caused by weather conditions is also occurring more frequently. You can and should prepare for water damage in your building, as the renovation costs caused by the damage are usually high. 

Help me, quick!
The streets are flooding and the basement is already full of water....

Water damage caused by weather conditions

Water damage caused by weather conditions is usually due to heavy rainfall and snow meltwaters. These events are known as floods. You can prepare for floods in advance if you know that the water level is rising. The rescue department will help people faced with emergencies and accidents caused by floods, but the owner or occupier of a property is responsible for preparing for the flood.

Rescue departments handle acute flood situations. Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment is responsible for flood preparedness and advance planning, in which the Finnish Environment Institute, the Finnish Meteorological Institute and the municipalities also participate.

Different types of floods:

  • Rainfall runoff: a flood caused by sudden heavy rain. Mostly in urban areas
  • River flooding: the water level rises in a river or lake due to heavy rainfall, ice or meltwaters
  • Coastal flooding: flooding in low-lying areas caused by a rising water level in the sea

a narrow footbridge at the floodplain


A small drop – large damage

Water damage in the home usually occurs in the kitchen or the bathroom, or results from damage to a water pipe or the radiator network. Water damage in the kitchen is typically caused by a dishwasher, sink, refrigerator or freezer. In the bathroom, problems are caused by poor condition of walls and floors and their seams, sealing of the floor drain and the washing machine. The most common problems putting water pipes and radiator networks under strain include corrosion and freezing, but pipe breakage occurring in connection with renovation work is also not unusual.

Some good ways of avoiding damage

  • always turn off the taps of the dishwasher and washing machine when the appliances are not in use
  • check the condition of pipes and connections periodically (once or twice a year)
  • clean the drain traps of all sinks regularly
  • washing machines and kitchen refrigeration equipment must be placed on a base that tolerates water
  • in the bathroom, keep an eye on pipes, penetrations, floor drains and joints that increase the risk of leakage and water damage
  • keep an eye on old valves and thermostats
  • always repair any faults you observe immediately, or have them repaired

Help – there is water on the floor

If you see water damage, quickly turn off the tap, water pipe or the stopcock of mains water. In blocks of flats, the stopcock valve is often kept behind lock and key, which is why you should contact the property maintenance company. Limit water leakage as much as you can and quickly dry all visible water. Call in more help if necessary.

Smart devices are available today that turn off the water supply when you are away from home and alert you to leaks in the pipes, joints and taps.

Read more:

Tort Liability Act (in Finnish)