Flood damage in NYC apartments: How can you turn a disaster into an opportunity?

Living in such a large city with so many people, you would be surprised how common floods can be. Regardless of who is at fault, flood damage in your apartment it is stressful for everyone affected and knowing what steps to take to minimize the short and long-term damage is important. This moment of disaster can also turn into a potential opportunity for you to redesign your apartment to better fit your lifestyle – every cloud has a silver lining!

 At EXD Architecture we have put a specialized team together to guide our clients through the necessary steps to fix what can be saved, to remediate any mold damage and working hand in hand with the best public adjusters as they get you proper compensation from their insurance company to rebuild your space. Our team of experts include:

  • Public Adjuster
  • Mold Remediation Crew
  • General Contractor
  • Insurance Broker
  • Interior Design and Architecture Team

“What a client goes through when a property gets flooded is very frustrating and stressful. Not only have I helped clients with their flooding, I have also experienced flooding in my own home. It is upsetting to witness first-hand how water can damage our floors, cabinets, closets, clothing, rugs, art and other personal belongings.

Victoria Benatar, Co-founder EXD Architecture

Have you ever been affected by water damage in your NYC apartment?

Flooding can be caused by these top 6 situations:

1. Clogged Drains

How to fix damage after a flood from a blocked drain

In the kitchen, bathroom or terraces, clogged drains can be a source of leaks. To avoid floods from drains, property owners must be attentive to keep interior and exterior drains unobstructed and leak free.

2. Frozen or Burst Pipes

How to fix burst pipes damage to your new york apartment

Frequently, pipes burst in the winter and cause floods which result in major water damage. Pay attention to the outside temperature, pipes begin to freeze when it is at least 20 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are away, keep a consistent temperature in your apartment of no lower than 55°F.

3. Air Conditioning System

Another source of leaks can be the air conditioning equipment if the drain pan overflows. This can happen when the drain lines become filled with debris or they are not properly maintained. The danger of this is that it can cause damages not only to your unit but to the neighbor below.

4. Toilet/Bathtub/Sink Overflows

Over flowing sink can flood apartment

Occasionally, people turn on a bathtub or a sink and leave the room, forgetting about the water pouring out of the faucets. It happens. These are sources of water damage not only to your property but your neighbors below.

5. Washing Machines and Dishwasher Leaks

Washing machine leaks can damage the floor of an apartment

These appliances can be a source of leakage if they have a broken part or other damage. We recommend having them professionally fixed or replaced at the first sign of inconsistency.

6. Faulty Plumbing Work or Old Pipes

Ceiling and walls in a NYC apartment damage by a flood

You may have wondered why the building department is so strict and why Co-op boards and Condo boards require the proper paperwork to do any plumbing work. It’s important that work is done well, and to code, so one neighbor does not cause damage to another. But sometimes you buy an older apartment where the existing infrastructure needs to be replaced and you don’t find out until there is a leak.

How do you know if you have proper insurance coverage?

We advise all our clients to buy proper insurance when they purchase a property, and usually ask that they check it before doing a design project. This means having coverage that will be enough to rebuild your property and recuperate the content in case of large damage that might cause total loss. Therefore, it is very important to have an insurance broker who will properly advice you in case an emergency like this happens.

What are the required steps to take if your property floods?

The first step is to contact your building in case the water source can be stopped.

Then you should contact a mold remediation specialist because they will bring the necessary equipment to remove the moisture to avoid getting mold. They will install machines to remove excess moisture and get the required air measurements to determine the extent of the damage.

We at EXD Architecture work together with both a mold remediation company and a public adjuster who will make sure your claim is well presented to the insurance company to ensure that you get as much as possible from the claim.

What is your responsibility and what are the building’s responsibilities?

Depending on whether you are in a coop or a condo, the responsibilities can vary. You should read the property bi laws to determine what is your responsibility, and what is the building’s responsibility. Typically, your insurance should cover your losses, while the building’s insurance should cover the damages they have caused.

Who pays for the repairs?

Insurance should pay for the repairs. Therefore, it is so important to have proper coverage relative to the property price.

How do you go about re-building?

Homeowners should have a team in place that includes an architect and contractor. They will work together with the mold remediator, and the public insurance adjuster, to determine how much money will be recuperated. This of course will influence the scope of the work to plan the re-building.

From disaster to opportunity

At EXD Architecture we see this moment of disaster as a potential opportunity for you. This could be the moment that you redesign your apartment to better fit your needs and lifestyle. Our goal would be to help you live a better life after such an event, that rivals the one you had before!


We love our work and appreciate the difference it can make to people’s lives. Join us in conversation, at Instagram, Facebook and exdarchitecture.com

Blog written by Victoria Benatar and Michelle Cianfaglione, co-founders of EXD Architecture.


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