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How to Manage Water Damage from the Condo Above in Illinois

Is there water leaking through your ceiling? Have you noticed dark spots, stains, or the sound of dripping water?

If so, you might have water damage from the condo above.

Fortunately, you don’t have to deal with it alone.

Here at ServiceMaster or Lake Shore, we’ve been providing water damage restoration services for Chicago-area homeowners for more than 15 years. 

We’ve compiled our extensive experience into this comprehensive guide to help you learn what to do when water damage strikes. 

5 Steps to Deal With Water Damage From the Unit Upstairs

water damage from  the unit upstairs

1. Alert Your Neighbor About the Damage

When experiencing water damage caused by your upstairs neighbor, the initial step is to inform them promptly. 

This action is crucial for several reasons: it allows for open communication to address the issue, provides an opportunity to discuss the situation and potential solutions, and ensures that they are made aware of the impact their actions may have. 

By notifying your neighbor first, you establish a foundation for resolving the problem collaboratively and prevent misunderstandings that could escalate the situation further.

2. Review Your HOA’s Master Policy And Bylaws

Next, contact your HOA for two copies of their master insurance policy and bylaws. 

Share one with your insurance agent to assess coverage and HOA liability. 

Remember that the HOA might not be liable for water damage beyond your condo’s interior walls (check your bylaws for details).

3. Contact Your Insurance Company

Don’t expect reimbursement from the upstairs condo owners or your HOA for water damage – this may be the responsibility of your insurance company. 

With this in mind, contact your insurance agent to initiate the claims process and learn more about your policy’s coverage. 

Act promptly to avoid jeopardizing your insurance claim, especially if mold, mildew, or fungus growth occurs on your property.

4. Contact ServiceMaster of Lake Shore for More Help

Severe water damage requires certified restoration professionals. 

If your ceilings, walls, floors, or belongings are extensively damaged and you’re in Chicago, call ServiceMaster of Lake Shore at (312) 707-8597 for help. 

We’ll assist with insurance claims and offer mold remediation services as necessary.

5. Take Photos of the Damage

If you spot water damage, your first reaction might be to clean it up fast. But before that, document the damage. 

Snap photos and videos with your phone, capturing ruined items and affected surfaces. 

These visuals will be crucial to support your water damage insurance claim.

Need Water Damage Cleanup in Chicago, Illinois? We Can Help!

Don’t let water damage get you down! The team here at ServiceMaster of Lake Shore is standing by to help you address and repair water damage

Contact us today to learn more about our services or request a quote. 


What causes water to leak from the upstairs condo?

Water leakage from an upstairs condo can be attributed to several factors.

Here are a few of the most common:

  • Damaged plumbing fixtures or pipes, including those that might serve sinks, bathtubs, or toilets.
  • Faulty seals around fixtures, deteriorating grouting or caulking in bathrooms, and compromised appliance hoses like those connected to washing machines or dishwashers also contribute significantly.
  • Structural issues, such as cracks in the building’s foundation or walls, can allow water to seep through and cause leaks.
  • Clogged drains or overflowing gutters can lead to water accumulation and subsequent leakage through ceilings.

Regular maintenance and prompt attention to any signs of water damage can help prevent such occurrences.

What types of water damage does condo insurance cover?

Condo insurance typically covers water damage that originates within the insured unit, such as plumbing issues, malfunctioning appliances, and accidental overflows.

It may also cover damage from water that enters the unit through the roof or walls, but only if the cause is sudden and accidental.

However, it’s important to note that damages due to floods, earthquakes, or slow leaks that could have been prevented with maintenance are usually not covered.

Consult your policy details or contact your insurance provider for specific coverage information.

Can I sue my upstairs neighbor for water damage in Illinois?

In Illinois, if your property suffers water damage due to your upstairs neighbor’s negligence or intentional actions, you may have the right to sue for compensation.

The success of such a legal claim depends on proving that the neighbor’s actions directly caused the damage to your property. It is advisable to document the damage thoroughly and seek the guidance of an attorney experienced in property law to understand your legal options and the likelihood of a successful claim.

Who is accountable for water damage in a condo in Illinois?

In Illinois, the accountability for water damage in a condo typically depends on the source of the damage.

If the damage originates from a common element, like the building’s roof or plumbing, the condo association’s insurance is usually responsible for the repairs.

However, if the damage is due to negligence or an issue within an individual unit, such as overflowing water from a bath or a leak from a personal appliance, the unit owner might be held accountable.

Both condo owners and HOAs must review their declarations, bylaws, and insurance policies for specific details regarding responsibility and coverage.

For more information on the legal standing of water damage in Illinois condos, check out this resource from the Illinois Chapter Community Associations Institute.

Get Help Now

(312) 707-8597


Our office is located in downtown Chicago, IL just west of Millennium Park, nearby Willis Tower and Magnificent Mile. We provide 24 hour emergency fire and water damage cleanup to all of Chicagoland including Lincoln Park, Logan Square, Gold Coast, Lake View, Magnificent Mile and Little Village. We also provide a variety of specialty cleaning services.