Last week we talked about the dangers of flash flooding and how a flash flood can unexpectedly destroy your home and office. Unfortunately, there are many other ways that your office can flood, and as a business owner it’s important that you know what these are, what to do about it, and whom to call. Water damage is serious, and if you are not prepared or don’t have a plan in place when it happens to you, your business could be shut down for an unnecessary amount of time.
Top 5 causes of commercial water damage
Extreme weather. As we mentioned last week, flooding can happen very quickly. What starts out as a small storm can suddenly turn into something larger, and cause a lot more damage than anyone expected. If your commercial property isn’t in pristine condition, there is a chance that water damage will occur. For example, a small leak on the roof can turn into a large downpour of water that floods an entire section of the property.
Damaged appliances. Pretty much every office building has a kitchen or a break room. And typically these rooms have a refrigerator and possibly a dishwasher. When these appliances fail, they can leak a significant amount of water, flooding the entire room or more.
Backed up sewer lines. Bathrooms are another source of possible problems. It is not uncommon for the sewer lines to get backed up, releasing contaminated water into the building. This type of water damage is extremely dangerous because the water is filled with hazardous waste and other contaminants.
Malfunctioning sprinklers. By law, all commercial properties must be equipped with an overhead sprinkler system. This system works in conjunction with the fire alarm, and is typically activated when the fire alarm goes off. This can cause water damage in two ways. First, as we mentioned in a previous blog post, any time there is a fire and the sprinklers activate, there will be water damage. And second, the sprinkler system can malfunction and activate on its own. When this happens, significant water damage can occur because of the fact that the sprinkler system covers the entire building.
Broken pipes. Broken or cracked pipes are very common in commercial buildings, especially as they age. When these pipes burst open, water rushes out of them, spraying throughout the building. This can cause damage to the ceiling, walls, and flooring, not to mention any furniture or electronics that get in the water’s way.
Obviously you want to keep an eye on the list above. Ongoing maintenance to your commercial property is key to not having water related issues. But if water damage does happen anywhere on your property, you need to take immediate action. After calling your insurance provider, you need to contact a reliable water damage restoration company, like us. And once we are on the job, we get right to work by doing the following:
First we will thoroughly inspect the property. We will find out what caused the damage and make sure that the water has stopped flowing. We will also determine if the water is contaminated or not. During this stage we remove all furniture that has been affected, while trying to salvage as much as possible.
Next we begin the water extraction process. We use pumps and other vacuums to remove all water from the property.
Once all the water is removed, we start the drying process. If everything is not dried properly, problems occur that result in longer recovery and escalating restoration costs. We set up and monitor the drying process through every phase to ensure that proper drying occurs. We will document moisture levels, provide moisture maps, and photograph drying for the insurance provider.
When the property has been thoroughly dried, we start the sanitation process. We have to make sure everything is cleaned and sanitized because of the mold and other contaminates that form due to standing water.
And finally the rebuild happens. If the water damage destroyed ceilings, walls, or flooring, we can rebuild it. In fact, we are one of the only water damage restoration companies that functions as a full service reconstruction company.
Water damage isn’t something that you want to happen on your commercial property. But when it does, you want to hire the right company to clean up the damage and get your business back to normal as quickly as possible. Call us today to put a disaster response plan in place.