Water damage can happen in the blink of an eye. And unfortunately, even a seemingly small or insignificant water intrusion can cause serious, costly damage if not acted upon quickly.
Mooring has vast restoration service experience helping building owners, building managers, facility engineers, and public building administrators navigate any water-based disaster with confidence and assurance of a job well done. Here are a few considerations and tips for the next time you experience a water damage event.
COMMON CAUSES OF FLOODING IN COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS
Like many building maintenance emergencies, basic preventative measures can save you many headaches (and expenses). Factoring the common causes of commercial water damage into your annual building maintenance plan can help you avoid major upsets in your commercial properties.
- Leaky Roofs
Even a small leak in a commercial roof can lead to significant damage if left unrepaired. Any gap or separation can allow standing water that accumulates over time or after snowmelt to seep into a building. Heavy rains can escalate the situation even faster.
- HVAC System Problems
Even in the dead of winter, heating and cooling systems can wreak havoc. Without regular maintenance and inspection, HVAC systems could have leaks or standing water that could lead to burst pipes.
- Foundation Problems
Cracks in a foundation can also cause water to accumulate and restrict proper drainage. This can cause a buildup of water that can lead to mold buildup and other issues.
- Cracked, Broken, or Otherwise Damaged Pipes
If you see water stains of any kind on walls, flooring, or ceiling tiles, you most likely have issues with pipes and the issue should be tackled immediately.
- Other Signs of Water Damage and Moisture Issues
In addition to stains, keep an eye out for peeling paint on walls and ceilings, swelling wood, swollen doors and door jambs, baseboards and other trim separating from the walls, warped flooring, or damp, musty odors that might indicate mold.
STEPS TO TAKE WHEN FLOODING OCCURS
As with most building issues, the sooner you address problems and begin repairs, the better the outcome. Most importantly, mold can begin to grow in as little as 24 hours, so starting emergency services as soon as possible is essential. Within a week, left untreated, mold can cause structural damage and unhealthy conditions.
- Act quickly—and don’t wait on insurance
You might hear advice that you should wait on an insurance adjuster to assess damages, but sometimes that can be too late. Especially if flooding damage you experience is the result of a storm or natural disaster that’s impacted a larger region or area. Call your insurance agent immediately but do as much as you can to avoid further damage while you wait on their arrival.
- Document the damage
Call in the experts as soon as possible, but also document every bit of damage you can with photos and videos. You can then share this documentation with your insurance provider when the time comes.
- Avoid flooding near breaker boxes and other electrical
Water and electricity is a dangerous combination. Shut off the electricity at the main breaker until professionals can determine whether there’s a risk of electric shock from standing water.
- Shut off the main water supply
If the leak is the result of burst pipes, turn off the main water supply as soon as you arrive on site.
- Salvage as much as possible
Even if the initial damage is minimal, flooding tends to spread and leave a trail of destruction. If it’s safe to enter a building, gather as much as you can. Remove files, equipment, and personal belongings before water has a chance to further damage or destroy them completely.
- Bring in professionals
The faster you can get a professional team in place to begin addressing flooding and the damage left behind, the better. It only takes one day for mold to begin growing.
Mooring Disaster Restoration assists businesses 24/7 with response and recovery services resulting from water damage and flooding.