Commercial water damage is inevitable when flood waters inundate a commercial property. The size and condition of commercial properties, the frequency and magnitude of flooding, the varied uses of the space, and the quantity of residents all influence the total restoration process. On top of those, there is always a timeline for the work as business must continue even after the damage has been cleaned up. When it comes to flood damage, every company has a different way of going about the cleanup process, but there are some basic steps that should be followed to minimize the impact and minimize potential damage to your building or property.
The first step to addressing any commercial water damage is to stop the leak. If a leak is not stopped, it will eventually lead to additional concerns that may require more extensive repairs. For example, a small leak on a low floor may only lead to mildew growth on drywall, if left unchecked; however, a high rise building may need to be evacuated in order to contain the leak. By stopping the leak at the onset, the damage can be less severe and the likelihood of mold growth will be limited.
Once a leak has been stopped, emergency services should be called. Depending on the severity of the commercial water damage and mold growth, local fire department and the city’s health department can help with emergency clean up and removal of hazardous materials. Depending on the cause of the leak, insurance may also cover the cost of removing the damaged building and any affected belongings.
Emergency workers should then assess the nature of the flooding and whether there are any structural damages. A professional commercial water damage restoration company will have the necessary equipment to do this quickly. They will need to assess the roof and exterior walls to see what type of damage is done and to estimate how much it will cost to fix the structure. A loss estimator may be required to determine the amount of lost revenue during the flooding.
Depending on the size and type of flood, and commercial buildings may need to be evacuated and the streets blocked off for clean up. The extent and severity of the water damage will determine if this is possible. Water extraction from residential areas may not be as successful, especially if people are confined within the home. Therefore, if there is an evacuation order, every available employee needs to be notified, if possible.
If the damaged commercial buildings can be restored, what damages have been done? It is important to know the cause of the flooding, if not caused by a natural disaster. Wet conditions can grow mold very quickly if dampness is present. In addition, mold spores can be released into the air when damp conditions are present. If the flooding is due to a natural occurrence, there may not be a need to conduct commercial water damage restoration. A simple cleaning with bleach and detergent will probably do the trick.
When commercial water damage restoration has been conducted, what steps need to be taken to prevent future occurrences? Any water extraction that is done should be done in stages. There may be some mold growth that has not yet been noticed and damage that is not readily apparent. If the first cleaning attempts to remove the water has not been successful, additional cleaners should be used and repeated until the water damage is completely removed.
In conclusion, no matter what the reason for flooding, whether it is a natural or a commercial event, if water damage is present, immediate action needs to be taken. The longer the water is allowed to build up, the more costly and extensive the damage will be. As with any disaster situation, it is always wise to be prepared. This means contacting a flood damage restoration specialist, identifying the source of the water emergency, working closely with them for an estimate, and then making the necessary preparations to minimize future flooding events.