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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Water Damage in Commercial Buildings

3/15/2019 (Permalink)

While focusing on water damage and prevention tends to favor the home, it is necessary to be vigilant about the position of commercial buildings as well.  In many cases, commercial buildings have the same risks as private homes.  If left unchecked, water damage in commercial buildings can lead to structural damage and mold.  All of these can contribute to damaging the structure and creating very expensive repairs.

When dealing with large commercial buildings such as warehouses and hotels, it is necessary to continuously inspect the property.  While some would suggest a monthly rotation, it would be most beneficial to inspect the property on a weekly basis.  This could be the job of a department manager.  Inspect the parts of the building that would be most susceptible for moisture buildup.  This would include areas with extensive piping or ceilings.  It is essential to look for drips or other evidence of pooling.   HVAC systems are also areas where inspectors will want to focus their efforts. If there are low-lying areas of the property, such as underground storage or garages, it is essential to make sure that these areas have effective methods of drainage to prevent accumulation of water.  In order to accomplish this, it is necessary to outfit these sections with pumps in case of periods of heavy rain when water may accumulate.

When dealing with water in commercial settings it is essential to develop and adhere to a plan for employees to follow if water damage is found.   A basic plan should be written down and available in a variety of locations for the use of management and employees.  The plans should include training measures so that employees know where to look for common areas of water damage, and if necessary, employees should be knowledgeable of the location and proper procedure for shutting off the water to the building. With all the plans for the guidelines, contact information should be made available for access for maintenance, plumbers, electricians, water clean-up services in order to facilitate the repair of water damage.   The information of the water company and insurance should also be present to make sure that water is cut off and that all damages are assessed for payment if necessary.

The guidelines for response should be kept in a safe location that puts it above the water damage.  The guidelines should also have plans for the relocation of records off-site for their preservation, but also for the temporary halting of operations until the site can be restored.  Once the water damage is repaired, then the commercial building can be opened once more. Maintaining a commercial building can be a tricky endeavor with water damage.  If one remains vigilant in maintaining sight on leaks and sources of water damage, then perhaps large problems can be averted before they become large problems.

For more information on Commercial Emergency Services call SERVPRO of Henderson/Boulder City at: 702-564-8508

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