What to Know About Commercial Water Damage
Buildings are the biggest asset for every business owner; discovering structural damage of any type will surely be stressful. While there are a number of preventative measures to take to prevent this type of damage, accidents like frozen and burst pipes, backed up sewage lines, and even floods can happen at any time.
Understanding how these accidents happen will allow you to save both time and money during the water damage restoration process, knowing exactly what to do when these situations occur.
12 Commercial Water Damage Facts
All commercial buildings are different according to the plumbing and building materials used in the structure, but each is at risk of facing water damage. Even small problems, like minor roof or pipe leaks, can lead to the spread of water damage and even mold growth. With damage like this, the value of your commercial property can quickly decrease without quick action. Here are 12 commercial water damage facts:
- 1. Mold can grow quickly after water damage
After water has affected a particular area, mold can grow in as little as 24 – 48 hours. All excess water and humid conditions should be dried out right away to prevent the risk of mold growth.
- 2. Problems are not fixed if the water has dried out
In hopes that the water will evaporate on its own, many property owners mistakenly assume that the issue is fixed. While the water evaporates in the area, moisture will accumulate in the walls, ceiling, and even the floor below, promoting mold growth. If this happens, it’s important to call in a mold prevention specialist to conduct a deep inspection to make sure that mold hasn’t already infected your property or spread to other areas.
- 3. Different building materials require different cleaning methods
After water has damaged various areas of the property, the same restoration process cannot be used for all building materials. Hard surfaces like concrete can be salvaged but porous materials like cellulose insulation and flooring materials will need to be removed and replaced. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will have specific information on water damage and mold prevention procedures with different materials.
- 4. Water extraction is the best step to restoring water damage
Excess water can lead to costly repairs in permanently damaged material if not extracted immediately. Experienced water damage restoration professionals know exactly how to remove excess water in emergency situations like flooding or burst pipes. Hiring these specialists will also ensure that all hidden water damage and moisture from behind the walls and underneath the floors is also removed properly to prevent the risk of mold growth.
- 5. Time is everything
As soon as you find water damage on your property, taking the necessary steps right away can make a big difference in financial costs. Simply knowing the basic first steps during an emergency can prevent the damage from spreading further.
- 6. Contact your insurance company right away if you find water damage
It’s imperative to call your insurance company immediately after finding water damage. The insurance company can also guide you through the first steps to prevent the damage from spreading.
- 7. A separate flood insurance policy may also be necessary
Insurance companies may offer flood insurance in addition to your policy. This may be necessary especially if you live in a flood zone. In any case, contact your insurance provider to see if this is necessary for you and whether you need additional coverage.
- 8. Insurance policies may not cover all types of water damage
While some situations are covered by insurance policies, others are excluded for various reasons. For example, flood damage is not usually covered. For this reason, you may want to look into other sources of protection, like flood insurance.
- 9. There are different types of water contamination
Most insurance professionals see water damage as different types of contamination: white water, grey water, and black water. The processes associated with cleaning up each type of damage will be different. This is why it’s best to leave water extraction and dehumidification to the specialists.
- 10. Even small leaks can lead to big problems
If not checked frequently, minor plumbing leaks or appliance malfunctions can lead to big water damage problems. If the plumbing is not frequently maintained, your insurance company may not cover the cost of everyday wear and tear.
- 11. Roof leaks are a common source of water damage in commercial buildings
Even small leaks in a commercial roof can lead to major problems for the business. Even if it was just installed, a bad storm can still penetrate through the materials and spread damage. This is especially common with areas experiencing strong winds, freezing temperatures, and hail damage.
- 12. Building maintenance can prevent water damage disasters
It’s important to check or have the building checked on a frequent basis. These water damage preventative tasks should include gutter, roof, and plumbing inspections. You may also want to have a professional inspect the building once or twice each year to ensure everything is in proper condition.
Finding Water Damage
If you have found water damage of any sort on your property, it’s important to take action right away. Simply knowing what to do at the very beginning can save a lot of time and money during the restoration process by preventing the damage from spreading further.
After you have removed the source of the damage, call your insurance company right away to file a claim. Then contact your local water damage restoration professionals to start the restoration process.
Emergency Water Damage Restoration
Many water damage restoration services are available 24/7, and will respond immediately to begin the water damage cleanup process. They will then set up powerful drying and dehumidification equipment to remove the remaining moisture from the air and building materials to prevent mildew odors and mold growth. Any damaged equipment or items will then be restored using content cleaning services.
After the restoration process is complete, they will work with your insurance provider during the claims process, allowing you to focus on business matters. This way, you can minimize restoration costs, and even time spent out of business.