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What To Do If Your Business Gets Water Damage
It’s not a question of whether or not your business will experience water damage. It’s a matter of when. There are floods, hurricanes, and other natural disasters that cause billions in property loss every year. When you add the risk of the potential for burst pipes, leaking roofs, fire, or other potential disasters, there is a strong chance that your business will need to rely on expert help from a commercial property restoration company.
Here are seven things to do if your business is ever affected by water damage:
Shut Off The Water
If possible, shutting off the water source is the most important thing you need to do. The way to do this is by finding the main water valve and turning it off. If you’re unsure where to locate it, ask your plumber or handyman for help. Once the water gets turned off, you can begin to work out how to stop the damage caused by water. If the water damage results from something where you can’t control the water, like a storm or flood, you should move to the next step.
Shut Off The Electric
Standing water and electricity are a recipe for disaster. If you can, shut off the electricity to the area that has been affected by water. If the water is coming in from outside, it’s best to turn off the breaker to the entire building. Cutting the juice will help prevent electrocution and further damage to your property.
Water conducts electricity, so it’s crucial to assume water is present even if you can’t see it anywhere.
Remove Items From Off The Floor Of Affected Areas
The next thing you need to do if your business gets flooded is removing all the items you can from standing water. By doing so, you’re taking steps to minimize the potential for water damage to these items. If possible, move everything directly in contact with the floor to higher ground. Depending on your business configuration, this might include moving computers, desks, cabinets, physical inventory, business supplies, or other items. It’s logical that the more things you can clear from harm’s way, the better off you’ll be.
However, some items might not be as easy to move, such as carpeting or large pieces of machinery like a boiler or furnace. If you can’t get it to higher ground, personal safety always comes first. Commercial property restoration service companies specialize in cleaning up this type of damage and can handle the details.
Contact Your Business Insurance Company
Most business insurance policies cover water damage. However, your policy coverage will make a difference in how quickly you can get assistance. If you live in an area where there is frequent flooding or if you have had to file other claims for water damages, you must contact your insurance agent and let them know what’s going on. In addition, if there’s any chance that flooding might affect your business operations, you need to ask about adding special endorsements or provisions to your policy that will help protect you.
Start Pumping Water Out And Drying The Affected Area
Depending on the severity of the damages, you might be able to start pumping out the water yourself using a sump pump or a wet/dry shop vac. However, if there is a lot of water, you might need to hire a professional to help with water removal and drying. After removing all the water, you can dry it out with fans and dehumidifiers. If you can do this step by yourself, you must work as quickly as possible before mold, and other issues arise.
Suppose there is significant damage and your business is closed for any length of time. In that case, you should consider moving equipment and furniture to a warehouse or other facility that can accommodate it until repairs or restoration get completed. Depending on the insurance policy fine print, storage fees for the period between the flood or water damage and the restoration could get covered.
Assess The Damages
It’s always important to get a professional opinion on the extent of water damages to your business or commercial building. Property owners should do this as quickly as possible. Depending on the specifics of your insurance policy, you might have to claim within a specific time frame. If you don’t notify your carrier right away, they may deny coverage. When you contract with a water damage restoration company like Steph Co. Cleaning, they can help you by working with the insurance company to ensure that everything goes as smoothly as possible.
Address The Issue Quickly
When your business sustains water damage for any reason, the sooner you take care of the water damage, the sooner you can get your business back up and running. Failure to do so could result in:
Black Mold – This is a serious issue that can cause health problems for employees and customers.
Structural Damage – Continued water damage will eventually lead to structural damage that could make your business unusable. Building lumber can sustain a certain amount of water damage before it begins to break down. If the damage is bad enough, you’ll have to tear out and replace most or all of your building’s interior.
Mildew – Mildew and mold thrive in a moist environment. Over time, it can cause extensive damage, including causing musty smells on furnishings, equipment, and other items in your business.
Always remember that not all water damage is equal. Some might require extensive repairs, while other maintenance could get handled relatively quickly and easily. The key is to take the necessary steps as soon as you can to restore your business.
After all, the longer the business closure, the harder it will impact your bottom line.
If you fall victim to water damage or suspect that there may be significant water damage in your commercial building or office space, give Steph Co Cleaning a call for all your commercial water restoration needs in Eastern Massachusetts. Our specialists are here to help!
Stephco Cleaning & Restoration Blog
Reliable, responsive cleaning and restoration in and around Boston for over 45 years.
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