Businesses adopt measures to protect themselves against the consequences of smoke and fire damage yet completely ignore water damage despite the expensive repairs and the possibility of the insurance claim being denied due to lack of prevention. The smallest unaddressed issue can result in serious issues down the line. Not only does this affect business operations but also the bottom line. If you own or lease commercial property, it would be best to have a plan and prepare for a water damage emergency. No one can control every eventuality, but there are actions you can take now to protect your company from water damage.
Top Causes of Commercial Water Damage
Fires and windstorms are among the leading causes of commercial property damage, but water is the main enemy as far as the frequency and severity of losses are concerned. Eventually, there will be some kind of issue, whether big or small. The effects of water damage can be reduced greatly by knowing its causes. Many factors could cause water damage, including:
Old and rusty pipes crack and leak over time. After all, they’re not meant to last forever. Old pipes are made from materials prone to corrosion like iron. Iron forms rust if it’s exposed to moisture along with oxygen. All materials and components succumb to the natural elements eventually, regardless of what grade quality they have. After a certain point in time, the pipelines require repair or replacement due to serious degradation.
Damage to the roof can be caused by extreme weather, such as rain, heavy winds, and snowfall. Neglecting the roof is a guarantee that you won’t notice a leak until it’s too late. By that time, the water will have caused significant damage to the structure of the roof. If you find water dripping from a bulge or notice discoloration in the ceiling, it’s a problem. Any water leak carries the risk of mold.
Water And Tear on The HVAC System
Without proper maintenance and upkeep, the heating and cooling system can lead to water damage. You’ll know for sure your HVAC is leaking if there’s a puddle on the floor under your unit. Water buildup is never a good sign, and the issue should be addressed immediately. Your HVAC system can lead to extensive water damage if it’s not maintained correctly. Check the indoor unit regularly to detect signs of HVAC leaks.
Severe Weather or Natural Disasters
The frequency and intensity of weather and natural disasters have increased significantly over the past century. Floods, storms, tsunamis, and so on can cause severe water damage to your commercial property. If too much water accumulates, you’re at the risk of water damage and even mold growth. Make sure the commercial facility is equipped with a drainage system and have the gutters cleaned on a regular basis.
What To Do If You Experience Water Damage at Your Business
Removing the water from your building is rather simple, but countless problems can occur as a result when trying to restore the property to its normal condition, as highlighted by the experts at watermoldfire.net. When dealing with water damage, it’s not recommended to handle the process by yourself. The entire process is a long and tedious one, not to mention that every step must be handled with care. You can work with your insurer to find a water damage restoration company. Should there be extensive damage, mold remediation will be necessary.
Not all water damage is the same in terms of degrees of disaster. There are several categories you should be familiar with:
Category 1: Clean water damage
Category 2: Gray water damage
Category 3: Black water damage
In the event of category 3 water damage, the restoration company will remove all affected cosmetic materials, like hardwood flooring, insulation, carpet padding, etc.
How To Take Charge and Mitigate the Risks of Water Damage
Seal Any Cracks, Holes, Or Other Gaps
Cracks, holes, and other gaps have the habit of appearing where you don’t want them. They could be an indication that the structural components (bricks or blocks) have failed. Regardless, cracks, holes, and other gaps allow water intrusion. What is more, cold air can lurk into the building, so your pipes will be exposed to freezing temperatures. Use urethane caulk to keep the water out and protect the foundation and walls from cracking and eroding.
Protect The Piping
Insulate the pipes to protect them from getting damaged or bursting. It’s not necessary to insulate pipes that run through the interior walls or in basements that are heated. You can wrap the piping in insulation available at most hardware stores. No matter what type of insulation you’re using, give the pipes a quick clean so that the insulation adheres better.
Follow The Recommended Maintenance Procedure
As mentioned earlier, the HVAC can be a potential cause of water damage to your business. At some point, you’ve most likely heard some variation of the saying “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” You’ll end up losing massive sums of money due to a lack of proactive maintenance. Follow the recommended maintenance procedures. Change the air filters regularly, check and clean the drainage lines, and recalibrate the system by-annually.
Keep The Roof Clean
Snow and ice accumulation can weaken the roof materials. They shouldn’t pile up beyond the roof’s weight limits. Throwing salt will do more harm than good. Equally, you shouldn’t use a chisel or shovel. It’s bad for roofing, not to say potentially dangerous. You’re better off using heated cables, which can be attached along the roof’s edges. They get hot when you run current through them. The cables can be used for efficient roof and gutter de-icing.
Install A Flood Gate
If your business is located in a flood zone, it’s wise to have a flood gate installed, which allows for the controlled flow of water. Such a unit is easy and quick to deploy. You can attach multiple flood gates together to create the desired protection length. Flood gates can protect entry doors, windows, and exterior steps.