The Causes of Commercial Water Damage and How to Deal with Them November 18, 2019 – Posted in: Blog
Water damage in the workplace may not only prevent you from doing business. It can also put the health and safety of your employees at risk. The moment you spot signs of commercial water damage, it’s important to take action immediately.
Commercial water damage restoration is often more complex than residential water damage restoration and usually requires an intensive approach. The size and structure of commercial buildings, the extent of damage, the varying uses of space, and the number of occupants all affect the restoration process. Aside from these, there’s usually always a time constraint for the job because business has to continue as soon as possible.
While some water damage issues are inevitable, most problems can be prevented when the cause of water damage is found earlier.
In this post, we’ll talk about the most common causes of water damage in commercial properties and how to deal with them.
Causes of Commercial Water Damage
Here are the common causes of commercial water damage:
In commercial buildings, water damage is often caused by windows that are not properly sealed. Damaged windows can cause moisture to seep in, which triggers a lot of problems including mold build-up and warped wood and drywall. Resealing windows regularly is important as caulk can break down over time.
Broken pipes can stem from many reasons, such as changes in pressure, deteriorated water supply lines and sewer drains, and cold weather (freezing temperature can cause pipes to burst). Bulging walls, water stains on walls or floors, cracked or loose tiles, and musty smell – these are all signs of damaged pipes. Detecting leaky pipes is challenging and it usually requires some specialized water leak detection equipment.
If gutters are not cleaned regularly, they can get clogged, causing water to leak into the property through the roof or the foundation. One of the most common signs of leaks in building foundations are puddles nearby or framing that has become wet. Poor drainage systems can also lead to water damage in your foundation.
A leaky roof can cause ceiling damage, mold or mildew issues, fire hazards from shortened wires, and compromised structural integrity. Exposure to heavy rains and snow make roofs vulnerable to damage. Moreover, incorrect snow/ice removal can also trigger water damage in roofs.
HVAC systems work by heating or cooling the air through a series of ducts. Over time, these ducts wear out and get damaged, resulting in leaks. The HVAC system needs to be cleaned regularly and the excess water from the condensation reservoirs has to be removed to prevent water damage.
Sewer water contains bacteria and other pathogens that cause illnesses and infections. If you see signs of sewage damage, such as gurgling sounds or water backing up out of the drain or toilet, you should call water damage and restoration professional immediately.
Sprinkler system leaks
Other causes of water damage in commercial buildings are leaks in sprinkler systems. Signs of sprinkler leaks include wet surfaces like drywall and carpets, presence of mold and mildew, and standing water. Regularly inspect your sprinkler systems for leaks and moisture.
Commercial Water Damage Prevention
Taking the necessary measures to prevent water damage can save you from costly repairs and business interruption in the future. Since water damage can come from a variety of sources, it’s essential to have the building inspected regularly to prevent leaks and related issues.
Create a flood monitoring system
Regardless of whether your business is located in a flood-prone area, make sure you have an efficient flood warning system in place. Flooding can result from other causes, including plumbing failures, overflowing rivers, and melting snow.
Get enough coverage for your property
Flooding is not usually included in property insurance policies. Water damage restoration can be very expensive. Water damage insurance can help you deal with the costs if ever your property gets damaged by a flood in the future.
Conduct a water damage inspection regularly
Water damage prevention is a lot cheaper than restoration. To prevent water damage from getting worse, have professionals inspect your property at least once a year. Leak detection is performed in several ways, such as humidity monitoring and the use of spot sensors.
Invest in facility maintenance
A preventative maintenance plan should help keep your commercial building safe and secure and contribute to your water leak prevention efforts. Different parts of a commercial building should be inspected at different intervals. For example, doors, windows, and gates should be checked each year for weariness while the roof can be coated every five years or so to prevent damage.
Commercial Water Damage and Mold
Water damage and mold go hand in hand.
One of the most common effects of water damage in commercial buildings is mold and mildew build-up. It only takes 24-48 hours of exposure to water damage before these dangerous microorganisms start growing.
To stop mold growth, the source of water damage should be fixed right away. It’s best to hire emergency water damage restoration professionals to conduct commercial mold cleanup and mold mitigation to ensure that no trace is left.
Commercial Water Damage Restoration
Commercial water damage restoration is a job that is best handled by professionals. Make sure to hire restoration contractors who have water damage restoration certification.
Water damage specialists are expensive. If you’re worried about the cost of their service, you can buy water damage restoration equipment instead, like air movers, commercial dehumidifiers, air scrubbers and more. These devices can help reduce the moisture in your indoor air, helping prevent mold growth and the other effects of water damage. However, if the water damage is caused by structural issues like the ones discussed above, you have no choice but to hire professionals to have those problems repaired.
Water damage in commercial buildings is a serious problem that should be addressed as soon as possible. There are many causes of water damage, like damaged windows, roof leaks, damaged pipes, sewer clogs, HVAC leaks, and sprinkler system leaks.
Thankfully, water damage can be prevented by creating a flood monitoring system, getting an insurance plan that covers flood damage, and conducting regular property inspection and facility maintenance.
If you see signs of water damage in your commercial property, call the professionals right away. Fixing the root cause of water damage should stop it from getting worse.